Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Kaizen using Tennis Balls

Here is a great “creativity before capital” idea using tennis balls. I have actually seen this used with excellent results in a plant lunchroom. Put tennis balls on the legs of the chairs.

Without this tennis ball protection, the chairs can mark up the floor as it slides around resulting in extra work to clean the floor. In addition, the noise level of chairs screeching across the floor is disturbing to the nearby office and training room. The tennis balls act as sound deadening devices. To some this may not appear too stylist however it is an inexpensive solution that is easy to do! What do you think?

For more tennis ball ideas, check out a post from the past by Jon Miller, A few more kaizen ideas involving tennis balls.


Scott Sorheim said...

I just saw this Sunday for the first time at a facility. Had never seen it except on people's walkers before. The people I was with at the time weren't really sure why it was originally done, although it was suspected it was because the chairs were REALLY heavy (surprisingly heavy...wouldn't think you could make a cafeteria chair so heavy). So it seemed to be more of a safety/ergonomics play. But with the added benefits you highlighted, it's a great idea all around!

Jeromy Timmer said...

This is clever. I've seen the same thing at and ice cream shop, but using baby shoes instead of tennis balls. Here's a pic:

Jamie Flinchbaugh said...

Not to nitpick, but I'm curious...what about safety?

I'm always on the lookout for potential safety causes (my mental FMEA) before they are found through an actual occurrence. I would imagine these chairs can slide around well, and many people lean on chairs when they're standing. Just curious if you thought it was a safety risk, or if it didn't increase the risk.


Mike Wroblewski said...

Hi Jeromy,
Thanks for the link and cool picture of the baby shoes on your site!

Mike Wroblewski said...

Hi Jamie,

I was not told of any safety issues but great question. I'll ask on my next visit. I don't think that it would be a problem under normal use.