Healthy Facilities™

Time Studies in Process Cleaning for Healthy Schools® (PC4HS) - Creating "Single-Piece Flow"

By PC4HS Staff

We believe you must slow down before you can speed up. That is, you must carefully break down each step of the work to see where time (and energy) are being wasted, then eliminate wasted time/motion and create “single-piece flow” (a manufacturing term) – a fluid process that gets the job done in the smoothest, fastest, easiest way - without stops and starts.

This means we spend a lot of time with a stopwatch and experimenting with different tools and ways of cleaning (and ways of moving) to find the best, simplest, and most direct way to clean.

Even little things like picking up and putting down a duster take time, which adds up quickly and translates into energy (and money) wasted. For example, picking up a duster requires one second for each motion (picking up and putting down). Therefore if the work cycle time for dusting an object is five seconds total, two seconds is 40% of the total time needed or 66% for a three second task! That’s waste that can be eliminated by creating a specific one-piece flow for the dusting process which does not require repeatedly picking up and putting down the duster.