The Tools of 5S

The framework of 5S guides you through five phases of organization. During 5S, you will use a number of strategies and tools to achieve a Lean workplace. Below we have gathered some of the most common tools companies use to aid their 5S efforts.

Red tags: 5S red tags are typically used in the sorting step. It is not always clear if an item needs to stay or immediately removed, and red tags allows you to take time and consider the options while still holding you accountable. If it is unclear whether or not a tool, piece of equipment, or material is needed, simply attach a red tag to it and move the item to the red tag holding area. The red tag contains space to record pertinent information like the original location of the item, who tagged it, and when it should be evaluated again.

Tool foam: When organizing work spaces and setting them in order, don’t forget about the tools! Customizable tool foam is a great way to develop a system for housing tools, allowing you to keep track of them. You can customize the foam to create a layout that is easier for employees to work with. For example, you could arrange tools depending on the order of processes or place tools that are consistently used near each other.

Vinyl shadow board tape: Similar to tool foam, vinyl shadow tape is designed to make tool organization simple. Also called tool outline vinyl, you can order rolls of this vinyl in a number of different colors and customize the system for your facility. Trace the tools you will be hanging on the pegboard and plan a design that makes sense and utilizes the space efficiently. When applied to the pegboard, it is easy to keep track of tools and identify ay that are missing or misplaced.

Floor marking:  Floor marking tape is beneficial when it comes to organizing the workplace. You can use floor tape to outline work cells or create permanent homes for larger items like trash cans or utility carts. These spaces can be further identified with floor signs. Employees will be able to quickly identify where work is supposed to occur or where to return items after use.

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