5S (Housekeeping) Workplace Organization

5S (housekeeping) Workplace Organization
5S (housekeeping) Workplace Organization

5S (housekeeping) Workplace Organization

A visual system. Also a Kaizen event.

5S derives its name from five Japanese terms beginning with the “s” utilized to create a workplace suited for visual control and lean production. Collectively, the 5S’s detail how to create a workplace that is visibly organized, free of clutter, neatly arranged, and sparkling clean. The 5S system is often a starting place for implementing lean operations

5S in lean six- sigma is the approach that ensures smart workspace organization- known as ‘Good Housekeeping’. In order to be high- performing, the organizational workplace should be clean, which is guaranteed through 5S. The strategy is to engage the frontline process teams to facilitate improvement and keep out the waste on a daily basis. 5S not only helps to reduce the defects and waste but also maintains improvements over a long term. The 5S signifies the five Japanese words that capture the actions that are built and integrated to each other and must be conducted in a particular sequence. These words are explained as under:

The 5 Ss are:

  1. Sort,
    • Red tag all unnecessary items
  2. Store,
    • On frequency of use
  3. Shine,
    • Clean the work area as well as inspect the machinery
      • pick up trash and sweep the floor is part of this, but not the complete answer
      • The 3 phases of shine are:
        • Daily cleanliness
        • Cleanliness inspections
        • Cleanliness maintenance
  4. Standardize (Hard)
  5. Sustain (Hard)

They ARE to be done in order!

Seiri or Sort 

This is the first step towards good housekeeping, and the operator must revisit all the material, equipment, machinery, tools and other resources to determine the requirement on the workplace. The resources that is required for the process needs to be retained while the others need to be returned at the right department or scrapped, recycled or sold after seeking proper authority.

Seiton or Straighten 

Once the essential resources are retained and others are got rid from, a unique place for each and every tool and equipment should be made. This will help the staff to know where to search for what. Also, once a resource is or about to get replenished, the same can be sourced without the waste of time.

Seiso or Sweep (Or Shine)

The worksite should be cleaned on a daily basis such that the right order for all the things is maintained. This will also foster positive attitude and increased productivity throughout the workplace. This in turn will lead to better safety, improved ability to detect defects and wastes.

Seiketsu or Standardize

All the worksites should be made consistent in all manners. Organizing and standardizing the worksite helps manage change effectively. Suppose a worker shifts from one worksite to another, standardizing the worksites will help the worker learn the new processes without wasting time and efforts. The productivity can be enhanced multi- fold by standardizing the workplaces.

Shitsuke or Sustain

This ‘S’ means facilitating training and discipline such that the entire organization follows the initial 4S. This will help to develop an improvement oriented culture of the organization. A proper schedule should be maintained such that everyone follows the other S simultaneously. Moreover, it should be noted that implementing the 5S should be the responsibility of every member of the organization.

Things to Note:

One should consider some important things while implementing the strategy of 5S:

  • In order to be effective, the 5S should be made visual by using colors, shadow boards, and taped- off identification lines
  • 5S should be designed for every task or process uniquely
  • 5S should be implemented not just in manufacturing or production units, but also for the office areas
  • The management should participate, audit and review regularly the 5S such that it remains productive and an improvement oriented culture can be facilitated

5S Videos

Six Sigma Black Belt Certification 5S Questions:

Question: Which of the following techniques would help increase process stability when the cause of variation is a cluttered work station? (Taken from ASQ sample Black Belt exam.)

(A) 5S
(C) Preventive maintenance
(D) Visual factory

Answer: 5S. The phrase cluttered workstation should be the tip off to the answer. Using 5 S to standardize – for example – putting all of the tools in the right place would eliminate variation. SMED, or Single Minute Exchange of Die, is a manufacturing term for reducing cycle time of casting parts and is not applicable. Preventive maintenance indicates taking care of tools to ensure their operating efficiency, so that’s not a great answer. Visual factory could work but 5S is clearly the best choice.

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