What Are The 5S Standards?
By today’s standards, the iPhone 5S is practically an obsolete piece of hardware, considering the widespread use of iPhone X models. But let us be clear that Apple’s massively popular and constantly updating smartphone brand has nothing to do with the 5S that we’re talking about. In the world of manufacturing, 5S describes the various steps taken within a workplace’s organization process.
What does 5S stand for?
5S represents the five Japanese words seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu and shitsuke. Thankfully, they can easily be translated into the five English words sort, set, shine, standardize and sustain. Some companies consider safety to be the additional "S" in what would otherwise be known as 6S. This is not to be confused with Six Sigma, which we discussed in our blog on Lean manufacturing.
This step of the process calls upon workers to separate necessary items from unnecessary components, removing all unused items from the working area. They may include broken equipment, redundant equipment, outdated equipment and obsolete files on a computer. Employees are generally asked to label all unnecessary items with red tags so that they are removed accordingly. Difficult-to-classify items are often placed in a holding area for further review.
This is the practice of storing items in neat and tidy fashions in order to create a more efficient production line. By making everything easy to access and eliminating waste, it saves a lot of time and energy. For this step, workers are expected to identify places for all materials to be stored, assign a fixed quantity for each item, make storage space compact and make the retrieval of items safe and easy. This entails placing heavy objects at lower levels to make them easy to pick up.
As you may have guessed, this step has to do with keeping things clean. It insists upon making cleanliness a regular facet within the workplace. Creating a workspace that is free of debris, dirt, and dust is of paramount importance to a productive working environment. This step helps workers to quickly identify root causes of dirtiness (eg. leaks and spills). It also ensures that all necessary tools and equipment are kept clean and in good working condition.
This step involves the setting up of standards that promote a neat and tidy workplace. Essentially, it establishes the procedures that ensure the first three “S” practices are maintained. To implement this step, all employees must be clearly informed of their responsibilities to cleaning, sorting and organizing. As well, management must be made aware of any abnormalities through photos and/or video. All members of the team must be clear on the differences between normal and abnormal conditions.
This is often considered the most difficult step to implement. It calls upon all workers to establish behaviours that promote workplace organization over the long haul. It requires commitment from team leaders and participation from all team members to develop and practice good habits every day. This step often includes regular audits and reviews in order to locate and address the root causes of any issues.
For more information about the 5S standards and how the Flux Connectivity team practices them, please don’t hesitate to give us a call at 1-800-557-FLUX or email us at email@example.com.