Foxx India Implements the 5S Philosophy
Getting Organized With 5S: Sort, Set, Shine, Standardize, Sustain
The philosophy of 5S represents a way of focusing and thinking to better organize and manage workspace, specifically by eliminating the wastes as defined by the Lean Manufacturing system.
It is one of the most widely used and fundamental components of Lean Manufacturing.
It’s simple, common-sense application is highly effective and reliable as a stabilizing force in Lean strategies.
In this first step, our team has sorted everything in a workspace into what is and what is not needed. Some use a system called “red tagging” in which every item not necessary for a process gets red-tagged during the sort phase.
These items are set aside and evaluated later. Team members stored used items nearby, but not at the workstation. They discard unsafe items and clutter.
The Sort phase is the first step to making more effective use of space by clearing out hazardous/unwanted trash/not frequently used items and clutter that distracts from doing the job.
Set, or Set in Order- “A place for everything and everything in its place.”
Team members position items based on use, with frequently needed items kept closer at hand.
Every item that made it through the Sort stage is given storage space. In some cases, we are using colour coded labels to easily identify storage spaces.
The Set in Order phase created an ergonomic, organized, and uncluttered workspace where our team have what they need close at hand and know where every item is stored. This creates a less stressful work environment.
With the clutter gone and storage space organized, it’s time to clean. After a thorough initial cleaning, team members clean the station every day (sometimes twice a day).
This maintains the gains made in the Sort and Set phases. Cleaning includes storage areas, machines, equipment, tools, and work surfaces.
The Shine phase created a more pleasant environment for employees, who no longer have to combat dust, dirt and clutter. Cleaning the area every day also leads to a higher level of employee buy-in for the 5S method.
This step involved creating ways to sustain the first three steps. Team members participated in creation of a set of standards that will govern maintenance of the workspace going forward.
This “new normal” becoming a habit to our team members.
The Standardize phase takes the progress and changes in behaviour from the first three steps and makes them the standard procedure.
In Sustain, our goal is to stick to the new rules. Team members keep the new standards in place and practice the first three steps every day until they become automatic and the accepted way of doing things.
This final step often proves the most challenging. However, our team is giving best.
The Sustain phase of 5S often requires training and good communication, but it eventually will lead to employees becoming comfortable with 5S procedures.
The 5S system presents challenges in both implementing the steps and sustaining the practice. But FOXX INDIA did it superbly!
Putting 5S into place can not only helped our team less stressed and more efficient, but also improved visual management of our plant, workplace safety and reduce training time for new employees.