Why is 5S considered a visual system?

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    • #86
      Mike Wilson

      At its core, 5S is an improvement process that relies on visual management. Toyota developed the 5S system to improve productivity by making an environment clean, safe, and organized. From zero defects to accident reductions, 5S is a foundational principle that will help support future improvement programs.

      Visual cues can be used in one way or another in all five phases of 5S:

      • Sort: 5S red tags are used to clearly identify any materials, tools, or items that can be removed from then space.
      • Set in Order: Every item has a place! Organize tools so it’s easy to notice when something is missing by using vinyl shadow board tape or customizable tool foam, and label bins, shelves, and materials. For larger objects like work carts or trash cans, mark their home with floor marking tape or a floor sign so workers know where to return items.
      • Shine: More than just cleaning up the area, shine is also about performing preventative maintenance on machines. Use total productive maintenance (TPM) inspection tags to visually represent the frequency of checks and who is responsible for checking the equipment.
      • Standardize: To make the improvements of the first three phases last, standards need to out in place across the organization. By posting schedules, charts, and to-do lists around the facility and in work stations, 5S becomes a universally understood system in your workplace—employees won’t have to second-guess their responsibilities
      • Sustain: Visual tools are arguably the best way to sustain the ongoing effort of 5S. From shadow boards to floor marking for organization, visual cues make successful, long-term 5S system.

      What visual tools has your organization found to be the most beneficial? Share with us below!

    • #122

      This is correct. However, let’s make sure to add that 5S is another tool that helps eliminate the 8 wastes defined in lean manufacturing. The 8 wastes include transport, inventory, motion, waiting, overproduction, over-processing, defects, and skills. 5S is another tool in the toolbox to help make a company more lean and efficient. Some of the great visual tools that we have used in our 5S events would be safety signs, floor tape, label makers, red cards, etc… 5S is a great way to make things organized and visual but the most important and difficult step is the last “S”, Sustain. If you can accomplish the last step, your company will be very successful with future lean events and projects.

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