5S is a system to reduce waste and optimize productivity through maintaining an orderly workplace and using visual cues to achieve more consistent operational results. Implementation of this method cleans up and organizes the workplace basically in its existing configuration, and it is typically the first lean method which organizations implement. 5S succeeds in the environments where there is discipline and self regulation in place to ensure standards is kept, this being owned by the workforce itself. It is the part of lean manufacturing process.
- Sort: It begins with selecting a dedicated area for focus and assigning red tags to items that are either no longer needed or their usefulness is unknown. A red tag is placed on all items not required to complete your job. These items are then moved to a central holding area. This process is for evaluation of the red tag items. The goal and process of sorting is organization. The sort process distinguishes needed items from unneeded items and removes the latter.
- Set: It involves finding a place for everything that is left over after sort, keeping in mind work place effectiveness, safety and ergonomics. 5S team system will need to establish designated areas for everything from parts to cleaning supplies.
- Shine: It requires items and the workplace to be cleaned and in a good state of repair. It is also about inspecting, as during inspection you will tend to find risks to safety and quality, for example due to damaged tools or faulty equipment. Clean the workspace and all equipment, and keep it clean, tidy and organized. 5s implementation not only improves the efficiency and workforce safety but improves employee happiness.
- Standardize: It is about putting in place procedures and ensuring that a workplace is always how it should be. It provides visual management aids and daily checks in order to easily recognize whether the standard developed in the first three steps is being maintained. Standardize details a plan to maintain the continual improvement activities. Standardized cleanup integrates sort, set in order, and shine into a unified whole.
- Sustain: It is essentially about involving and motivating all members of the organization in assuring that the standards are applied and improved through employee empowerment and autonomy. Lean manufacturing is as much about engaging and empowering the full intellectual capacity of the organization as it is about tools and methods. For a lean manufacturing six sigma transformation to take hold, the work environment on a production floor must be conducive to waste elimination.
5S techniques can be used to improve labeling of hazardous materials and wastes. In addition, environmental procedures often are separate from operating procedures, and they are not easily accessible to the workstation. 5S implementation often result is easy to read laminated procedures located in the workstations. Integration with 5S visual cues and operating procedures can improve employee environmental management. Integrating the principle of 5S with Six Sigma program to provide the complete tool set for manufacturing efficiency optimization.