Lean 5S Manufacturing to Pasta Manufacturer

Donald Leon Farrow

Donald Leon Farrow

Process improves efficiency and quality, cuts costs, says Donald Leon Farrow.

EXCELSIOR SPRINGS, MissouriOctober 9, 2012Donald Leon Farrow, director of engineering for American Italian Pasta Company (AIPC), recently reported an increase in the quality and efficiency of operations due to the implementation of Lean 5S manufacturing systems in daily operations. Since joining AIPC in 2010, Donald Leon Farrow has helped introduce Smartsheet scheduling and managed a packaging and delivery line that saves AIPC $2 million annually

According to Donald Leon Farrow, Lean 5S applies to the process of organizing workspaces and processes to maximize productivity. It can be applied to a variety of work environments, from offices to manufacturing plants. The process depends upon standardized methods of storing and organizing work tools and keeping work areas clean.

The 5 S’s of lean manufacturing, as described by Donald Leon Farrow, are:

  • Sorting
  • Stabilizing or Straightening Out
  • Sweeping or Shining
  • Standardizing
  • Sustaining the Practice

Throughout his engineering career, Donald Leon Farrow has made it a priority to analyze current processes and reinvent better ways to do those things. Donald Leon Farrow uses Lean 5-S methodologies, believing this step-by-step process helps him objectively streamline operations.

In the same way a manager uses Lean 5S to improve operations, Donald Leon Farrow explains that the strategy can be applied to personnel. Donald Leon Farrow emphasizes “clean as you go” policies at his offices or plants, believing each worker should be responsible for cleaning one work area before moving to another.

While this attention to detail may seem unrelated to productivity, Donald Leon Farrow has found that if a worker learns not to take shortcuts in keeping a work area clean and organized, he or she will be more likely to avoid shortcuts in everyday work. This will ensure operations remain efficient and the quality of production will not be compromised, states Donald Leon Farrow.

“We do not want our doctors, accountants or lawyers to take short cuts in serving us, or for that matter, those who prepare our food at restaurants,” Donald Leon Farrow states. “We owe it to our employers to do a complete and professional job in a Lean 5S manner.  This means taking no short cuts in terms of being clean, organized and safe.”

Donald Leon Farrow acknowledges that many workers argue that cleanup will be undertaken at the end of a work shift, but he has personally found that the cleanup is usually forgotten. When the next shift begins, the mess is ignored as leftover from the last shift, Donald Leon Farrow explains, so that no one takes ownership of it. By having workers tidy as they go, Donald Leon Farrow states that work areas stay tidy much of the time.

Whether a person is working in manufacturing or an office setting, Donald Leon Farrow points out that Lean 5S manufacturing processes can improve the efficiency of any workplace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>