5S is a philosophy and a way of organizing and managing the workspace and work flow. It’s targets are to improve efficiency by eliminating waste, improving flow, Improve safety and reducing process unreasonableness (improve profitability). It is a part of Kaizen — a system of continual improvement — which is a component of lean manufacturing
1. Seiri (整理) Sorting: In the plant and work area, keeping only essential items. Materials, tools, equipment and supplies that are not frequently used should be moved to a separate, common storage area. Items that are not used should be discarded. Never keep things around just because they might be used, someday.Objective: To make sure the working area is clean, look nice and easier to spot maintenance needs such as an oil leak. It improves safety. It eliminates clutter and confusion. It removes tools, equipment, supplies and waste that interferes with getting the job done
2. Seiton (整頓) Straighten or Set in Order: Focuses on efficiency of Systematic Organization. It ensures everything is in proper place and easy access (clearly identified and labeled). This promoting the importance of good labeling and identification practices.Examples: a. Storage areas, cabinets and shelves should be properly labeled. b. Clean and paint floors to make it easier to spot dirt, waste materials and dropped parts and tools. c. Outline areas on the floor to identify work areas, movement lanes, storage areas, finished product areas, etc. d. Put shadows on tool boards, making it easy to quickly see where each tool belongs. e. Provide bookshelves for frequently used manuals, books and catalogs. Labels the shelves and books so that they are easy to identify and return to their proper place. Objective: A place for everything and everything in its place, with everything properly identified and labeled.
3. Seisō (清掃) Sweeping or Shining or Cleaniness: Systematic Cleaning or the need to keep the workplace clean as well as neat. It’s about maintaining the habit of ensuring all items are well organized, neat and clean. It should be part of the daily work – not an occasional activity initiated when things get too messy. For example, everything will return to the way it was. This could also be thought of as inspecting. While cleaning it’s easy to also inspect the machines, tools, equipment and supplies you work with. Objective: Regular cleaning and inspection makes it easy to spot lubricant leaks, equipment misalignment, breakage, missing tools and low levels of supplies. Problems can be identified and fixed when they are small. If these minor problems are not addressed while small, they could lead to equipment failure, unplanned outages or long – unproductive – waits while new supplies are delivered. When done on a regular, frequent basis, cleaning and inspecting generally will not take a lot of time, and in the long run will most likely save time.
4. Seiketsu (清潔) Standardizing: Standardized work practices or operating in a consistent and standardized fashion. Everyone knows exactly what his or her responsibilities are to keep above 3S’s.One of the hardest steps is avoiding old work habits. It’s easy to slip back into what you’ve been doing for years. That’s what everyone is familiar with. It feels comfortable. Use standards to help people work into new habits that are a part of your Five S program. Any easy way to make people aware of, and remind them about the standards is to use labels, signs, posters and banners.
5. Shitsuke (躾) Sustaining the discipline: Refers to maintaining and reviewing standards. Once the previous 4S’s have been established, they become the new way to operate. Maintain the focus on this new way of operating, and do not allow a gradual decline back to the old ways of operating. However, when an issue arises such as a suggested improvement, a new way of working, a new tool or a new output requirement, then a review of the first 4S’s is appropriate.The final step is to continue training and maintaining the standards. Have a formal system for monitoring the results of your Five S program. Don’t expect that you can clean up, get things organized and labeled, and ask people to clean and inspect their areas every day — and then have everything continue to happen without any follow-up. Continue to educate people about maintaining standards. When there are changes – such as new equipment, new products, new work rules – that will effect your Five S program, and adjustments to accommodate those changes, make any needed changes in the standards and provide training that addresses those changes. Using 5s Posters and Signs: A good way to continue educating employees, and for maintain standards, is to use 5s posters and signs. You can create your own custom 5S posters, allowing you to communicate the specific information that needs to be communicated at each location. Changing work habits can be difficult, and it is easy to slip back into doing things the old, comfortable way. Use custom 5S posters to remind employees of the proper procedures, and of the benefits that come from following a 5s plan.Think of this step as sustaining the benefits you are getting from your Five S program. A sixth phase “Safety” is sometimes added. Purists, however, argue that adding it is unnecessary since following 5S correctly will result in a safe work environment.