5S Factory: Unlocked

factory with 5S work cells5s is the organization of the workplace or a factory that enables the workers to control their work area and eliminate obstacles that hinder work. The 5s factory system originated from the Japanese work culture and is popular in many work places. There are immense benefits of this system and if implemented efficiently, it can help organize, grow and enhance performance tremendously. Here are the basic practices of the 5s Factory Unlocked.

The philosophy of 5S requires the involvement of all workers in the organization. Directors, experts, and workers work together to implement the five phases of 5S: Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain. Every worker contributes to a certain aspect of this process, in some or another way that makes a huge difference within the organization. And ultimately affects the bottom line.

The concept of 5S benefits the factory organization by taking a holistic approach. Some of the examples of the 5S process include:

  • Sweeping and mopping floors, addressing spills, and removing debris from the floor.
  • Organizing offices and sorting through file cabinets, throwing out unnecessary items.
  • Organizing the head’s office by lining files systematically and eliminating those that have been lying there for many years.

This cleaning and organizing process is not outsourced and it is usually expected that the people responsible for their work area should be the masters of their place. They should know the proper place of all the equipment and maintain certain standards that help to keep the work place organized. Additionally, they are the experts of their work area and job task and will provide valuable insight.

5S Practices

The head of the organization should set an example to the workers are define principles to organize the workplace. The application of these rules is simple following the 5S factory guidelines, which include:

  1. Sort: Eliminate the mess by sorting out the wasteful and useful items. Define proper spaces for these goods and make sure they are organized orderly.
  2. Set:  This refers to setting materials that you need for your daily use. Make a safe and easy to access place from where you can pick these materials. It can be within the work area or a common room where all the workers of the factory can pick those items.
  3. Standardize: Maintain standards and make sure they are followed regularly. Maintaining work place standards is essential to ensure that all department benefit equally.
  4. Sustain: Evaluate after you have organized everything and check the problems that persists. Make sure everyone is involved in the organization process and encourage everyone to work towards making improvements to enhance efficiency.

Once the desired changes have been made, don’t halt but make sure you maintain the standards and evaluate continually on a regular basis.

Quick Tips – How to Make 5s Work for Your Factory

  • The 5S system is easy to implement. Some key requirements include:  Determined action, team dedication and consistency of maintaining this practice.
  • The team needs to be fully involved to succeed in the 5S process, especially if you are applying this factory for the first time.
  • All the workers need to be dedicated to gain maximum and double the force for setbacks or failures.
  • Determine to make all your ideas work and always make it a target to learn from mistakes instead of stepping back.
  • Ensure consistency in the 5S implementation program and use it as a permanent driving force to improve the organization standards.

Additional Resources