by Chad Burdick – Director of Manufacturing Operations


A “6S” foundation is the most critical element for successful lean manufacturing. The first and most important step toward success with 6S implementation is to ensure all associates have a collective understanding of its purpose. Oftentimes, people cite safety, discipline, employee morale, reduced waste and being “tour ready” when asked what the primary purpose of 6S is, and while these are all great reasons for implementing 6S, the true purpose of 6S implementation is to identify challenges rapidly so that they can be intelligently addressed as early as possible. As a medical device contract manufacturer, eliminating challenges quickly in the manufacturing process is essential to meeting important delivery schedules and maintaining perfect quality in accordance with customer expectations.

We proudly and enthusiastically kicked off our 6S initiative last summer at Cogmedix, and as part of our Lean Journey, the Cogmedix Leadership Team continues to positively reinforce the 6S process with total associate involvement. A systematic approach implementing 6S in each work cell (focusing on Safety, Sorting, Setting in Order, Shining, Standardizing and Sustaining) is helping Cogmedix associates identify challenges quickly. The earlier problems are identified, the quicker solutions can be created and implemented through the continuous improvement process. 6S is one of many lean tools that can transform a traditional manufacturing culture into a “lean manufacturing machine,” ensuring safety, improving profitability, and maximizing customer delight.

More to come on each S in future blogs…

Chad Burdick
Director of Manufacturing Operations