5S stands for
- Sort: Sort work place in ”in use” and ”not in use”.
- Set in order: Put items in system.
- Shine: Procedure for cleanliness.
- Standardize: Procedure for how to leave the workplace.
- Sustain: Ingraining into culture.
- Improves ergonomics.
- Improves safety – no disorder.
- Improves quality – right tools for the right parts and processes.
- Gives pride to the work place.
- Easier to take over a work place from a colleague.
- Reduces changeover times.
- Gives a visible overview of work place – tools, parts, fixtures etc.
- Time spent on searching is reduced.
- Reduces demand for space.
- Improves productivity.
Some of the challenges are:
- The cultural change. It many companies it is widely "accepted" to borrow tools etc. from each other work tables - without returning them. It is also accepted to spend a lot of time searching for the same tools when they are needed. In these companies it is a huge cultural change to implement 5S.
- In many companies it is normal to have "personal tools". Meaning that tools are personal and that they employees are responsible for the tools. With 5S tools are no longer personal but belong to work stations.
- It is a great challenge to maintain a high 5S level. At good way is to appoint a 5S patrol consisting of employees from different departments. They should then audit each department e.g. monthly.
By Mikkel Smith
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