The 5 Ss of Japanese efficiency
Surinder Kapur |
BS | January 16, 2007 | 12:28 IST
S is the acronym for five Japanese words,
seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu
,which signify order, cleanliness, purity and commitment.The 5S philosophy focusses on effective workplace organisation, helps simplify theworkplace environment and reduce waste, while improving quality and safety.
(sort) means to put things in order.
(systematise) means proper arrangement.
(clean) implies keeping things clean and polished in the workplace.
implies purity and focuses on maintaining cleanliness and perpetual cleaning.
iscommitment.This is a typical teaching and attitude towards any undertaking to inspire pride andadherence to standards established for the four components.The principles underlying a 5S programme appear to be common sense -- and they are.But until the advent of 5S, many businesses ignored these basic principles. There is anorder and logic to how 5S is carried out, which is:
means sorting through everything in each work area. It requires keeping only whatis necessary.Materials, tools, equipment and supplies that are not frequently used should be moved toa separate, common storage area. Items that are never used should be discarded. Thismakes it easier to find the things needed and frees up additional space."Tagging" items is a common approach when deciding what is to be thrown away. Anarea is targeted; items likely to be disposed off are tagged with a red tag and a date. If theitem is not used after a certain period of time, say, between one and six months, it isdisposed of. Practising seiri at Sona Koyo, for instance, led to the freeing up of an 8x6 ftby removing unwanted rakes.
This is the next step. It requires organising, arranging and identifying everything in awork area for efficient retrieval and return to its proper place.Commonl used tools are readil available; storae areas, cabinets and shelves are