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Apr 2, 2010

5S Methodology

5S methodology is a system to reduce workplace waste and optimize productivity by maintaining an orderly workplace. The use of 5S helps to achieve consistent improvements as well. 5S Implementation "cleans up" and organizes the workplace,is the first lean method which an organization puts into effect.

The 5S pillars, Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain, provide a methodology for organizing, cleaning, developing, and sustaining a productive work environment. In order to have a smooth and efficient flow of work.
This lean manufacturing method encourages workers to improve their working conditions and helps them to learn to reduce waste, downtime, and in-process inventory.
Typically, 5S implementation would result in significant reductions in the amount of space needed for existing operations. It also would result in the organization of tools and materials into labeled and color coded storage locations.
Another result is the creation of kits to organize specific activities. These kits save a great deal of time and aggravation. You no longer need to gather the same items repeatedly for frequent tasks.

5S is a cyclical methodology: sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain the cycle. It is a never ending cycle that gradually improves everything it touches.

The 5S Pillars
Sort. This focuses on identifying all unnecessary items from the workplace which are not needed for day to day operations. Many times these are useful items, but used so rarely that they need to be discarded, given away or moved to a storage area.

Set in order. Once sorting has taken place, you create efficient storage methods so your items are easy to locate and use, as well as put away.
As you can see, one S builds on the other steps; in fact, they are all integrated to form a whole way of keeping a workplace orderly and efficient.

Shine is sometimes referred to as shine as well. Sweep means to clean, to thoroughly remove clutter and fix things. A daily follow-up cleaning is essential in order to sustain the new improvements.

Standardize. Once the first three 5S's have been implemented, the next pillar is to standardize the best practices in the work area. Individuals need to be assigned responsibility for each of the first 3S aspects.

Then you can create procedure manuals, visual cues such as signs, schedule short blitzes to maintain the first 3S procedures. This is important to prevent the procedures from breaking down and
getting dirty.

Sustain. This involves changing habits and is often the most difficult aspect of 5S
implementation...Changing entrenched behaviors can be difficult, and the tendency is often to return to the status quo and the comfort zone of the "old way" of doing things.

Sustain focuses on defining a new status quo and standard of work place organization. Without the performance reviews, and department tours. Organizations typically seek to reinforce 5S messages in multiple formats until it becomes "the way things are done."

The 5S circle is kept in motion by discipline. 5S training of everyone involved is essential to success as well, otherwise it will just be another program imposed from management. Often workers wondr what is lean manufacturing and when they see the positive results of 5S implementation, they will be much more enthusiastic.