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Why the 5 S method tops the class

There are a number of different ways in which you can focus on improving the various manufacturing processes within your organizations. Lean manufacturing is one of the best ways to improve your manufacturing processes using different approaches like the 5 S methodology. The 5 S method is one of the most popular as you can create it and mold it into several different ways to make it work correctly for whatever type of business you have.

The 5 S method comes from the following:

  • Sort

  • Set In Place

  • Shine

  • Standardize

  • Sustain

This system is popular mostly because it will help to organize a business. This will make it easier on everyone to have a role in it and this creates a cleaner, more productive working environment. Some companies will employ all of the 5 S method at one time while others will take time to start small and just do one step at a time. Since the entire system is all combined, it is pretty easy to get done all at once.

Since the 5 S method is so easy to implement, it makes it one of the best methods to start with if you would like to eliminate waste and to improve your overall manufacturing process. Here are the steps to follow when you are implementing the 5 S method.

This is the first step which is where you will basically organize the company. You will go through all of the different areas and start getting rid of all the unnecessary items that are simply taking up too much room on your shop floor or even on your desks. Unnecessary items will cause clutter and it makes it very difficult for you to be productive as too many things are slowing you down. In the sort phase you will tag all of the items and move them to another area where you can look over them and decide if you would like to eliminate them or just keep them in a storage box.

Set in Place
How many items are not organized? Do you have boards where tools should be held and they are missing? The Set in Place phase will be able to help you maximize the efficiency of your company as you have all the materials in place and they are easy to find. Shadow boards are the most common method that are used in this phase.

This phase is where you will end up cleaning your entire company. You need to do a deep cleaning where you have all the machines cleaned up and ready for use. With the shine phase you need to work on quality and efficiency so that it will not allow your machinery to deteriorate over time.

This is the phase where you create a process that will standardize the entire company. It can be hard to do as everyone needs to get on board with the system but it can be done with the right type of leaders and the implementation phase. Never forget this phase because it is the vital phase. Some companies are great with the first 3 phases but they do not take the time to do the last 2 phases, which are necessary in order to have long-term improvements.

This is your final phase where you will spend time maintaining everything that you have learned. You must take time to keep the company lean and to ensure the new process is carried out correctly. There are a lot of people that get lazy on this phase and do not do it. If you don't sustain, all the hard work you went through was all for not.

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