5S Resource Center

SET IN ORDER: Location-Specific Designated Storage

Location-Specific Designated Storage

Tips for designing and defining designated storage spaces:

Designated Space on the Floor

  • When items are stored on the floor in the work area, make sure the allocated storage space is not in the way; keep the designated spaces out of the workers’ travel paths, material-handling aisles, and away from electrical equipment.
  • Designate the space by outlining the space with colored tape or paint and labeling the space.

Kanban Locations

  • A kanban is a signal to trigger replenishment of inventory. The kanban can signal it is time to pull inventory from storage or to start the next production run.
  • Kanban space options include full boxes, peg boards with a specific number of openings or slots, and totes with predetermined quantities.
  • Kanban spaces for raw materials, work-in-process, or finished goods should be clearly marked.
  • Consider adding signs above the kanban areas that note the item or items and maximum quantities that should be stored in the space.

Safe Placement

  • When designating locations, take into account the weight and size of the object.
  • There should be easy access to the storage location, especially to items that are frequently used. Make sure there is enough room around the object to access it safely.
  • To avoid potential injuries, heavy items (approximately 25 pounds or more) that are accessed manually should not be stored too high or too low.
  • Safe placement also involves the safety of the equipment itself. For example, a sensitive electronic instrument should not be stored alongside a fork truck aisle unless protected by a bollard. And flammable materials should be stored in a safety cabinet or flammable storage area, not out in the open.

Aisles and Access-ways

  • Painting aisles and access-ways or doorways is useful to show where not to store things.
  • If the aisles are going to be used for egress, make sure they are wide enough and meet local and federal regulations.

Locations for Waste Containers

  • Space in the work area should be allocated for peripherals such as trash cans, waste carts, cutting fluid or coolant drums, and even cardboard scrap.
  • Designated locations for waste containers must be convenient to the work area if they are to be used the way they are intended, but they must not in the way of the work.

A Place for Paperwork

  • Designated locations for process-related paperwork, both for permanent paperwork such as work instructions and for “transient” paperwork such as travelers or routers are also needed.
  • Permanent paperwork should be stored near where it is used.
  • It’s a good idea to store transient paperwork in a plastic sleeve right on the parts or equipment if possible.
  • Paperwork such as data collection forms and SPC control charts should also have designated locations. One technique is to use stands for this type of paperwork at each work area.