Sunday, November 17, 2013

5S System - Work Place Design (Industrial Engineering)

Japanese companies are using scientific management and industrial engineering from 1911. In the process of using these subjects developed in USA, Japanese brought in various innovations. 5S is one such innovative method. This method was developed to implement two principles related to efficiency.

Principle: There should be a definite and fixed place for all tools and materials
Principle:  Layout must facilitate efficiency

The System

5S is a management system  of workplace organization. 

5S's constitute the system and in English they are:

Set in Order

Sort is a process of removing every non essential item from the workplace. Some of the examples of non essential items on shopfloors are  tables, benches, cabinets, tools, inventory, cleaning supplies, rags, and documents. All of these extra items do get in the way of efficient production.

Set in Order is the process of organizing the workplace items.  For example, all tools used in a setup on a machine should be placed as close as possible to where they will be used. There should be a place for everything and everything should always be in its place except when it is in the hands of the operator.

Shine is the third “S”. It is the process of cleaning the work area and any machinery or equipment in it. The ideal manufacturing place has to keep the equipment in the same or better shape than when it was handed over to it. Prior to 5S concept, many companies allowed their machinery to deteriorate due to neglect.  Japanese Manufacturing systems, employing the concepts of 5S, TPM (Total Productive Maintenance), and Kaizen, keeps machinery producing the same way or better than the day it was received, even after many years of use.

Standardize is the process of making the first three S’s a habit through standard operating procedures and diagrams. Companies who have not implemented the standardization process, have gone  through cleaning and organizing systems over the years only to see it slip away back to cluttered facility. Standardize is also an important component of the 5S system. For example, if a machine is to be wiped clean at the end of a shift, it should be done every single day without fail and it should be made part of standard work routine of the operator and time has to be allocated in the daily time allotment sheet given to him by the scheduling or dispatching clerk.

Sustain, the last S, is the activity of management whereby it evaluates the work place and takes control actions whenever there are deviations from the standard operating procedures.


Implementation of 5S reduces inefficiencies caused by poor housekeeping and organization. 5S facilitates some other iniatives like  quick changing of dies. The order set in place with 5S makes searching and picking tools very efficient and fast. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) must have 5S as a base element for further improvement.
5S is a system that finally enables manufacturers to once and forever maintain a “customer ready” facility at all times.


10 minute video



Articles on 5S
Industrial Engineer, August 2009
5S is the little big secret for improving health care, Matt Morrisette, pp.34-38
Morrisette exhorts "Mindset first, action second"
Change requires the mind with four distinct belief systems. The first is called Toppa. In Japanese it means that first step to solve the problem is to be taken to find the solution. The second belief is in kaizen - incremental and continuous improvement. The third is poka yoke. The fourth is houshou. Houshou is recogninzing and rewarding successes and successful persons who achieve something in the right direction.  Morrisette gives the 5S steps as separate, sort, shine, standardize and sustain.
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1 comment:

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