What Is 5s

5S stands for five Japanese words (Seiri — Sorting, Seiton — Set in order, Seiso — Clean, Seiketsu — Standardize, Shitsuke — Practice) and consists of a structured method that aims to improve the work area. This method was developed in Japan, in Toyota, to develop an employee culture to determine the optimal tidy and clean working environment. There is now almost no company that has not taken over at least some of this method. 

Principle 5S is the philosophy of organizing and managing, to get rid of the “waste” or losses that result from a messy work environment. The primary goal of 55 is to create a higher level of workplace culture and efficiency. 

Companies with the longest tradition speak of different cycles, phases, maturity levels, new goals … because of continuous development and advancement. The necessary steps remain the same, changing approaches and tools, which work in a proven method. It is the method that determines what and how, while the system defines: why, who, where and when. 

Below, find out what is 5s methodology and how it affects the production process. 

Seiri — Sorting 

This is the first stage in implementing the 5S methodology. The essential activity at this stage is to separate what is necessary to perform daily work tasks from what is unnecessary. By recognizing what is needed, those items that are in the workplace but not required are identified. Such unnecessary tools, equipment, files, folders, procedures, furniture, and other items in the work environment must be removed. Removing unnecessary items makes it easy to access whatever is necessary for the workplace. 

When performing sorting, the 5S method recognizes several necessary steps: 

— Establish criteria and explain the handling of articles; 

— Assign employees an area of responsibility; 

— Carry out a red card action; 

— Identify necessary and unnecessary items; 

— Move unnecessary items to the designated area; 

— Perform initial cleaning. 

Failure to properly sort the following problems may occur: 

— The factory becomes overcrowded; 

— It takes time to search for materials, parts, and tools; 

— The material piles on the shelves and cabinets in use; 

—Unnecessary inventory and production equipment are maintained; 

— Unnecessary manufacturing equipment makes it difficult to achieve improvements during the process. 

Seiton — Set in order, Stacking 

The next step in implementing the 5S method is stacking. In this step, it is necessary to determine the position/place for all that is recognized as essential. The best way is to try to organize your workplace items according to the expected frequency of use. 

Stacking is the process of arranging a workplace so that everything in the workplace is found in a suitable position and also correctly labelled. It is undoubtedly a good practice to introduce visual aids that enhance and facilitate stacking. 

Stacking and tagging contribute to visual control. Visual control can determine how a job must be done. When a visual inspection is applied, each item has only one position that can be deferred. That position is immediately visible and recognizable to everyone, not just the worker in that workplace. 

The stacking is implemented in two necessary steps: 

• The first step is deciding where the particular tool, gadget. will be located and ergonomic features of the workplace must also be taken into account; 

• The second step is to tag, identify the position of the individual tool so that everyone can find it. And then dispose of the tool or device. 

Seiso — Shine, clean up 

There are two primary reasons for cleaning: 

• make the workplace clean and tidy and comfortable to work with; 

• keep everything on standby so that it is always ready for use. 

The tendency is to replace annual or seasonal cleaning activities with daily cleaning to keep tools, equipment and workspace ready for use all the time. 

The necessary steps in cleaning are: 

— Determine what will be checked; 

— Determine a satisfactory level of purity; 

— Determine appropriate visual purity indicators; 

— Mark necessary equipment; 

— Identify who and when” cleaning plan; 

— Perform daily cleaning and inspections. 

Daily tasks, according to a previously agreed plan, are performed by employees in their place of origin. 

Seiketsu — Standardize 

To standardize means to define and prescribe how activities will generally take place. Standardization provides a systematic approach and encourages the identification and use of the most efficient processes and methods. Also, standardization reduces process variability and its impact on quality and efficiency. 

The following steps are required to standardize: 

— Document all procedures adopted and routine examinations in the work environment; 

— Standardize new methods; 

— Establish standardized methods in similar work environments. 

Shitsuke —Sustain, Self-discipline 

Self-discipline or maintaining the status quo and further improving is the fifth stage in applying the 5S method. Self-discipline also means getting into the habit. Adopt 59 activities as something normal and acceptable. At this stage, the “Plan-Do-Check-Act” approach is promoted. 

Without self-discipline, without adopting 59 activities, everything achieved by applying the 59 methods would disappear very quickly, and things would return to their original state. 

The results of the implementation of self-discipline, unlike the previous S, are not immediately visible and not merely measurable. Self-discipline is most evident in employee behaviour. Implementing self-discipline and maintaining accomplishment is undoubtedly one of the more difficult, if not the most difficult, tasks in implementing the 59 methods. 

Indeed, the 59 method provides systematic access to landscaping and management activities. The main advantages that can be recognized and realized by the introduction of the 5S way are: 

• Shorter transition time from one product to another; 

• Less possibility of error in operation = higher level of product quality; 

• Removed unnecessary inventory, more free space, less waiting for transport, searching for necessary equipment. unnecessary movements …; 

• Deliveries on time. meeting deadlines; 

• Reducing injuries due to clogged passageways, improper storage at elevated sites, greasy and dirty production equipment, and more; 

• More satisfied customer due to increased product quality and delivery within the agreed deadlines; 

• I realized customer confidence. 

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