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Using the 5S Lean Manufacturing Process

What are some of the programs being used to improve manufacturing plants? There are a large number to choose from. Six Sigma and lean manufacturing are two of the most popular programs that are often discussed. With lean manufacturing comes a great system to help you identify and eliminate wastes from the organization. One of the tools that is involved with lean manufacturing system is a program referred to as the 5S system. The 5S system of lean manufacturing is a great program to help you identify and eliminate wastes and gives you a system to follow for the future. With 5S you will be able to see a boost in productivity for the company but also higher quality products along with a boost in employee morale as people are working for an organized and structured company.

So what are the magical 5S tools that you need to understand? They are as follows:
- Sort
- Set in Place
- Shine
- Standardize
- Sustain

The great thing about the 5S program is that you can implement it for just about any company. It is not limited to just manufacturing plants alone. It gives you a chance to understand how to improve several areas of the company now and in the future. To help you go over all of the various areas that can help your company let's break all of them down individually.

With this S you will focus on getting the company organized. You will get rid of all the unnecessary items and things that are not contributing to the company and are not helping you to have a strong company. You likely have tools and things that are at your desk or area that do not need to be there. Taking the time to sort through everything will help you to determine what needs to be tossed or moved to a different area.

Set In Place
This also works with organizing as you are going to move everything into the area where it is correct. You will be able to use boards and other things that help you to see when a tool is missing or use containers. With set in place you will know where things are supposed to be and to keep the company organized properly. Every company will come up with it's own unique system of keeping things organized and creating a program that works well for their needs.

The company needs to maintain the clean in order to be productive. You need to have a system where your employees can clean up after themselves and a system that allows you to keep the machinery and other things working well. Shine allows you to become efficient and gives everyone a chance to stay organized.

A great way to boost productivity is to implement standardized procedures in the company. With the standardize system you will end up having a program in place for everyone to follow. It makes the company productive and more efficient. However you need to make sure you are keeping it up to date with new technology and other things or the system may end up failing over time. Proper maintenance is the best way to avoid deterioration of a good system. Checklist procedures are commonly used to help with the standardize step.

This is the last area that you need to work on. Basically it means you will maintain the new programs you have implemented. You will focus on keeping everything cleaned properly and to ensure that the program is working. Sustain is the best way to keep your organization ahead for the future needs and gives you the best possible way to stay competitive.

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