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Clean to Inspect

Many years ago while i was being trained about all things regarding the Toyota Production System I was dispatched to a local CNC Machine shop to observe methodologies in action.


I walked into a pristine factory and when I say pristine there was no debris, metal chips, dust clutter, oil mist ... everything was clean sparkly and shiny. All of the machines looked brand new like they had never been used.


But wait ... sitting on top of one of the machines was a team member cleaning. Pretty profound i thought to myself considering that these folks in general were much shorter than the height of the machines ... so as an inquiring mind I just had to ask the plant manager What? and Why?



His response has stayed with me forever since that day ....


We "Clean to Inspect" – the touch of the human hand while cleaning is the world’s most sensitive instrument and is the best detector of abnormalities that can be immediately corrected while you are cleaning.


He continued to explain that although he appreciated having such a clean shop that was only the by-product of making sure the Team Members with their hands touched every square inch of surface on the machine once per week, as they cleaned while inspecting.


Indeed as you support your 5S program and you think about "Sanitize" change your paradigm to invoke a "Clean to Inspect" mentality.


Your machines will look much better, your environment will look more professional and it will improve the moral of your employees. Finally, should something break your mechanics will appreciate working on a clean machine rather than digger through reams of grease and dirt to find the problem.


So combine the mantra of Mc Donald's where employees are told "If you have time to Lean you have Time to Clean" to now include "Clean to Inspect"

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