There are many variations in 5S, and many people get confused between some of the terms. Since the terms all revolve around the same Lean Manufacturing principles there is often a confusion of concepts.
Question: How do I explain the difference between Sorting and Standardizing?
My Response: Sorting involves the organization of workplace and the elimination of unwanted materials. Standardizing typically takes place afterwards to make similar workplaces look alike. For example, Sorting may determine that machine #1 and #2 both require a melt temperature probe at the machine; Standardizing will place the melt temperature probe next to the control panel on both machines so it can be easily found.