5S is one of the most powerful and foundational activities of a Lean enterprise. Since Lean is about eliminating “non-value added” activities, 5S is a natural place to start. The 5S philosophy focuses on simplifying the work environment, reducing waste, and improving quality and safety.
5S includes the following steps:
• Sort Through and Sort Out
• Shine and Inspect Through Cleaning
• Standardize and Share Information
• Sustain the Improvements Made
A Lean initiative cannot succeed in a workplace that is cluttered, disorganized, or dirty. Poor workplace conditions lead to wastes, such as extra motion, time spent searching for things, and delays due to mistakes, equipment failures, or accidents. Establishing basic workplace conditions is an essential first step in creating a workplace ‘cell’ with balanced, connected workflow. In many companies, employee teams use the 5S system to improve and standardize workplace conditions for safe and effective operations.
• Improve quality and achieve work standardization
• Decrease changeover and boost employee morale
• Improve safety
• Reduce storage costs, cycle time and machine down time