The 5S method, is a Japanese technique that began in the Toyota factory in the 1960s. Its main objective is to achieve better organized and cleaner workplaces on a permanent basis in order to achieve greater productivity and a better working environment.
The 5S has been widely spread and applied in different types of organizations; such as hospitals, factories, service companies, educational centers and marketing offices.
5S in maintenance
The 5S are advanced tools that allow to increase productivity and improve the work environment, both in maintenance and production.
This instrument should be applied in those companies that want to implement any maintenance tactic such as RCM,TPM, WCM, among others. This is because the 5S allows to improve the relationship between production and maintenance personnel with the machines or work sites.
The method of the 5S, is constituted by activities of order and cleanliness in the work place. These activities can be applied by all the personnel in the plant due to their practicality.
Each employee can and should contribute to the improvement of the place where they stay most of the time. The 5S is a set of Japanese words that begin with the letter S:
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- SEIRI: SELECT: Its objective is to eliminate from the work space what is not useful.
- SEITON: ORDER: Its goal is to organize the workspace effectively.
- SIX: CLEAN: Its goal is to clean the workspace
- SEIKETSU: STANDARDIZE: In this S, the appearance of dirt and disorder is prevented, by structuring rules and procedures.
- SHITSUKE: SELF-DISCIPLINE: Its purpose is to have staff more proactive about their work and others.
Conditions for an effective and successful implementation of the 5S
The following conditions must be taken into account for the successful implementation of 5S:
- Involve the entire human resource of the organization.
- Training and permanent training.
- Commitment of all maintenance and production personnel.
- To supervise, monitor and permanently reinforce the process of each of the 5s.
- Make the personnel aware that the 5S prevents accidents in the workplace.
What are the benefits of the 5S?
Some benefits that are achieved by implementing the 5S technique are:
- Strengthens customer confidence in the organization.
- Reduces the occurrence of work accidents by eliminating dirty environments and unsafe operations.
- Increases the reliability of the machines.
- Defective functions are discovered in every part of the machine.
- Reduces defects and stabilizes product quality.
- Improves productivity in the workplace.
- Strengthens the culture of continuous improvement.
- Improves work efficiency and reduces operating costs.
In general, the 5s are classified as one of the best practices that can be used in a company. Consequently, they are used as an advanced maintenance tool, fundamental for the subsequent application of a comprehensive maintenance strategy.
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