5s Explanation. 5S is a methodology for organisation, standardization and cleanliness. At the heart of 5S is the lean goal of reducing waste. 5S addresses the wastes generated through disorganisation and provides a way of eliminating that disorganisation.
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5S is a methodology for organisation, standardisation and cleanliness. At the heart of 5S is the lean goal of reducing waste. 5S addresses the wastes generated through disorganisation and provides a way of eliminating that disorganisation.

World Class Manufacturing, Toyota Production System and Lean Manufacturing focuses on streamlining processes and eliminating wastes. The major 7 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing categorise the types of waste in a factory.  Different lean experts have expanded on this with the 8 Wastes of Lean and WCM and TPM has 16 Losses. 5S directly relates to most if not all of the 7-16 Wastes or Losses.

At its most basic, 5S is an organisation and housekeeping program. The old proverb “A place for everything, and everything in its place” captures much of the philosophy behind 5S. A successful 5S program will eliminate everything unnecessary from a company, and ensure all essential tools, materials and resources are located so they can be used most effectively. As a 5S program is implemented, the organisation becomes so clear and obvious that anyone walking through a plant can spot when something is out of place. This immediate visual feedback is critical to a 5S program and lean in general, as it ensures adherence and sustainability of the program.

The 5 S’s

Advantages of 5S in Manufacturing

5S has numerous benefits to a manufacturing operation:

Advantages of 5S Outside of Manufacturing

Every organisation can benefit from the principles of 5S. Good organisation reduces downtime, improves quality, and leads to better overall performance. Many industries embrace the principles of 5S. This is most obvious where the effects of a quality problem are extremely costly. For example, hospitals have very rigorous 5S programs. It is understood in this environment that having a resource out of place can cause a life or death situation. In other fields, the acceptance of disorganisation is common place as the implications of this are often easy to overlook. In an office environment, disorganisation causes lower productivity and more mistakes.

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