The 5-S method is a structured management program to implement workplace organisation and standardisation. 5-S improves safety, work efficiency, improves productivity and establishes a sense of ownership. And a well-organized workplace motivates people.

The program is called 5-S, since all steps start with an "S":

1. Sort deals with the contents of a workplace, and removes all items that are not needed there.

2. Set in Order refers to "a place for everything, and everything in its place" to enable easy acces to needed items.

3. Shine refers not just to cleaning, but to "being proud" about the way the workplace is organised.

4. Standardize refers to having standards that everyone has to adhere to. Visual management is an important aspect to facilitate easy undersanding of these standards.

5. Sustain refers to the interaction between employees and management to incorporate the continuous improvement culture.

The 5-S management program facilitates an excellent performance:

Safety: A well-organized and orderly workplace is a safer workplace. 5S activities remove clutter, visual indicators alarm people for hazardous situations.

Improving production efficiency: 5-S supports a smooth production process in various ways. Searching for tools is eliminated, flow principles are applied, tools storage is done where they are needed most. Location indicators visualize how things have been organized, and non conformaties are seen at once.

Quality improvement: Daily activities like inspection help to keep the production process in the right condition. Defects are prevented because deviations are spotted before they result into defects.

The training package has been produced in co-operation with Philips Electronics, Smit Transformers, Nacco Materials Handling Group, Minkels and Timmerije (injection molding).

"This training package has helped us enormously to implement 5-S in a structural way, as well as getting our operators and management team behind it. The teams themselves are now taking the initiative,"
Fred Waij, TPM manager, Heineken Breweries.

For more information, visit www.5straining.eu.