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The 5 S method of manufacturing

yellowmetal19375885.jpgWhether you are running a manufacturing plant or not, you can learn a lot from manufacturing companies. They often use methods that help to reduce waste and increase the overall efficiency of your company. One method that tends to stand out from all the others is the 5 "S" method of manufacturing.

The 5 "S" method of manufacturing is actually the most popular of all the lean manufacturing principles. That is because it is very easy to implement and to understand. Employees can quickly grasp onto the overall concept of the 5 "S" methods, which helps to reduce waste, organize the company, and increase the overall efficiency of your company.

Proper implementation of the 5 "S" method also helps to lead to an increase in employee morale along with overall product quality. The 5 "S" method is defined as follow:

  • Sort

  • Set in place

  • Shine

  • Standardize

  • Sustain

When you are implementing the 5 "S" method, you need to implement each step individually instead of all at once. If you try to implement that all at once, it can be very difficult for your employees to grab onto it and you will have a higher success rate by starting with one step at a time. Here are some tips on how you can implement each of the steps to actually have success:

As you focus on sort, you will take a look at all of the unnecessary items and processes in the workplace. Are your employees wasting their time when they are trying to find equipment and other things that are necessary for them to do their job effectively? Sort allows you to develop a productive company as the overall workplace design will be changed and it will become efficient. Many companies prefer to use a red tag method for sort as it allows you tag items that do not need to be used all the time and you can put them into a "holding area" where your employees can find them when they need them.

Set in Place
After you focus on getting rid of all of the unnecessary items and processes you will move onto set in place. This is basically organizing the company. You want to go through all of your items and make sure they are perfectly laid out for your employees. A lot of companies use shadow boards so you can glance over and see which tools are missing so you don't have to go over to the area to find the necessary items you need. This helps you company to become more efficient.

Once you focus on organization you will move onto shine. During the shine phase you will deep clean the company to make sure everything looks nice and new. Once you have deep cleaned everything, it will be easier to maintain the clean for the overall company so your equipment lasts longer and so you don't lose its value over time.

The next step is to focus on standardize. This basically means you are implementing a system that will correct any problems and keep the company clean. You must take a look at what much be done in order to make your system run flawlessly and then to focus on what needs to be done daily to maintain a high level of quality.

Next you will finish with sustain. In this last phase, you will need to rely on your experience. This phase my be difficult for some companies because you need to take what you have learned from the other 4 phases and keep them going. Employee commitment and involvement is essential to sustain as it will not work without it.

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