Lean 5S Seiketsu, Standardise, Conformity


Lean 5S Seiketsu


5S Seiketsu is the forth step in the lean manufacturing tool of 5S; 5S being a simple but powerful tool for organizing your workplace in an efficient and safe manner. 5S is a methodical way to eliminate the seven wastes of lean within your processes as well as the other wastes of Mura and Muri.
By implementing a 5S program you can gain the benefits of 5S in a very short space of time, due to its simplicity 5S is probably one of the most popular lean tools, a tool without which your lean implementation will almost certainly fail.


Purpose of 5S Seiketsu


The purpose of 5S Seiketsu is to standardize what you have done within the first three steps of 5S, however there is far more to this than many people think. The true purpose of 5S is not so much about housekeeping but in achieving standard work; ensuring that the most efficient, and least wasteful ways of doing things are performed in a repeatable manner, either through having no other options or through documented work instructions or standard operating procedures (SOPs.)

5S Seiketsu is to standardize your ways of working with regard to the first three stages of 5S and in a general sense with regard to your operations. Without standardized working you will never be able to continuously improve your processes or even trace where errors are occurring.


How to implement 5S Seiketsu


Initially standardize the previous three phases of 5S (5S Seiri, 5S Seiton, and 5S Seiso); ensure that cleaning becomes part of the everyday process by providing time, equipment, and documented instructions. Make the use of red tags part of everyday life within all working areas.
Standardize your organizing of your work place, always have your component footprints one color for where they enter the cell, and another color for finished product exiting the cell. Color code different areas, different functions etc to make things as clear as possible with common codes across your company.

Lean 5S Standard Practices

Standardise practices across the organisation.


Have common ways of storing tools and equipment across your cells so that anyone from any other part of the company will know where to look for things. Have specific areas and color codes for documentation so that they are common across all areas.
Have your operators document their workflow that they developed during the second stage of 5S Seiton (set in order), use digital cameras and simple word processing packages to design professional looking instruction documents; work instructions or standard operating instructions (SOPs). These documents will ensure consistency across shifts and different operators.



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5S Seiketsu Standardize – Free PowerPoint presentation

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5S Standardise Video



5S Standard Operating Procedures | Work Instructions


The standard operating procedure should be a detailed work sequence of each and every step undertaken, it should be written in the operators own words. Use digital cameras to record each step and take close-ups of any intricate detailed work.
By having the operators define and write the instructions you avoid any issues with them not understanding the work instructions or not buying into the methods described. They are also more motivated as they have greater control over their own working methods etc.
This is only a starting point, if you have never had SOPs and 5S is your first step on the road to lean then this is where to start with your instructions. As you become more involved with your lean initiatives we will need to be adding ideas such as Takt time, Kanban and work in progress information to these instructions also.


Continuous Improvement and 5S


To enable continuous improvement we must have stability, stable processes are achieved by standard ways of operating as achieved through this forth stage of 5S Seiketsu.

Continuous improvement is moving from one standard to a better standard, it is up to your teams to continue to refine their 5S implementation and improve on their work instructions and other standards.


5S  Standardize Next stages


The next stage of 5S after 5S Seiketsu is that of 5S Shitsuke where we will make 5S part of the culture of your organization so that everyone, from every level is working towards eliminating the causes of muda within your organization.



If you have any questions or comments regarding Lean 5S Seiketsu (Standardize, Conformity) or would like to share any of your own implementation issues and solutions feel free to use the comments section below.


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