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60 The PCB Magazine • August 2017 know we need to keep the equipment and work area clean but are we just wiping down the ma- chine and sweeping the floor? This is where the 5S system comes in [1] . What is 5S? 5S is the name of a workplace organization method that uses a list of five Japanese words: seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke as a guide for work space efficiency and effective- ness. The 5S discipline really gets down to the heart of working smarter and not harder. When designing a process or reviewing a workstation, it is advantageous to keep 5S in the back of your mind. Let's look at 5S in a little more detail and see how it can affect both "steps." Seiri (Sort) Here is where we look at the area and decide what is needed and what can be discarded. It is a good idea to take a "before" photo so it can be reviewed later. During this phase, it is a good idea to tag items that are not necessary in the area. Some use the term Red Tagging during this phase so that unneeded items stand out. These items should be removed from the work area to a holding area for review and possible dispos- al. What should be left are the needed items for the area. Seiton (Systematize) Now that we have only our needed items we need to put them in their place. Prioritize the items necessary for the task. How often is the item used? More frequently used items should be stored close to the operator to reduce "step movements." Label the storage locations. If carts or tables are required, label their loca- tions on the floor. Also, label safety hazards or requirements. Seiso (Sweep) With everything now in its proper place it's time to clean! This should be a daily 10−15-min- ute task. Clean inside and out. Create a cleaning log sheet and empower your employees' owner- ship. Allow comments or problem alerts. Seiketsu (Standardize) Here is where we verify the effectiveness of the first three Ss. We evaluate and make sure our organization is correct. We finalize work flow di- agrams, daily cleaning sheets and assign owner- ship for work areas. Create an audit team to pe- riodically inspect the work areas to praise strong ethics and provide guidance for observed non- conformance. Shitsuke (Self-Discipline) This final "S" involves the training of per- sonnel on the 5S discipline. When success- ful team members will practice the first four Ss without thinking about it and without be- ing forced. Ownership of the workplace as if it were their own home becomes apparent once the system begins to work. In conclusion, the focus here is maximiz- ing throughput while minimizing the amount of effort required. Whether this means reduc- ing or optimizing process steps and encourag- ing feedback by operators/employees, or reduc- ing movement steps by optimizing workspace, tools and removing clutter. Remember, too many steps may be a missed step if a process is overwritten or a workspace is cluttered and op- erators/employees need to constantly make un- necessary moves or constantly hunt for missing tools. In my daily routine, I find myself correct- ing myself on certain tasks by thinking of the above disciplines and quietly whisper to myself, "Todd, work smarter, not harder." PCB References 1. Wikipedia, 5S Methodology. Todd Kolmodin is the vice president of quality for Gardien Services USA, and an expert in electrical test and reliability issues. To read past columns, or to contact Kolmodin, click here. NO MISSED STEPS: 5S METHODOLOGY FOR A SMARTER WORKPLACE

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