5S Lean Manufacturing

5S is an important tool within Lean Manufacturing, developed as part of the Toyota Production System (TPS) and Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) it is a highly effective and simple tool to ensure your workplace is efficiently organised. 5S can be implemented as a standalone tool or as part of your drive to implement lean manufacturing or six sigma across your organisation.

5S Seiton Set in Order

Having completed 5S Seiri and removed all of the unnecessary clutter from your workstation you now need to organise those items that are needed on a day to day basis. 5S Seiton is about how you organise those items.

You need to ensure that items are placed as close to where they are required as possible to minimise movement (and thus time taken) and that they do not interfere with the flow of the process. This often entails common components being fed from the rear of the cell so that the operator does not have to turn around to get to them and tools that are suspended above the work space rather than directly cluttering the work area itself. With everything to hand in a dedicated place it makes for a far more efficient working environment that is easier for the worker.

Things like fixtures and components that may not be common should be located as close as possible to wheer they are required, if space is at a premium then you may have to do some analysis to identify those items that are needed the most frequently. Those most often required should be located in your precious space close to where required and the less often used items can be stored a little further back. The general rule should be that the more often you need something the closer to the actual work place it should be.

Consider the ease and safety of movement when placing items also, do not place heavy items either in high or low locations as you may cause injury when recovering them. If possible try to find ways to move heavy items without having to manually lift them or use bulky lifting equipment, for example use roller tables to push tools into and out of locations without the use of a fork truck.

By the end of this stage everything should have a place and be in its place. All locations should be clearly identified to show what belongs where. Simple shadow boards can be utilised to help with this process so that it obvious if anything is misplaced.

Identify also the flow of the process, highlight where materials enter and leave, either through painted areas on the floor to show container locations or dedicated racks and the like. Having a clear and obvious process flow will make it obvious to supervision and management if there are any delays or problems in your processes.

WorkPlace Organisation, Set in Order

5S Seiton and Seiri

5S Implementation

When you have completed step two of 5S, that of 5S Seiton, you will have a workplace that has a place for everything and hopefully everything in its place.  The workplace now being organised in a way that is both efficient, ergonomic and therefore safer for your employees.

The next step of 5S is now 5S Seiso or Check and clean.

5S Video