Lose the Toolboxes?

Are individual toolboxes a source of waste?


Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon
I recently visited Genesis Attachments, a Superior, Wisconsin manufacturer of excavator attachments. Its beefy attachments are used in applications ranging from shearing structural building components to the demolition of military tug boats. Neat stuff.
I’m currently writing a story that explains how the company applies lean manufacturing’s A3 problem-solving process in an attempt to continuously improve. (If you don’t know what that’s all about, you will after reading my story in the April issue.) While visiting Genesis, my host detailed some of the initial lean-manufacturing tactics it implemented seven years ago. One action it took was to have shopfloor employees remove their individual toolboxes. The company asked each person to list every tool he or she used each day, every tool used a few times a week, every tool use once a week and so on. Genesis then created kits for each area containing only those tools that were needed. This not only cleared up a lot of floor space, but employees no longer needed to sift through their own personal toolboxes in search of the tools they needed.
It reminded me of this story Pete wrote about another shop that did something similar.

Have you also done this? If so, let me know about it