is the name of a workplace organization methodology that uses alist of five Japanese words which, trasnlitered and translated into English,start with the letter S. This list is a mnemonic for a methodology that is oftenincorrectly characterized as "standardized cleanup", however it is much morethan cleanup. 5S is a philosophy and a way of organizing and managing theworkspace and work flow with the intent to improve efficiency by eliminatingwaste, improving flow and reducing process unevenness.
What is 5S?
5S is a method for organizing a workplace, especially a
workplace (like a shop floor or an office space), and keeping it organized. It'ssometimes referred to as a housekeeping methodology; however thischaracterization can be misleading, as workplace organization goes beyondhousekeeping (see discussion of "Seiton" below). The key targets of 5S are improved workplace morale, safety andefficiency. The assertion of 5S is, by assigning everything (that is needed) alocation, time is not wasted by looking for things. Additionally, it is quicklyobvious when something is missing from its designated location. Advocatesof 5S believe the benefits of this methodology come from deciding
should be kept,
it should be kept,
it should be stored and mostimportantly
the new order will be maintained. This decision makingprocess usually comes from a dialog about standardization which builds aclear understanding, between employees, of how work should be done. Italso instills ownership of the process in each employee.Another key distinction between 5S and "standardized cleanup" isSeiton. Seiton is often misunderstood, perhaps due to efforts to translate intoan English word beginning with "S" (such as "sort" or "straighten"). The keyconcept here is to order items or activities in a manner to promote work flow.For example, tools should be kept at the point of use, workers should nothave to repetitively bend to access materials, flow paths can be altered toimprove efficiency, etc. Topics to be covered:
Prepared by: Enrique Flores-SQE082009’