Essay on 5s Visual Workplace

Submitted By cnp2007
Words: 1295
Pages: 6

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: 5S -> Visual Workplace -> Problems Identified -> Problems Solved

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Published on AME (http://www.ame.org)

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: 5S -> Visual Workplace > Problems Identified -> Problems Solved
Wed, 08/15/2012 Topics: Other

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: 5S → Visual Workplace → Problems Identified → Problems Solved
By Mark Doman Lean is defined as a system “that creates a physical and social environment where problems are quickly identified.” That environment starts with standards that are simple, easy to understand and visual, and right in front of the people who need to see them to do their work. These standards drive a visual workplace that makes problems — i.e., out-of-standard conditions — immediately obvious so that corrective action can be quickly taken.

As the picture above illustrates, the workplace needs to be designed so that it is easy to see what is happening and what should be happening. How do we get to that point? The best lean tool is 5S! http://www.ame.org/print/4685 8/17/2012

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: 5S -> Visual Workplace -> Problems Identified -> Problems Solved

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Many companies start their lean journey by doing a 5S exercise. Unfortunately, they often don’t understand the lean rationale behind 5S, and they end up doing a 1S or a maybe a partial 2S. In the end, though, they don’t complete the 5S process, so they don’t create a standardized visual workplace that identifies problems quickly. 5S is a lean tool that you can use to create a visual workplace. But 5S is not an end in and of itself. Yes, 5S can free up floor space, eliminate wasteful motion, reduce safety hazards, minimize lost tools and highlight excess inventory. But the main reason for using the 5S tool is to create a sustainable visual workplace where problems are quickly identified. See how 5S fits within the Lean System in the House of Lean figure below:

Now that you know what the lean rationale of 5S is, what exactly is 5S? 5S, as the name suggests, is a 5 step process. The 5 steps are: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Sort Out Set In Order Shine Standardize Sustain

It starts with (S1) sorting out what you don’t need. The key S1 tool is red tagging. It is a simple tag that captures basic information such as item ID, reason for red tagging and date. An employee team puts a red tag on anything that is not needed to produce customer value and moves the item to a special area. If no one makes a compelling case to keep the item, it gets pitched. Red tagging should be done regularly.

http://www.ame.org/print/4685

8/17/2012

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: 5S -> Visual Workplace -> Problems Identified -> Problems Solved

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Vickie Dolis, a New United Motor Manufacturing, Inc. (NUMMI) veteran and GM lean expert, reminded me: “One important first step that oftentimes is overlooked in a 5S exercise is establishing the purpose of the area you are going to 5S. A group can have difficulty deciding what to red tag if they do not clearly define the purpose of the area. I have found this to be a critical step in the 5S process. The groups I coached sometimes got in arguments on what should stay and what should go. All I had to do to resolve it was ask the question, ‘Does this item meet the purpose we defined for the area?’ This would help the group really get rid of things they did not need. Defining the purpose of the area is part of the first S because it sets the stage for the red tagging process.” The next step (S2) sets in order what is left — machines, material, tools, shelving, etc. — to minimize wasted motion. Draw a map of how material or information moves through your processes today and then ask your employees how to redesign the flow to minimize the motion and steps (“the spaghetti”) in the process as noted in the slide below.

http://www.ame.org/print/4685

8/17/2012

ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: 5S -> Visual Workplace -> Problems Identified -> Problems Solved

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Now clean the place up. S3 is to…