5S is considered the foundation and base of the Lean TPM program because without it, the initiative will fall under the weight of disorganization, indiscipline and inefficiency. In short, you need structure in order to perform at your peak!
5S is important because it results in a clean, visually organized workplace that is self-maintaining. It consists of five basic steps:
- Sorting all the items in the workplace and removing everything that is not necessary and does not contribute to the creation of value for the customer
- Setting in Order everything that remains in an organized manner so that finding items and raw materials is easy. This reduces waiting and searching time in the process, therefore enhancing the work flow throughout the value chain
- Shining (Cleaning) is a way of making any abnormalities visible, as well as ensuring that quality of the final product is of a high standard. It has been observed that a clean and organized workplace has a positive effect on worker morale, not to mention that it also ingrains a sense of discipline – all of which has an impact on overall productivity
- Standardizing ensures that the improvements made are documented for posterity, as well as serving as a basis for further improvements and training
- Sustaining the improvements through scheduled audits is a way of stabilizing the system by ensuring the agreed standards are being followed. Audits also serve as a measure of the effectiveness of the established standards. This provides feedback that can be used to determine whether the standards need further revision or improvement.
The 5S program sets the pace for the introduction of Total Productive Maintenance and must be fully mature before any attempts are made to implement other aspects of the system. As a stand-alone component, 5S is very effective in improving the organizational metrics and has been shown to increase aspects such as productivity and quality.
Your future success and - even employment continuation - can hang by a thread when required and established standards are not met and maintained. That’s why the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center highly recommends that you discover 5S for yourself really soon!