Using 5S Tools to Keep a Clean and Efficient Workspace

clean workplace

5S is used in all kinds of businesses ranging from occupations in manufacturing to office jobs. Its ubiquity is due to the relatively simple and cohesive application that results in greatly improved working conditions not only for employees but for the success of the company as a whole. Those improvements boil down to a spotless workspace that results in efficiency, improvements regarding safety, and the elimination of waste. Now, the five steps that 5S is …

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Foundational Concepts of Lean

foundational concepts of Lean

Lean manufacturing utilizes a number of strategies and tools to improve the business by boosting productivity and eliminating waste. The following are just a handful of the most common Lean tools, many have been adopted from manufacturing in Japan and the Toyota Production System . 5S (The Visual Workplace) 5S is a system of creating workplace organization to reduce/eliminate waste created by clutter, lack of information, duplication, underutilized space, inconsistency in processes, etc. Components of …

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What is a Gemba Walk?

What is a Gemba walk

Gemba walks are an important concept in your Lean toolbox. Managers and business leaders go on  (“go and see”) walks to observe firsthand how the production line is operating. The Objective of a Gemba Walk In businesses, managers often look to company leaders for direction. The value created by a business, though, exists out on the work floor. By taking Gemba walks, managers can get ideas for improvement from the place where value is actually …

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The 5S Shine Pillar – Inspection and Maintenance

5S Shine Inspection and Maintenance

The third step of 5S is Seiso, a Japanese term translated to mean Shine. During Shine, workers are encouraged to do a deep cleaning of their space, ensuring there is no grime, dust, or oil spills remaining. However, it is important to remember that cleaning is not the only facet of this phase and that Shining also includes inspection and routine maintenance. While employees are completing the sanitization of their work cells, it is a …

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The Toyota Production System House

The Toyota Production System, or TPS, is a widely-used and successful production system in manufacturing that focuses on reducing and eliminating waste, while producing quality products for consumers. The TPS model was developed by the Toyota Motor Corporation for their vehicle production system, but the principles and activities it encompasses can be applied to nearly any industry. When discussing the TPS and its many features, it can be helpful to think of the system like …

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How do you make a Factory Culture Embrace Lean?

Several years ago, I was working as a project manager for a local manufacturing company. The owner asked me how much I knew about lean, and I told them I had about three years experience working on a lean transformation in upstate New York in which we had to completely change the factory climate from a “this is how we’ve always done things” kind of mentality to one of continuous improvement and individual and team …

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Lean Is More Than Its Tools

I talked with a guy yesterday about 5S and how well it would work at his office.  I asked him what the problem was, and he said, “Oh, you know, it’s messy and I want people to be tidier.” I didn’t laugh or anything, but I let him know that 5S, under the larger lean umbrella, is about improving things, reducing waste, and solving problems.  5S, specifically, isn’t about tidying the office.  It’s a bit …

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How to Organize Your Shop: Try 5S

Are you needing some organization in your workshop?  Do you spend more time trying to find tools and supplies and less time actually working? Are you hoping to improve your efficiency and cut your waste down?  Would doing all of this help to improve quality to the customer and possibly even reduce prices? Well, you are starting to find yourself approaching the tenets of something many in the manufacturing industry have studied and implemented for …

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Executing a 5S Launch

If you’re considering implementing a 5S system in a facility, it is essential to take the time to do it right. When done properly, the 5S system can be an effective way to clean and organize a workplace, allowing it to run more efficiently. If the 5S launch isn’t well thought out,  it can lead to disaster. One of the most important things to have in place for a 5S launch is the full support of upper …

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What is 5S and How Should We Implement It?

5S is, in the simplest terms, a method of creating, maintaining and improving a workplace which is clean, orderly, and has methods for detecting waste and errors built in. When used properly, it will help to identify areas where things are being done inefficiently, and come up with solutions for improvement. It will help to take existing processes, and standardize them so they are always done in the most efficient way possible. The 5S process can …

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