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5S Sort Video

  • 5S is an integral part of Lean Manufacturing. This presentation will focus on sort which is first S in the 5S process.
  • It might be helpful to first watch our 5S Overview Video if you have not seen it previously.
  • In review, the 5S's are sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize, and Sustain in that order. Let's focus on sort for the remainder of this presentation.
  • Everyone can relate to a messy garage and that can be compared to our workplace. We gather too many things over time and pretty soon we can barely walk around. If you had to work in this environment, think about:
    A: How much time would you spend looking for the things you need?
    B: How efficient you would be, or in other words, how long it would take to complete a project?
    C: How safe of an environment is it?
    D: And how frustrating might the experience be?
  • Many companies tolerate these conditions in the workplace because they do not understand the extent of the waste and the consequences involved.
  • In order to clear the area you have to define what is needed in the immediate area. When you do this, consider:
    A: Cabinets
    B: Paperwork
    C: Gauges
    D: Machines and equipment
    E: Packaging Materials
    F: Parts and assemblies
    G: Blueprints
    H: Shelving
    I: Supplies
    J: Tables
    K: Tooling
    L: Towels
    M: And even trash
  • Let's create a department we can use as an example that needs to be sorted out. In this department, we have:
    A: Machines
    B: Workbenches
    C: Tool Boxes
    D: Supply Cabinets
    E: Work in Process
    F: Chairs
    G: Trashcans
    H: Tools
    I: Paperwork
    J: And Pallets
    K: This example is fairly typical for a department in a manufacturing company.
  • Now it's time for that first big step. Figuring out what stays and what goes. Don't go it alone. sorting is a team sport, and if second or third shifts are involved, make sure you include them in sorting and every aspect of 5S. There are some territorial issues involved with all aspects of 5S, so it is best to work together as a Team.
  • Here are some guidelines for making good decisions:
    A: The 48 hour rule says that if you are going to use it for production within 48 hours it belongs in the area.
    B: The concept of sort is similar to the Just-In-Time principle as they both teach only what is needed, only in the amounts needed and only when it is needed
  • Another guideline is based on frequency of use. The less frequently an item is used, the farther from the work area it should be stored, for example:
    A: Items that are used daily should be stored in the immediate area
    B: Items that are used weekly should be stored near the area C: Items that are used monthly or less frequently should be stored in a remote location.
  • Make a list of everything in the area and the frequency of use such as daily, weekly, or monthly. Make sure this is a team effort.
  • Then disposition the items on the list as follows:
    A: Item to stay in the area
    B: Item to be stored near the area
    C: Item to be stored in a remote location
    D: Item no longer needed
  • When items have been dispositioned as no longer needed, a red tag system is used for several reasons:
    A: To identify the item
    B: Where the item came from
    C: Who created the red tag
    D: And the date the tag was created
  • If the disposition is the item is no longer needed, you might want to consider:
    A: Placing the items in a red tag hold area for six months before taking any further action
    B: Hold an auction with the key people at your company to see if any other department needs the item
    C: After that either sell it
    D: Give it away to charity
    E: Or put it in the trash
  • Now that dispositions have been made, it's time to start clearing out the area. Let's see what a difference it makes with our example department:
    A: It's not uncommon to have machines that are no longer needed or used, but no one can bear to remove them. This machine is no longer needed, so we are removing it and the workbench next to it.
    B: The amount of work in process needed in an area will vary, but remember, your department is not a storage area so get extra WIP out.
    C: Storage cabinets have a way of collecting lots of unneeded items, so it's best to get them out.
    D: Personal tool cabinets take up a lot of room and the tools are only available to one employee and the tools cannot be placed at point of use.
    E: Extra pallets can be removed from the area and if needed, a location can be created for them to be stacked up.
    F: Chairs are seldom necessary in a Lean environment. Chairs detract from flow and an efficient process.
    G: Extra tools that are not immediately needed can be removed
    H: As well as the extra trashcan
    I: Finally, we have removed any paperwork that is not needed for current production
    J: You can clearly see the amount of extra space you now have for production or additional equipment, which will increase your capacity. You can now see the possibilities of re-arranging this department to make it more efficient. That is where set-in-order comes into play.
  • The benefits of sort are many:
    A: First of all, it is quite a bit easier to just move around in the area
    B: And that means less things in the area to trip over, meaning less accidents
    C: sorting typically removes barriers that might have built up over the years
    D: And that helps to improve communication
    E: Employees don't have to search nearly as much to find what they need
    F: So the time it takes to set-up machines or equipment decreases along with the searching time.
    G: This causes Productivity to increase
    H: And the waste of human energy and frustration decreases
    I: And we can put a few extra dollars in our pocket by eliminating these wastes.
  • Remember, 5S is not easy. If it were, everybody would have done it already. But as you can clearly see, the benefits of sort are worth the effort it takes to implement.

We hope you have enjoyed this presentation. Look for the other videos in the 5S series on Set-in-order, shine, standardize, and sustain. And if you need help training employees or implementing 5S give us a call today. We're the guys who make this process simple!


About the author:

Jeff Hofstetter

Jeff Hofstetter Jeff is the President of Xtreme Lean Consulting with over 24 years of experience in Lean and Six Sigma Consulting. Jeff is a results-driven, decisive leader with a proven track record of initiating time and cost-saving operational improvements while leading diverse teams to strong, sustainable performance gains. Skilled mentor and coach with a hands-on, positive approach to resource management, leadership development, and training.

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