5S method implemented by E-Crane Worldwide

5S method implemented by Indusign / E-Crane Worldwide organization as an additional tool to reach World Class Manufacturing and Business Excellence

5S is a method aiming to improve the organization, starting with the workplace. By optimizing the workplace we eliminate waste and lay the foundation for quality. The 5 steps of 5S: sort, stabilize, shine, standardize, sustain.
At Indusign / E-Crane Worldwide continuous education is paramount. The management firmly believes in the benefits of the 5S method, and all employees received the theoretical formation during 2008. In December we will put the 5S philosophy into practice throughout our entire organization, aiming for even better efficiency in 2009, the ultimate goals being world class manufacturing and business excellence.

Lecturer Dirk Roelens (Impala, through Syntra West) finetuning the checklist with service engineers Patrick and Stein.

A well organized workplace and environment offers numerous advantages. A well-structured workplace is not only safer, but also more efficient. The 5S method is used for workplace organization and offers a basis for the process of continuous improvement. Implementing the 5S method will contribute to a better company result.
5S is a reference to a list of five Japanese words which describes a standardized “cleanup”. This concept is used to achieve Lean manufacturing.
Seiri (整理) = sorting
Seiton (整頓) = straighten or set in order
Seisō (清掃) = sweeping or shining
Seiketsu (清潔) = standardizing
Shitsuke (躾) = sustaining
Sloppiness and lack of tidiness are often the cause of accidents. Danger of tripping and falling when tools are lying about, risk of slipping on water or grease stains are only a few examples, undoubtedly recognizable for many. The 5S system strives to achieve a clean, well organized workplace. That way, the work safety automatically increases as well.

S1: Sorting

Going through all the tools, materials, etc., in the plant and work area and keeping only essential items. Everything else is stored or discarded. These can be damaged or broken items, items that haven’t been used in a long time or that are unsafe. The risk of falling, tripping, bumping decreases drastically and the pathways become wider. A practical system to mark these items is to give them a red card stating the reason why the item is marked and what needs to happen to it. A criteria for this could be the frequency of use: only keep those items that are necessary for the week’s production. Items that are needed multiple times per week are being kept as well, but when sorting we take into account the different frequencies of use. The 5S lecturer poses questions and makes suggestions, but in the end it is the employer who makes his own decision.

S2: Straighten or Set in Order

Straighten means systematically arrange all items, organizing the workplace in such a manner that everyone can quickly and easily retrieve everything: an appropriate place for everything and everything on its appropriate place. In this step ergonomics and efficiency are taken into account.

S3: Sweeping or Shining

Sweeping or shining means cleaning the walls, the floors and all items (machines, tools, scaffolding, …), but also eliminating causes of interruptions and incidents, eliminating sources of pollution, determining cleaning methods, setting standards and responsibilities, drawing up rules and norms.

Service engineers Willy, Andy and Tim review their 5S case with service manager Jean-Marie.

S4: Standardizing

Standardizing gives durability to the first three steps. The first three S’s become a habit by implementing methods to fix these first phases. Some possible methods: using visual aids (tracing with lines and colours). The people involved can quickly distinguish normal from abnormal . Unforeseen circumstances can bring along risks. Thanks to standardized procedures these surprises stay limited.

S5: Sustaining

Securing the first 4 phases, making sure they are maintained and that there is continuity, always following the standardized procedures. Aids are checklists or audits for order and cleanliness. The results of the audit can be made public through charts or figures and personal or thematic goals can be determined so that there can be a regular evaluation of these scores.


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