What is Lean 6S
Many companies will tell you that they implement lean 6S; 6S being 5S plus the added step of safety.
5S is a methodical method to improve your housekeeping and standardize your processes making them more efficient and less stressful for your employees. 5S benefits are many, higher efficiencies, less stress, fewer accidents, higher levels of quality, fewer breakdowns and so on.
6S and 5S both work on the idea of preventing the wastes of Muda, Muri and Mura, especially concentrating on Muda or the seven wastes.
Steps of Lean 6S
The name 5S comes from the 5 Japanese words that make up the 5 stages of 5S, each one starting with the letter “S”. 6S has added the additional “S” of safety to the original 5. So the stages of 6S are;
- 5S Seiri, or in English; Sort, Clearing, Classify. In this stage we remove all clutter and unwanted items leaving only the tools, equipment, components, and machines that are required on a daily basis.
- 5S Seiton, or in English; Straighten, Simplify, Set in order, Configure. This stage is where we organize all of the remaining items; using ergonomic principles to locate items where they minimize movement and reduce stress. We also ensure that items are clearly identified and have a clearly identified home – “A place for everything, and everything in its place.”
- 5S Seiso, or in English; Sweep, shine, Scrub, Clean and Check. This is the cleaning and painting of the area to bring it to a “new” standard. The reason for this is not just to make the area look pretty but to ensure that things like leaks and other issues stand out against the otherwise clean area.
- 5S Seiketsu, or in English; Standardize, stabilize, Conformity. During this phase of 6S we standardize the previous stages of the implementation by ensuring common color codes and ways of working.
- 5S Shitsuke, or in English; Sustain, self discipline, custom and practice. This is where we try to make the process part of the culture of the company to ensure the ongoing implementation and improvement of this initiative.
- The 6th “S”; Safety, we now concentrate on safety aspects of our initiative, reviewing every action and each area to ensure that we have not overlooked any potential hazards.
Lean 6S Video
Why Implement Safety in 6S
Safety is an integral part of each of the original 5S phases so why do we need to add it as an additional step? Well one reason is for the additional focus that it provides on safety issues, whilst safety should be considered within the previous steps, having it spelled out as an additional important step gives safety additional importance and focus.
This additional focus can ensure that we do not otherwise overlook potentially hazardous situations which may have escaped our initial look whilst in the grip of the excitement of implementing changes that have made our work place more efficient and easier to operate.
Benefits of Lean 6S
The main benefit of 6S over the benefits of 5S is that added focus on safety, used in areas with more hazardous processes it can help to reduce even further the risk of an incident. So 6S; 5S + safety is a good bet if you want to drive down the possibilities of any form of accident.
Lean 6S PDF and PowerPoint Downloads
What is 6S – Download Lean 6S PDF free
6S – Free 6S Lean PowerPoint presentation
The following are 6S training materials and other items that may be of help in your 6S program implementation;
- 6S Pocket Guides for simple cards and books to remind you of your 6S steps and process.
- 6S DVDs to show everyone how 6S should be implemented.
- 6S Books and 6S eBooksto educate everyone in the steps of 6S.
- 6S Supplies for your 6S training and implementation.
- 6S games to show employees how 6S Benefits can be realized.
- 6S Posters to advertise your message across the company.
If you have any questions about lean 6S or 5S and safety or would just like to share some successful implementations; please leave your comments below.