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Product Status Identification

To create an efficient workplace and increase productivity, it is vital that a clear visual status tagging procedure is implemented to identify items that require maintenance, are being repaired or are either not active or no longer required. Such item identification comes under the sort step of the 5S process, which is designed to reduce waste, ensure efficiency and ultimately improve productivity.

One of the best ways of drawing attention to the condition of items is by tagging them to clearly show their status; be it defective, not required, obsolete, spare or scrap. Seton has an extensive range of colour coded tagging systems, including 5S red tags that are specially designed for status tagging. They are supplied with wires with which to attach completed tags to products that are destined for red tag holding areas and feature clearly defined areas on which important information can be included.

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What Is a Red Tag System?

In a nutshell, red tagging is a simple but effective means of highlighting items that are earmarked for moving from a work area to a holding area.

How Does Red Tagging Work?

When a person finds an item that they either don’t know what it is, no longer have a use for it or it is broken, then they tag it. This acts as a signal to everyone else in the area that the item will be moved to a local holding area at some point in the future.

During the sorting process of 5S these tagged items are then removed to a holding area which should be easily identifiable through the use of either wall or floor signs, or even both.

So why tag an item, you might ask yourself. The answer is quite simple, to ensure that items are not inadvertently removed from your work area.

What is a Red Tag Holding Area?

This is a designated place, away from work and production areas, to which tagged items are moved. The holding area should always be kept neat and tidy so that items can be easily identified and their status monitored.

Furthermore, these holding areas should be easily identifiable and segregated from production areas. One such way of doing this is through the use of Red Tag Area Kits that are supplied with either tape, chain or Skipper barriers.

A word of caution however; if not properly monitored, a red tag holding area could very quickly become a dumping ground. Therefore it is advisable that someone is made responsible for checking and maintaining the holding area and ensuring that tags and item logs are completed correctly.

The 5 Simple Steps to 5S Red Tagging

Identify unnecessary, unrequired or misplaced items
Complete a 5S red tag and attach to the item in question
Move the item to the red tag holding area
Any red tagged items must then be logged
After a predetermined amount of time, items should be disposed of appropriately

Although 5S red tagging is common sense, it is not a once in a blue moon thing; it requires constant attention and the full support of your workforce. If implemented correctly, people will soon notice the benefits of having a 5S red tagging programme in place and fully embrace your company’s processes and policies associated with it.