Do you know how the 5s technique can improve safety, productivity, and efficiency at the workplace? If not, this blog will help you to understand about 5s, what 5s means, 5s methodology and apply the 5s at your workplace and even at home.
What is 5s?
It’s a Japanese technique now widely used in every industry sector. 5s is one of the techniques of lean methodology. 5s is a technique used for better workplace management in 5 simple steps.
1. Sorting (Seiri)
2. Straighten (Seiton)
3. Shine (Seiso)
4. Standardize (Seiketsu)
5. Sustain (Shitsuke)
In Japanese, the 5S technique is known as Seiri-Seiton-Seiso-Seiketsu-Shitsuke.
Let’s understand each 5S step in detail,
5s Step # 1 Sort (Seiri):
Sorting is the simple process of identifying essential things/tools & the things which you do not need to keep at the workplace (nonessential items)
Essential tools/things you need to perform your job. Prepare a list of items/things which is essential to perform a job and which are not required at all. There few tools/items/materials that you may need on a need basis only, such materials/tools can also be identified a less frequently used items/materials.
Following simple animation helps to understand about sorting process. It’s very simple logic.
5s Step # 2 Set in order (Seiton):
Once you identify essential materials/tools, the next step is to set them in order. Now here you should follow the sequence of operations defined in the operation process/work instructions & ergonomics techniques.
Refer following questions to follow this step,
- Do we use tools/materials as per the sequence set in the work instructions/procedures? If yes, set them in order of usage/application.
- How well essential materials/tools can be placed ergonomically correct? Ergonomics is very essential to maintain safety and efficiency.
5s Step # 3 Shine (Seiso):
In this step, regular cleaning activities are performed. This 5s step covers the daily / weekly machine/workspace cleaning checklist.
How to implement 5s Shine (Seiso) phase?
- Identify tools/items that need cleaning on a daily or monthly basis.
- Prepare a daily/monthly workspace/desk cleaning checklist and deploy it.
5s Step # 4 Standardize (Seiketsu):
In this step, a standard process/system is developed to maintain 5S at the workplace. Standard process deployment is necessary to maintain the effectiveness of 5S steps 1 to 3 (Sorting, Set in order, sustain).
How to define a standard methodology to maintain 5S at the workplace?
- Awareness: Regular training, awareness can build up the importance of the 5s system.
- Environmental Aspect: Hazardous substances, chemical handling, and storage process shall be defined. Eg. Battery is considered a dangerous good. The storage of the battery in the warehouse should be carefully planned. Batteries should be kept away from electric transformers, electric stores, etc.
- Visualization / Color coding: Visual display about 5S requirements, slogans not only helps to maintain awareness about the 5s system at the workplace but also it will serve as a standard practice. Color coding of parts, labeling tools helps operators to place the tools in the right place.
- Workplace condition: Light intensity / lux level. Define suitable lux level for operator convenience, better efficiency, safety, and better productivity. Low lux level or high lux level can affect productivity, operator efficiency, and safety at the workplace. In addition to lux level, noise level, temperature, humidity, airflow can also be considered.
- Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS): Define a dedicated place to store MSDS at the workplace. MSDS will be helpful to define the storage, handling, and preservation of chemicals. MSDS will also cover pre-cautions and primary
The best way to deploy the standard 5S process is to refer to Section 6 (planning) of ISO 14001:2015 and section 7 of ISO 9001:2015 standard.
5s step #5 Sustain (Shitsuke):
5S step 1 to 4 mainly falls under implementation phase, whereas the step 5 of 5s technique act as sustaining the process. In this phase, the focus is more on sustaining the 5s system.
Following techniques helps to sustain 5s techniques in the organization,
- 5s audit: Build a 5s audit checklist and conduct a regular 5s audit. 5s audit score (pass, fail, improvement needed) helps to find out the gap in existing 5s implementation. The gap observed in a 5S audit can be closed by root cause analysis like 5-Why analysis or cause & effect diagram.
- Regular 5s training: Regular 5s training helps an employee to understand the context and importance of the 5s system.
- Continual improvement Awards: Competition in the organization on best 5s workplace builds a positive culture in the organization. Eventually, it motivates workplace owner/team leader to put more effort to sustain 5s but also put more effort into continual improvement
- Regular testing: Testing environmental aspect or 5s parameters like temperature and humidity level check, electrostatic (ESD) test, lux level test, airflow test.
Tips: Refer ISO 14644 Cleanrooms and associated controlled environments standard. This standard covers various aspect of cleanroom requirements and test methods
Benefits of 5S System
- 5s technique helps to build a better and improved workplace.
- 5s helps to improve efficiency by eliminating waste like unnecessary movements.
- 5s helps to build a safe workplace.
- 5s helps to utilize available space more effectively.