Kaizen is a Japanese word that has been taken to refer to the philosophy of continuous improvement, and it’s important for every business, whether you’re a department store or a parts manufacturer. Kaizen often focuses on eliminating waste, and it’s a philosophy that can be applied to every aspect of your business. One such aspect is machine placement. When you first open a manufacturing plant, you tend to put machines wherever you have space. You get a new machine, you plop it down in an open spot, and you do the same with the next machine. Before you know it your shop lacks any coherent setup, and looks more like machine confetti.

The reason this is a problem is because it seriously hinders efficiency. If you reorganize your machines, suddenly CNC turning takes place in one area, milling, drilling and capping in another. The tools that are needed at each area are close at hand and can be changed over quickly. The different sections of your shop can be arranged so that production flows from one to the next in a logical fashion. Suddenly your employees spend less time walking back and forth from machine to machine, and less time searching for the tools they need. That time is then invested back into your manufacturing process.

When you reorganize your shop to be more efficient, not only do you shave seconds and even minutes off of your production process (read our blog post about the Power of 1 Second), but you also create a better work environment. Your employees become less fatigued, and less frustrated from searching for the tools they need. Applying Kaizen principles to your facility setup is just one way you can gain more out of each day, without increasing work hours.

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