Cluttered and disorganized work area may be transform into a clean, safe and orderly work environment by 5S. As the name, 5S is a series of specific activities required to create a clean and organized work area that started with letter ‘S’, namely:

Sort – remove unnecessary items. The first stage is to organize the work area, leaving only the necessary items to perform daily activities. Communication within work area is improved and productivity is increased when ‘Sort’ is well implemented.

Straighten – create a place for everything. The second stage is orderly arranged of items to be easily find and use. All items that are retained are assigned in designated locations. Orderliness eliminates waste in clerical activities.

Shine – clean and inspect the work area. The third stage is keeping everything clean. It wills maintains a safer work area and identify problems quickly. This step is not a one time or periodic activity, but should be maintained on a regular daily and weekly basis.

Standardized – define the best practices. The fourth stage is creating consistent procedures. Standardized is intended to maintain the other stage, especially shine. Standardized may be approached when the first three activities have been maintained for some time.

Sustain – make 5S as daily habit. The last stage is the discipline and commitment to implementation of 5S. Without ‘sustain’, implementation of 5S will be useless.

5S technique is supported by Visual Controls technique. Visual Controls give information within workplace visually. Visual Controls create consistency and repeatability, which helps standardize the processes. All equipments will be correctly located and easily found. Several types of Visual Controls are:

  • Kanban – when, what and where to replenish
  • Picture location – place a picture at a point to identify the part or equipment
  • Location boxes – place specific equipments in the specific boxes
  • Shadow board – put the equipments to the designated place
  • Colour coding – ensures the equipments are returned to the same colour location
  • Load levelling – levelling load in production according to level of importance

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