Lean 5S Seiton, Straighten, Simplify, Set In Order, Configure

5S Seiton

5S Seiton is the second stage of your 5S implementation program, 5S being a highly effective lean manufacturing tool for creating standard working practices and improving housekeeping to name just a few of the benefits of 5S.
Following on from 5S Seiri where we removed all of the clutter from your workspace; we now take the remaining items and set them in order within the cell.


What is the purpose of 5S Seiton?


The purpose of 5S Seiton is to find a place for everything within your working area, everything should be located as close as possible to where it is needed and at a location that is both safe and easily reached.
We are trying to achieve a number of things with this step, we are trying to ensure that the work place is ergonomic; that is it should be arranged in such a way that movements are minimized and made as stress free as possible. We are also trying to ensure safety, something that should be assured through the ergonomic work space but is worth mentioning in its own right. We are also trying to eliminate some of the seven wastes of lean by ensuring that we don’t encounter delays looking for things, waiting and so on.



Implementing 5S Seiton


There are a number of approaches you could take with implementing Seiton, depending on the complexity and size of your work space;
You could use spaghetti diagrams to map out your process, a simple drawing of the work place on which you draw a line to show each movement, hence the name spaghetti diagram as it often looks as if you have dropped a plate of spaghetti on the page. You then work to reduce and remove some of those pieces of spaghetti.
My favorite is the creation of simple flow charts using post it notes, watch the process from start to finish and write each step of the process in detail on individual post-its. These can then be arranged on a wall or white board for the team to identify value adding vs. non-value adding steps. This can be a very education process for all involved. You then work through either eliminating or reducing each non-value adding step by moving things closer, arranging in an easy to find position and so forth.
The other option is to just “go for it”, start arranging things where the operator of the process feels is the most comfortable position.
At the end of this process everything should have a place and everything should be in its place. It should be obvious what everything is and where it belongs; the use of shadow boards, clear identification, floor marking and other visual tools such as color coding should be used.
Items will be located where required, with things like tools at one level, to enable ease of movement, drills and drivers suspended from above for ease of use, components arranged in tote bins or fed from the rear of work station etc.


5S Set in Order Example Pictures

5S Seiton

5S Seiton organized workspace

Lean 5S Set in Order

Set in Order tooling locations

Lean 5S Seiton

Organised Floor Space. 5S Seiton

5S Shadowboard Set in Order

Shadowboards to organise tooling and other items








Set In Order 5S PowerPoint Presentation

5S Seiton Set in Order – Click to download free 5S presentation


Set in Order 5S PDF Free Download

5S Seiton or Set In Order – Download your 5S PDF


Runners, Repeaters, Strangers


It is worth bringing up the principles of runners, repeaters and strangers when organizing your workplace. This is an easy way to classify your components, tooling and other items according to usage;

  • Runners; Used on a daily basis.
  • Repeaters; Used weekly
  • Strangers; Used monthly or less frequently


By using this analysis you can organize premium space for items such as your tooling, arranging the runners closest as these are the most commonly used, then the repeaters, and strangers being left to last to take up any remaining space or even in storage.


Runners, Repeaters, Strangers Presentation and PDF;

Runners Repeaters Strangers – PowerPoint Presentation

5S Runners Repeaters and Strangers – PDF Download


Visual Management


Because you have a very clear set of locations defined and are using things like shadow boards and “footprints” to show where components enter and leave a cell; it is very easy to see with a glance if anything is missing or anything is wrong.

A pile of inventory not within its footprint can show you that there is a problem in the cell causing a buildup of inventory that cannot be processed, or empty areas can tell you of failures in previous processes.


5S Seiton Set in Order Video



What is after 5S Seiton?


Now that you have completed the first two stages (5S Seiri and 5S Seiton) it is time to move onto the next stage 5S Seiso (Sweep, shine, Scrub, Clean and Check) where you are going to instigate a full clean up of the working area followed by 5S Seiketsu (Standardize, stabilize, Conformity) where you will ensure that you have standard operations so that everyone conducts the process in the most efficient manner. After this 5S Shitsuke (Sustain, self discipline, custom and practice) will help you to keep the momentum going and continually improve on what you have achieved.




If you have any questions or observations regarding Lean 5S Seiton (Straighten, Simplify, set in order, Configure) or would like to share your success stories please use the section below.


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