Sembcorp Energy UK generates and supplies energy to major industrial firms at the Wilton International manufacturing site on Teesside.
Focus on maintenance
Sembcorp has a large maintenance function on-site at Castleton Court made up of various workshops and offices, ranging from Electrical / Instrumentation through to Mechanical and Fabrication.
As a result of this work, Sembcorp wanted to know how they can bring order to the maintenance function and other areas through operational changes and better organisation. The obvious choice was to introduce and follow the 5S process.
The theory of 5S
Originating from Japan, the philosophy of 5S represents a way of focusing and thinking in order to better organise and manage the workspace. The 5S stands for two sets of words: one in Japanese seiri (整理), seiton (整頓), seisō (清掃), seiketsu (清潔), and shitsuke (躾). These translate ‘Sort’, ‘Set In order’, ‘Shine’, ‘Standardise’ and ‘Sustain’.
The initial interest came from a 5S presentation to Steve and his supervisors by Dave Fishwick, Consultant and Trainer. This was so well received that it generated further discussions in what 5S could deliver and offer the Sembcorp team.
The best way to learn
The best way to help this understanding is to visit a site where 5S is already in place and embedded within a maintenance working environment. Knowing this, Dave organised a visit to Nestlé‘s factory in Dalston Carlisle.
Seeing first hand how a similar organisation benefits from 5S is a more reliable way to learn, it is also a very effective way to transfer practical knowledge from one team to another.
The Sembcorp team – made up of a lead sponsor (Dave), the Manager (Steve) and a team of technicians and supervisors – visited the site came back with lots of ideas.
Many of which they are already implementing. For instance, a weekly meeting is in place. The 5S team report back actions and update the planner with actions and assign these to individuals from the team, including the management!
Dave said, “The visit was so successful – the plan moving forward is for more staff to visit Nestlé”.