A Publication of WTVP

As manufacturing activity slows, plant managers shift their attention to increasing efficiency in their factories through lean manufacturing methods. Knowing exactly where to begin a lean journey is the first task facing plant managers and improvement teams. The answer is simple: 5S—sort, set in order, shine, standardize and sustain—program.

5S is critical to the implementation of all other improvement efforts. 5S significantly helps in implementing other lean tools such as quick changeover, total productive maintenance and mistake-proofing, and it helps to sustain improvements.

Having clearly-designated tasks completed on a regular basis is the key. Empowering shop floor workers to take control of their daily activities and their work environment is the unifying principle of 5S. By taking an active role in designing and maintaining their workplace, workers take more pride in their work, leading to greater satisfaction and higher productivity. IBI