Continuous Improvement at Keystone

Manufacturing with Integrity

At Keystone Threaded Products we are committed to further build our legacy on honesty, hard work, and perseverance. We know that today’s efforts lay the foundation for tomorrow. That’s why we embrace lean manufacturing and are committed to continuous improvement. Our efforts mean our customers can depend on us to deliver quality rolled thread products on time and defect-free, to follow through with our commitments, and to effectively communicate throughout the manufacturing process. 

Introducing the Keystone Blog Series on Continuous Improvement

At Keystone, we have tackled several projects as part of our continuous improvement efforts to make our manufacturing workspaces more organized, streamlined, and efficient. In this blog series, we profile some of these projects to demonstrate our efforts in action. But first a word about our methodology: the Kaizen Lean Approach and 5S.

The Kaizen Lean Approach

The concept of continuous improvement comes from Kaizen, a Japanese compound word that means “good change” or “improvement.” According to the Kaizen Institute, “Lean Manufacturing seeks to optimize processes, reduce waste, and create high-quality products, responding promptly and flexibly to market changes.” In other words, this approach focuses on maximizing value for our customers by eliminating anything that does not directly contribute to that value and emphasizes operational efficiencies via continuous improvement. 

Continuous Improvement with 5S

5S is a principle of the Kaizen lean approach and is referred to as the foundation of advanced manufacturing. 

According to the American Society for Quality (ASQ), the five S’s [5S] of Lean is “a methodology that results in a workplace that is clean, uncluttered, safe, and well organized to help reduce waste and optimize productivity.”

Overall, the 5S methodology is designed to encourage the evolution of processes over time to stay up to speed with the manufacturing landscape.

The five basic tenants of 5S include:

1. Sort – keep only what you need (when in doubt, throw it out)

2. Set in Order – arrange and label to use and return items easily

3. Shine – keep it clean!

4. Standardize – following 1-3 creates a standardized process

5. Sustain – make these processes a habit!

5S essentially describes the basic practices we were taught as kids: put your things away; keep your room clean; leave the area the way you found it. In other words, 5S provides a systematic way to organize a workspace by eliminating waste, improving flow, and ultimately enhancing productivity. A clean, organized space can also bring a sense of pride to the job.

Projects in Profile

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Interested in learning more about our products or processes? Contact Us at 216.524.9626 or today!