Improvement of a Shipyard with Introducing
Ivica Veza1, Bozenko Bilic1, Franc Cus2
1 University of Split, FESB, Rudgera Boskovica b.b., 21000 Split, Croatia
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maribor,
Smetanova 17, 1100 Maribor, Slovenia
Abstract. The 5S method is a sophisticated Japanese tool for optimisation and
improvement of the production process. The purpose of applying the 5S method
is to increase the efficiency on the micro-level, keeping workplace clean, in
order and accessible. The results are reflected in drastic increase of safety,
space utilization, productivity, pride and Kaizen thinking; and drastic reduction
of waste, defects, errors, and unnecessary action. This method is one of the
foundations of introducing the concept of Lean Production. This article
provides an example of applying the 5S method in a shipyard.
Keywords: Toyota Production System, 5S, shipyard
One of the best representatives of Japanese production philosophy is surely Toyota
Motors Corporation with the Toyota Production System - TPS. TPS represents socio-
technological system that through continuously improving (kaizen) goes after greater
quality, lower expenses and shorter terms of delivery. The basic elements of TPS and
approaches on which it lies are shown on the figure 1.
All methods and procedures shown on the picture have been developing since
1945 and they represent different parts from which TPS is built. Most of the methods
have been developed by the Taichi Ohno and Shiego Shingo engineers, as well as the
5S method developed in the 70´s. The method 5S is a procedure by which posts and
working units are shaped functionally. The aim of the 5S method is the increase of the
efficacy on the micro-level by keeping the workplace clean, in order and accessible. It
contains five elements derived from Japanese words beginning with S (Table 1.).
The approach to implementing the 5S programme can be different. Many starts the
implementation of Lean Production concept with the use of 5S.when setting the
priority of the implementation a lot of influential factors must be included. The best
would be if 5S programme is started on the elements where measurable savings can
be seen immediately .
Fig.1 Toyota Production System
Table 1. 5S 
1. Sort Sorting and putting in following groups: waste, rarely
usable objects, and necessary objects
2. Set in Order Setting the location, the border-lines and signs to
insure the return of the objects to the correct place
3. Shine Cleaning, painting, and regular cleaning
4. Standardize Defining and standardization 5S working process,
activities and tasks.
5. Sustain Make 5S the way of living, institutional and
2. The project of introduction of 5S Method in Shipyard
2.1 The increase of efficiency on the micro level by applying the 5S method
Space organization is one of the conditions for successfulness, and by its function it
affects the other two elements which must be defined in every organization: processes
and the structure of the employees. The proper managing of resources in the
production process creates the measurable value, whether by its direct or indirect
Regarding the above, and in order to optimize the production process of the
shipyard, during the year 2007 the project of introduction of 5S method begun. The
situation at the beginning of the project was not satisfactory, so the pilot project
started on the lower level: mechanical technology department. The main
characteristics are as follow.
The name of the project: the increase of work efficiency on the micro-level by
applying 5S method.
The aim of the project: the aim of the first phase of the project is creating the
background for the implementation of 5S method of operation on the shipyard level,
defining the necessary organizational propositions and structures, consolidating
process documentation and planning, as well as starting the pilot on the level of some
functional groups which will become the foundation of applying the 5S process on the
The propositions of the problem: optimisation of functional and spatial
management of workplace and working units on the micro-level is one of the
inevitable moves towards the transformation. Negative selection, sub-optimal
organizational priorities, the lack of clear process rules (nothing was documented), as
well as the control, are long lasting problem which left some consequences on all the
parts of the organization. The problem can be seen in decreased production, the lack
of workplace hygiene which includes cleanness, level of organization and
accessibility and as the most important decrease of safety of the employees and
multiplied expenses of the production process. Finally, the long lasting neglect led to
negative organizational culture, indifference of the workers towards their workplace
and non hostile treatment of the means of work.
The solution to the problem: setting the process/ business basis and establishing
the organizational structure are the foundations of 5S method which will start changes
of the working culture, and also urge and motivate employees towards the
improvement of their workplace.
The description of the project: based on the principals of 5S method, the analysis
of the organization and its needs as plans for transformation in the frames of the
project of transformation of the whole shipyard and in relation to the others projects
(1) Define and document organizational propositions of the 5S.
(2) Develop necessary documentation (regulations and projects) to start and
maintain of 5S system and insure their integration through all the shipyard
(3) Realize pilot projects for 2-3 smaller functional groups or spatial units of the
(4) Start operational capacities by which medium and long- term 5S competence
In the shipyard exists the capacity and knowledge to realizing the 5S project, but
some co-operators should be hired. The activities of the 5S project are mainly
connected to the improvement of production and coordination, and it should be done
by competent people in production- technologist in the preparations for production
and the services of maintenance.
For the other competences necessary for the whole range of activities connected to
hygiene and safety (humanization) of the workplace, the following functions are
• Safety at work, meaning supervision, control and pointing at possibility to
reduce the causes of work accidents as well as health protection;
• Fire protection (fire brigade), meaning supervision, for controlling and
pointing at possibility to reduce the sources of potential fire and explosion
• Protection of people and property, meaning supervising, controlling and
pointing at the increase of safety for people and property, including keeping
the minutes while withdrawing the unnecessary objects;
• Cleaning and disposal of the waste meaning organizing, collecting and
removing the communal and industrial waste, in the way in which the
communal firm organizes and removes massive waste, and the executing the
destruction of property;
• Transport meaning organizing transport for unnecessary means of work to
the place where they will be sold by auction or to the place for destruction of
• Warehousing meaning organizing the reception and forwarding of means of
work that will be sold by auction;
• Auditor ship meaning keeping record of all the changes in indebt ness of
material or immaterial property, as well as effecting the procedures of
removing the written off property (organizing the auctions or destruction of
the written off property and removal).
The tasks of the project: the reduction of expenses and affecting more income
without any further investments. The unnecessary moves and efforts in the process of
production are reduced by the right use of space and equipment. The employees’
sense of belonging to the organization is increased and an active environment in
which the employee will create his own workplace is created. Make creative
individuals who will be ready to answer flexibly to the requests of external
environment in which his organization is set.
The activities of the project:
The main activities of the project are as follow:
(1) Define basic organizational propositions of 5S procedure.
(2) Define strategy/plans for implementing 5S procedure.
(3) Consolidate, supplement and spread necessary documentation.
(4) Define the process of some steps in 5S procedure.
(5) Start the existing capacities.
Working team: Working team creates the foundations for the 5S procedure in the
shipyard. The team consists of:
• Preparation: 5 members (CP, hull, equipage, maintenance, repairs),
• Managing the security: 1 member (safety at work, protection of people and
property, fire protection, health protection),
• Transport and warehousing: 2 members,
• Managing the waste: 1 member
• Maintenance: 1 member
Project deadlines: The deadline for implementing the first part of the project is 3
Planned expenses: the cost of the project is fully recovered from the means saved
in a year with the use of 5S project.
2.2 The implementation of the 5S method
Sort defines the action by which all the objects that are not indispensable for the
immediate use are removed from workplace. In practice people usually keep different
things thinking they might need them eventually. The result is the massive
accumulation of unnecessary objects and waste. In order to prevent the above, the
strategy of red marking is used- by putting red marks on the objects that need to be
valued as usable or not.
The spaces of shipyard are often plied up by unused metal, pipes, etc. such a
situation was found in workplaces which by sorting have significantly diminished bad
space utilization (Figure 2.).
Set in order defines the action by which the necessary objects are marked and put
in the right place where they can be easily found and put away. Meaning that it
always must be clear where the object belongs, where it can be found or put back.
Otherwise the workplace is badly used, tools are difficult to reach and often difficult
Fig.2. Shows the state in which the workplaces were before and after sorting.
Shine defines the actions which include putting in order floors and walls, cleaning
the machines and tools, and generally insuring that everything is clean and tidy. It is
considered to be so important that it is included in everyday tasks.
Along with sorting and setting in order, the absolute transformation of workplace is
done. In the shipyard the unit of machinery processing was untidy, dirty and piled up
with waste, so it was necessary to implement the 5S method. The noticeable results
were achieved, as it can be seen in the pictures (Figure 3.).
Fig.3. The machinery processing unit before and after sorting and setting in order
Standardize deviates from sorting, setting in order or shine. These three can be
considered as working activities, while standardize is an activity used to keep them.
The main steps of standardize are: assigning 3S responsibilities, integrating 3S duties
in regular ones, and checking the level of 3S maintenance.
Sustain defines the habituating to the right maintaining of the correct procedures.
The problem is that the dedication of keeping the steps exists only in people and only
their behavior shows the existence of maintenance. The same problem was obvious in
the shipyard where people were not ready to change their long lasting habits. It can
only be dealt with in long-terms by raising the awareness of people, or prizing them
for the effort.
2.3 The results of implementing the 5S method
The implementation itself in the first two steps showed very good results. The
measurable values of the results are following:
• Increase of finances (extra income): accumulation of financial resources
provided by selling the technically out of date, uneconomical, and no longer
in use means of work.
• The increase of usable workplace: surface of 250m2 freed by removing
unnecessary means of work and materials.
• The reduction of firm expenses: the reduction of costs of safety at work and
fire protection (the costs of evaluation and attestation).
Apart from these economy results, during the realization of the pilot programme
other positive moves were made. As the increase of the employee motivation, the
process of managing was easier, safety at work was also increased, etc. It should be
pointed out that the above results were achieved without any additional costs, as they
were the result of more efficient organization and coordination on the level of
organizational units in which the pilot project was done.
But it should be pointed out that during the realization of the above step some
obstacles appeared which slowed down considerably the implementation. They were
• Insufficient awareness of the importance of quality managing of the
• Passive participation of preparation, service and administrative services in
the processes of change.
• Absence of clearly defined processes and interrupted directory chains
• The absence of knowledge about modern management (project and
These obstacles are not insuperably, but they require long-term education about the
importance of managing the resources of which the organization disposes. More
important results can be expected in long-terms.
The implementing of the 5S method resulted in sum-total financial savings and the
increase of free work spaces. But the results are related to short-term effects of the
first three stages of the method while for the next two stages and long term effects
some there are some obstacles.
Mainly they are obvious from cultural differences between Japanese and Croatian
way of living, so greater education and animation of the employees is required while
implementing the method. Also some obstacles might be in the existing
organizational structure, complicated administration and the open question of
privatization the shipyard and its segments. The 5S method can be implemented in the
shipyard, but with the limited function that has limited results as the consequence.
1. The Productivity Press Development Team, 1996, 5S for Operators, Productivity Press, New
2. www.plant-maintenance.com/ articles/5S.pdf