What is 5S
One of the most powerful Lean Manufacturing Tools and a cornerstone of any successful implementation is that of 5S, but what is 5S and its 5 Steps of Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke?
5S is a simple tool for organizing your workplace in a clean, efficient and safe manner to enhance your productivity, visual management and to ensure the introduction of standardized working.
Most of the other definitions of 5S and descriptions that I see here on the internet concentrate heavily on the aesthetics and the efficiency gains that you achieve through implementing 5S and neglect the real aim of 5S; the need to introduce standard operational practices to ensure efficient, repeatable, safe ways of working.
In addition to standardised working which provides you with a stable foundation to build all of your other improvements through implementing Lean Tools, you also provide a highly visual workplace. One of the most important factors of 5S is that it makes problems immediately obvious.
5S is a team run process and should be conducted by the people who work within the area in which the principles of 5S are being applied, it is not a tool that can be applied by an outsider onto an area without the knowledge and cooperation of the people within it.
Origins of 5S
5S as a methodology has come out of the techniques within Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and from the Toyota Production System (TPS). However many of the individual components such as creating ergonomic and efficient work places can be seen to owe their roots to people such as Taylor for his work on “scientific management” and Frank Gilbreth’s “time and motion studies.”
Frank Gilbreth showed that by improving the ergonomics of a bricklayers working methods he could reduce the number of individual movements required and increase the hourly output from 120 to 350 bricks laid each hour.
The Concept of 5S
5S is a methodical way to organize your workplace and your working practices as well as being an overall philosophy and way of working. It is split into 5 phases, each named after a different Japanese term beginning with the letter “S”; (Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke) hence the name 5 S.
These five distinct phases are (with English descriptions);
5S Seiri; Sort, Clearing, Classify
5S Seiton; Straighten, Simplify, Set in order, Configure
5S Seiso; Sweep, shine, Scrub, Clean and Check
5S Seiketsu; Standardize, stabilize, Conformity
5S Shitsuke; Sustain, self discipline, custom and practice
And for completeness, some companies add a 6th (6S) of Safety, although in my opinion this should be an integral part of the steps of 5S and not a separate stage in itself.
5C and CANDO
There has been reluctance for some companies in the past to take up “Japanese” initiatives for business improvement, so some consultancies and other bodies have come up with non-Japanese equivalents; two of which are listed below as alternatives for 5S.
5S is also known in some quarters as 5C, with the “S” words replaced by
- Clean and Check,
- Conformity and finally
- Custom and practice.
- Discipline, and
- Ongoing Improvement.
Below are definitions and explanations of each step of the 5S process;
5S Seiri or Sort
5S Seiri or Sort is the first step in 5S, it refers to the sorting of the clutter from the other items within the work area that are actually needed. This stage requires the team to remove all items that clearly do not belong in the working area and only leave those that are required for the processes in question.
5S Seiton or Straighten / Set in order
5S Seiton or Straighten is the process of taking the required items that are remaining after the removal of clutter and arranging them in an efficient manner through the use of ergonomic principles and ensuring that every item “has a place and that everything is in its place.”
5S Seiso or Sweep / shine
5S Seiso or Sweep is the thorough cleaning of the area, tools, machines and other equipment to ensure that everything is returned to a “nearly new” status. This will ensure that any non-conformity stands out; such as an oil leak from a machine onto a bright, newly painted clean floor.
5S Seiketsu or Standardize
5S Seiketsu or standardize is the process of ensuring that what we have done within the first three stages of 5S become standardized; that is we ensure that we have common standards and ways of working. Standard work is one of the most important principles of Lean manufacturing.
5S Shitsuke or Sustain
The final stage is 5S Shitsuke or sustain, ensuring that the company continue to continually improve using the previous stages of 5S, maintain housekeeping, and conduct audits and so forth. 5S should become part of the culture of the business and the responsibility of everyone in the organization.
What is 5S PPTx presentation
What is 5S – Powerpoint presentation free to download.
What is 5S PDF Download
What is 5S Presentation – 5S PDF for free download
5S Training Presentations and Downloads
For a full series of 5S presentations and 5S training downloads follow this link; 5S Training PPT and PDF
5S Definition Video
If you wish to implement a 5S Program then you will need conduct training and awareness sessions within your organization to ensure that everyone knows what is 5S and how it fits into an overall Lean Manufacturing implementation. These links will help with this process; 5S training will describe my format for any 5S training program, how to run in house 5S Training Course will give advice if you wish to train in house and hiring a 5S Consultant will help you find the right expert to help your company. You may also wish to purchase 5S training materials.
The following are a selection of resources that may support your 5S implementation;
- 5S Pocket Guides as quick reference aids that ca be carried by anyone.
- 5S DVDs as a helpful training aid or as a general reminder for your workforce.
- 5S Books which can provide helpful advice, these are also available as 5S eBooks to download.
- 5S Supplies such as floor marking tapes and red tags.
- 5S games and simulations to make training more fun and relevant.
- 5S Posters which can ensure your message remains current.
If you would like more information with regard to what is 5S (Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke) or have any questions regarding this 5S definition then feel free to leave any questions or comments in the box below.