New tools for manufacturing 5S methods

In fabrication and assembly job shops, 5S stands for sort, set in order, shine, standardize and sustain. Workers use the 5S guidelines to ensure efficiency through organized work spaces. A maintained job area free from distractions and obstacles is the first step in successful workplace productivity.

ERP software accessible on mobile devices promotes efficiency through data visibility and consistent reporting. Manufacturing workers can use solutions like Microsoft Dynamics NAV to enforce and improve 5S guidelines.

Sort
The first principle is sort, which means employees gather only the tools they need for a particular project. Sorting prevents unnecessary equipment from getting in the way of tasks. Mobile work orders not only indicate what materials are essential, but come in digital forms less cumbersome than paper documents.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency praised 5S standards because they eliminate waste in manufacturing. By replacing paper documentation with a single piece of equipment, workers reduce clutter and help keep operations green.

Set in Order
Fabrication and assembly shops usually need to balance a number of projects. Different tasks may call for unique tools, so employees must prioritize their equipment. Order information visible on a mobile device helps workers manage tasks based on job cost and other metrics.

CIO Magazine said information is a tool. Worker must use data in conjunction with other equipment to determine the most efficient use of all materials in manufacturing.

Shine
A workspace must be clean. After an employee uses tools to complete a project, workers should return them to specific locations so others know where to find them. The user must clean each piece of equipment before putting it away. If the tool suffers damage during daily performance, the employee responsible should log its new status in a central database so everyone is aware of the situation.

Mobile tools can help workers perform an end-of-day checklist. Instead of a traditional paper form, digital checklists create instant oversight of closing procedures and allow employees to send notes to supervisors. New technology can also speed up procedures. Microsoft Dynamics NAV add-ons like barcoding provide simple ways to check in tools. When workers place items in bins, a barcode system instantly reports and analyzes the activity.

Standardize
The 5S guidelines help employees create consistent performance. Whenever a worker discovers a best practice for manufacturing and material handling, he or she should make sure the procedure gets adopted into daily operations. Standardizing job space operations prevents wasted time and streamlines performance.

Anytime a worker makes a discovery, a mobile software system helps him or her report findings. The data pouring in from daily operations can show trends. If a specific task is consistently slow, managers must find a new solution.

Sustain
When employees follow 5S guidelines perfectly, information from performance should indicate how an organized workshop helps manufacturing productivity. Showing employees the results of their work helps them sustain behaviors.

Reliable Plant, a manufacturing news site, suggested executive approval of practices is the best way to enforce 5S procedures. Collecting data on mobile devices provides a clear picture of how any procedures affects overall business success so company leaders can make informed decisions.

Managers who want to learn more about organizing tools, assets and inventory should download the Data Sheet: DMS Physical Inventory Count Module today.

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