Quality manufacturers always seek to improve their processes so they can give their customers a high return on their investment.
5S is a workplace organization style developed alongside other lean manufacturing concepts (such as kanban, TQM, and SMED). The Toyota Production System in Japan was the first to identify and implement 5S techniques, which is why the original concepts are Japanese terms (seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke).
Many roll formers and other companies offering metal bending services also implement these techniques.
We find 5S lean manufacturing techniques help us produce high-quality products that keep our customers returning.
What IS 5S Lean manufacturing?
5S defines five core necessities for safe, efficient, and sustainable workplace operations. In English, the 5 S’s are:
- Sort, or simplify (Seiri)
- Straighten, or set in order (Seiton)
- Shine (Seiso)
- Standardize (Seiketsu)
- Sustain (Shitsuke)
First, the workplace must be organized. All unnecessary materials, tools, and miscellaneous items should be removed from the work environment. All other materials should have their own homes and will only be mobilized into the work area when needed in the correct quantity.
2. Straighten, or Set in Order (Seiton)
This second principle brings purpose to the work area. Workers should implement visual workplace management techniques to increase workflow efficiency and prioritize problem identification. All employees should understand arrangements and locations for easy retrieval and item return.
Shadow boards for frequently-used tools and floor location squares for movable objects are prime examples.
3. Shine (Seiso)
The third “S” is cleanliness. All defects, dirt, and debris should be removed from the area. The work area, equipment, and tools should be free of grime and other contaminants. Cleaning and maintenance should be performed regularly.
4. Standardize (Seiketsu)
Steps 1-3 should be addressed frequently to maintain a clean, orderly workplace. The more often they are revisited, the more familiar personnel will be with the new standards of operation.
5. Sustain (Shitsuke)
Employees should uphold all these standards and work to improve every day, little by little. Long-term, sustained improvements will increase overall efficiency, employee performance, and morale. Being able to sustain the 5S system is the hardest part. Most companies fail with this step.
Dahlstrom Roll Form has manufactured best-in-class OEM components and decorative metal mouldings for nearly 120 years. Need custom, high-quality parts? We can help.
5S works alongside visual management to make kanban, TQM, SMED, and other lean concepts more effective. Like other lean techniques, 5S aims to eliminate waste throughout the manufacturing process and decrease the number of non-value added activities.
The 5S methodology improves safety for employees by removing hazards and unnecessary items, enhances communication and movement across work areas by decreasing clutter, and increases worker efficiency by reducing the amount of time spent looking for tools.
Benefits of Implementing 5S In Manufacturing
5S techniques increase overall profitability by improving performance, morale, and quality of work. That means you, the customer, receive products made in a more efficient and effective work area and products that are less likely to be defective due to a more repeatable process in the workspace.
As with all aspects of lean manufacturing, 5S reduces waste and builds the foundation for efficiency throughout the manufacturing process.
Further, the improved performance of employees means faster, higher quality work at each stage.
5S Lean Manufacturing: Always Improving With the Roll Forming Process
Roll forming clients have seen improved lead times and higher product quality with 5S implementation alongside other lean manufacturing concepts. And this goes a long way toward being considered a valuable and reliable vendor.
Part of being an excellent vendor (aside from providing great roll forming services) is helping your customers understand the complete picture of your products and services. Therefore, feel free to take a look at this comprehensive guide to roll forming costs:
(Editor's Note: This article was originally published in January 2016 and has recently been updated.)
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