5S, abbreviated from the Japanese words Seiri, Seiton, Seison, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke, are simple but effective methods to organize the workplace.
The 5S, translated into English are: housekeeping, workplace organization, cleanup, keep cleanliness, and discipline. They can be defined as follows:
Housekeeping. Separate needed items from unneeded items. Keep only what is immediately necessary item on the shop floor.
Workplace Organization. Organize the workplace so that needed items can be easily and quickly accessed. A place for everything and everything in its place.
Cleanup. Sweeping, washing, and cleaning everything around working area immediately.
- Cleanliness. Keep everything clean for a constant state of readiness.
Discipline. Everyone understands, obeys, and practices the rules when in the plant.
Implementing 5S methods in the plant would help the company to reduce waste hidden in the plant, improve the levels of quality and safety, reduce the lead time and cost, and thus, increase company's profit.
The potential benefits of 5S can be summarized by five English S or PQCDS:
Five English S:
- Sales - Increase sales (market share).
- Savings - Save costs.
- Safety - Provide a safety working environment.
- Standardization - Standardize the operating procedure.
- Satisfaction - Employees and customers satisfaction.
- P - Increase productivity.
- Q - Improve product quality.
- C - Reduce manufacturing costs.
- D - Ensure on-time delivery.
- S - Provide a safety working environment.
Depending on company's situation, the 5S can be implemented in different manners. However, many companies felt that the following PDCA procedure is quite effective:
- Organize the program committee. (PLAN)
- Develop a plan for each S. (PLAN)
- Publicly announcement the start of the program. (DO)
- Provide training and education to employees. (DO)
- Select a day and everybody cleanups his/her own working area. (DO)
- Select a day and everybody organizes his/her own workplace.(DO)
- Evaluate the results of 5S. (CHECK)
- Self-Examination and Take corrected actions. (ACTION)
Although 5S have became so popular in Japan that many companies simply use 5S as the title of their program, some companies does post the original worlds of 5S in Japanese (Chinese) characters. They are:
The topic is more practical than theoretical oriented; therefore, you can only find related references from more practitioners-oriented books, magazines or newspapers. By the way, if you read Japanese, you may find tons of articles and examples from the Japanese Factory Management () Magazine.
Bounds, G., Shaw, A. and Gillard, J., "Partnering the Honda Way", in Bounds, G. M., Cases in Quality, Richard D. Irwin, 1996, pp. 26-56.
Miki, S., "Promotional Expertise for the 5S Plus Movement", Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (ed.), Visual Control Systems, Factory Management Series, Productivity press, Portland, OR, 1995, pp. 167-182.
Nomizo, K., "Creating an All-New Plant Environment with the 6S's", Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (ed.), Visual Control Systems, Factory Management Series, Productivity press, Portland, OR, 1995, pp. 153-165.
Osada, T., "This is Why We Start a 5S Program", in Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun (ed.), Visual Control Systems, Factory Management Series, Productivity press, Portland, OR, 1995, pp. 131-151.
Cheng, T.C. E. and Podolsky, S., Just-in-Time Manufacturing: An Introduction, Chapman & Hall, London, 1993. pp. 21-24.
Harrison, A., Just-in-Time Manufacturing in Perspective, The Manufacturing Practitioner Series, Prentice Hall, 1992. pp. 113-123 (Chapter 5).
Hirano, H., JIT Factory Revolution: A Pictorial Guide to Factory Design of the Future, Productivity Press, Portland, OR, 1987. pp. 28-56 (Chapter 3). ($50)
Hirano, H., JIT Implementation Manual: The Complete Guide to Just-in-Time Manufacturing, Productivity Press, Portland, OR., pp. 227-374 (Chapter 4). ($975)
Hirano, H., 5 Pillars of the Visual Workplace: The Sourcebook for 5S Implementation, Productivity Press, Portland, OR, 1995. ($85)
Hirano, H. (Instructional Design by Melanie Rubin), 5S for Operators: 5 Pillars of the Visual Workplace, Productivity Press, Portland, OR, 1996. ($25)
Kobayashi, I., 20 Keys to Workplace Improvement, Productivity Press, Portland, OR, 1995. (Key 1). ($50)
Monden, Y., Toyota Production System: An Integrated Approach to Just-In-Time, Second Edition, Industrial Engineering and Management Press, Norcross, GA, 1993. pp. 199-219 (Chapter 13).
Osada, T., 5S's: Five Keys to a Total Quality Control Environment, Asia Productivity Organization, Tokyo (distributed by Quality Resources, White Plains, NY), 1991.