5S: Sort, Set in Order, Shine, Standardize and Sustain

Efficiency is the backbone of any manufacturing or fabrication environment, including a shipyard. Whatever job you have in the workplace, it’s essential that you maintain the company’s standard of qualify and perform at peak reliability. Over the years, the manufacturing industry has perfected a system known as 5S. You can take this process and make it part of your every day work to improve your productivity. Here’s what you need to know.



What do you need to have at your work station? Take time to look at each item and determine if its critical or if you can get rid of it. This can allow you to remove any unnecessary items and only keep what is essential to a productive workspace.


Set in Order

After you remove the clutter from your workspace, you can see what you have left. This is now time to determine what tools or items are used in the process. Now you can organize your workspace to be more efficient.



The third S is about cleaning up your workspace. This isn’t just about sweeping and mopping, though that is part of it. It’s also about maintenance and ensuring that everything you use is in good working order. Cleaning up also helps you maintain your organization to work efficiently.



Once you complete the first several steps, everything looks great. But it’s really easy to let things slip back into disarray. Standardizing is about maintaining the process so your work space remains organized and clean. Figure out a way to keep your station up to your new standards at the beginning or end of every shift.



Of course, even once you standardize the process it can be easy to let things go over time. The key is to sustain the practice long term. This means reevaluating every month and every year. Make sure that you’re keeping things organized and in good repair to carry over your new organizational structure throughout time in the shipyard.



Wait, that’s 6 things! That’s right. The original Japanese industrial philosophy has been amended to fit an American workplace. And safety is key in shipyard environments. Make sure every step of the way is also informed by safe work practices.

Do you think the 5S approach can help you in your shipyard career? Contact Hutco today to see what we’re working on.