5S is defined as a methodology that results in a clean, orderly, safe, and well-organized workplace to help reduce waste and optimize productivity. It is designed to help build a quality work environment, both physically and mentally. The 5S philosophy applies to any work area suitable for visual control and lean production. The 5S condition of a workspace is critical to employees and is the basis for customers’ first impressions.
The 5S Quality Tool is derived from five Japanese terms beginning with the letter “S” that are used to create a suitable workplace for visual control and lean production. The 5S pillars are easy to learn and important to implement:
Seiri: To separate necessary tools, parts, and instructions from unnecessary materials and eliminate unnecessary ones.
Seiton: To carefully organize and identify parts and tools for ease of use.
Seiso: To carry out a cleaning campaign.
Seiketsu: Perform seiri, seiton and seiso daily to keep a workplace in perfect condition.
Shitsuke: To form the habit of always following the first four S.
The Japanese terms are then translated into the English version of the 5S.
BENEFITS OF THE LEAN 5S PROGRAM
The benefits that accrue from implementing a lean 5S program include:
Greater availability of equipment
Lower defect rates
Greater agility and flexibility of production
Better employee morale
Better asset utilization
Improved business image for customers, suppliers, employees and management.
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