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What is 5S?
Sort Set in Order Shine Standardize Sustain
The 5S philosophy focuses on effective workplace organization and standardized work procedures. A robust 5S program will reduce waste and improve your efficiency while improving quality and employee safety. At The 5SStore.com we're committed to ensuring you have a sustainable and effective 5S program. Not only do we offer an easy to use online store but we're also experienced 5S specialists. Feel free to contact us with your questions and/or 5S challenges. We are here to help.
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5S is based on Japanese words that begin with the letter ‘S’. The term “5S” references the five elements of this system: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain.
Sort (Seiri) – This first step is where we focus on removing all unnecessary items from the workplace. Basically, when in doubt, throw it out. An effective method of doing this is to red tag all items that are suspected of not being needed. Questions to be asked during the red tag event are is this needed, if it is needed, is this quantity necessary, if it is needed, does it need to be stored here? All of the tagged items are moved to a designated location marked red tag area where a person of authority determines the outcome of each item. Effective Sort implementation results in problems removed from the workflow, frees up workspace, and enhances productivity.
Set in Order (Seiton) – The second step of the 5S process focuses on efficient storage and location methods. In simplest terms “a place for everything and everything in its place”. Questions to be asked in this phase:
- 1. What is needed to get the job done?
- 2. Where should it be located?
- 3. How many do I truly need?
To effectively set things in order you can use marking tape, labeling systems, bins, magnets, pouches, trash barrels, brooms, peg boards, clips, hangers and signs. The result of this process makes for a much more organized workplace where folks know exactly where to find what they need thus saving time and being more productive.
Shine (Seiso) – The third step focuses on cleaning up the place now that all the clutter and junk has been removed. Obviously one benefit of this step is to make the workplace cleaner and brighter where everyone will enjoy working. Another purpose is to keep everything working properly, so that it’s ready to be used when needed. Cleaning needs to become part of daily work habits which allows tools, equipment and work areas ready for use. The benefits of a clean work environment are improved morale, defects become more obvious, improves safety by removing dust, oil and dirt and increases machine maintenance as daily inspections increase. On the last point, inspection occurs as a result of cleaning. One can’t help but inspect equipment or an area that they’re cleaning.
Standardize (Seiketsu) – By implementing the fourth step of 5S, Standardize, we make sure that the first three steps are maintained. By implementing standardization, we ensure that conditions prior to the first three activities won’t resurface. One means of standardizing is to use a 5S Chart to help track activities and define responsibilities. Concise maintenance schedules are another good tool for standardization.
Sustain (Sustain) – The fifth step in the 5S journey which is by far the most difficult where you need to make it habit to properly maintain the new processes. This is the critical step to keep the benefits of the previous four steps in place.