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    Matt Bruner
    Matt Bruner Lean Manufacturing / November 28, 2019

    The basics of 5S in lean manufacturing

    We know there are 8 wastes in lean manufacturing, but have you heard of 5S?

    The idea is that each worker in lean manufacturing production is in charge of systematically keeping their area clean, functional, and organized. 

    Engineering.com said, "These five stages provide a method of organizing a workspace so that the items needed most often are always readily to handle while less frequently used items do not clutter the workspace but are still easily retrieved from storage. A neat and tidy workspace makes it easier to find things and leads to more efficient work."

    The Basics

    Though the terms originated in Japan, the translation of them is Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. 

    Sorting removes items that are not needed and reduces clutter. 

    As for set in order - Engineering.com said, "That means placing them so they can be found, retrieved, used and put back in place as efficiently as possible, making the work processes run smoothly and efficiently." Click the link for detailed guidelines on this. 

    Then, shine! This means to deep clean and look for things that need to be repaired. 

    Fourth is standardize. Find the best procedures and ways to complete tasks and then share them with the team. Keeping things consistent is a great way to stay efficient. 

    Last, sustain. Some say this is the hardest step! Just like lean manufacturing in general, the 5S process is a journey and there are always things to improve. 

    Quality Mag said, "While lean is not just about tools like 5S, this is often a good place to start. Having a clean and organized workspace just makes life easier. Clutter will get you nowhere."

    How could 5S help you?

     

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