5S, a process improvement tool of the Lean Six Sigma program, focuses on the reduction of wasted resources in processes; it is a pervasive, empowered method that is oriented toward the systematic and continuous elimination of wastes. Halliburton is one of the pioneering companies in the application of this program.
The 5S component is designed to remove potential performance barriers, eliminate non-essential items, clean equipment and tools in the work area, develop standards to enhance production, promote consistency, and instill the discipline necessary to sustain these efforts in the future. The name, 5S, is derived from goals of this Lean Six Sigma component: sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain.
This program has been used in the UAE, and its effectiveness is evident in the improvements made in both facilities and field sites. These improvements have contributed to six years without a lost-time incident (LTI). In addition, in 2009, more than 98% of jobs at rigsites were performed with no health, safety, and environment (HSE) or service quality issues.
This program requires employees’ involvement and training to increase their awareness and to ensure their understanding. Each facility has a 5S team. Most work areas have implemented this program; this implementation is confirmed by frequent 5S audits.
The program is cost effective because it has diminshed accidents in work areas, which has reduced the direct and indirect costs that follow an incident. In the process of eliminating a great deal of waste, 5S has made additional space available that is now used for housekeeping purposes. Enhanced housekeeping acts to minimize the possibility of damage to property or equipment. In addition, all equipment now has an assigned location that is within easy reach; this has enabled the preparation of equipment to be sent to the customer sites on time, with no delays.
5S, a mainstay for constant improvement, develops a cutting-edge program to revolutionize products, processes, and services. Moreover, 5S promotes greater productivity, produces fewer defects and lost information, improves on-time delivery rates, and provides for a more efficient workplace.