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How Does Lean Manufacturing 5S Help?

Apr 24, 2008
There are so many businesses, especially in the manufacturing world, that are just clusters of mass un-organization. What I mean is they have way too much stuff at each work station, more than what the job actually entails. Lean manufacturing 5S is one of the simplest things you can do right away to help with this.

5S originated in Japan, and all of the words started with an S. Luckily, these words also translate to words that also start with an S. Let's look at what all of the 5S terms mean.

Sort - This means exactly what it says. You take a certain area you will be working on, and you decide what equipment and tools you will need to do the job. All of the other stuff is extra, and will be disposed of.

In order to be organized, you need to have a place to set your tools. This is where the term Set comes in. Just by using some tape to outline a tool, or a peg board labeled with a tool name, can help show where the tools go or when tools are missing.

Shine will be next. This is a simple step in ensuring all of the tools in an area are cleaned and the actual area itself is also clean. Place a person in charge of this area to ensure this is happening.

When you see the term Standardize, it means to ensure the same process you laid out originally is done exactly the same with everyone. This could mean new procedures, or periodic reviews of the area. But it needs to be kept up.

Lastly, and the most difficult one, is to sustain the area. You have built a good amount of momentum right now, so now is the best time to move to another area. Just be sure to hold the appointed people responsible for the cleanliness of the area accountable. This ensures you do not need to micro-manage the area, and can focus on the next area.

5S is a lean manufacturing tool. It can be uses anywhere in a plant or business to help organize and clean an area. Plus, now th employees will have the necessary tools for the job, and know what is expected of them. This is how lean manufacturing 5S can help.
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Lean Manufacturing Secrets provides a full, in depth guide to Lean Manufacturing, including the topic of what is 5S
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