The Five S's ···

1. Sorting

 

Eliminate all unnecessary tools, parts, and instructions. Go through all tools, materials, and so forth in the plant and work area. Keep only essential items and eliminate what is not required, prioritizing things as per requirements and keeping them in easily-accessible places. Everything else is stored or discarded.

2. Straightening or setting in order / stabilize

There should be a place for everything and everything should be in its place. The place for each item should be clearly labeled or demarcated. Items should be arranged in a manner that promotes efficient work flow, with equipment used most often being the most easily accessible. Workers should not have to bend repetitively to access materials. Each tool, part, supply, or piece of equipment should be kept close to where it will be used – in other words, straightening the flow path. Seiton is one of the features that distinguishes 5S from "standardized cleanup". This phase can also be referred to as Simplifying[1].

 

Additional Practices

 

Safety

A sixth phase, "Safety", is sometimes added. There is debate over whether including this sixth "S" promotes safety by stating this value explicitly, or if a comprehensive safety program is undermined when it is relegated to a single item in an efficiency-focused business methodology.

 

Security

A seventh phase, "Security", can also be added. In order to leverage security as an investment rather than an expense, the seventh "S" identifies and addresses risks to key business categories including fixed assets (PP&E), material, human capital, brand equity, intellectual property, information technology, assets-in-transit and the extended supply chain.

3. Sweeping or shining or cleanliness / systematic cleaning

Keep the workplace tidy and organized. At the end of each shift, clean the work area and be sure everything is restored to its place. This makes it easy to know what goes where and ensures that everything is where it belongs. A key point is that maintaining cleanliness should be part of the daily work – not an occasional activity initiated when things get too messy.

4. Standardizing

 

Work practices should be consistent and standardized. All work stations should be identical. All employees should be able to work in any station doing the same job with the same tools that are in the same location in every station. Everyone should know exactly what his or her responsibilities are for adhering to the first 3 S's.

5. Sustaining the discipline or self-discipline

Maintain and review standards. Once the previous 4 S's have been established, they become the new way to operate. Maintain focus on this new way and do not allow a gradual decline back to the old ways. While thinking about the new way, also be thinking about yet better ways. When an issue arises such as a suggested improvement, a new way of working, a new tool or a new output requirement, review the first 4 S's and make changes as appropriate.

 

 

 

*It is important to have continuous education about maintaining standards. When there are changes that affect the 5S program such as new equipment, new products or new work rules, it is essential to make changes in the standards and provide training. Companies embracing 5S often use posters and signs as a way of educating employees and maintaining standards.