Thursday, July 2, 2009

What is the 5-S Program?


The 5-S program devised by Japanese industry, is simple practice of human life translated into a scientific approach to accomplishing scientific objectives. It is a contribution to effective, productive work for everyone, everywhere.

What is the 5-S Program?

5-S stands for five japanese words: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu and Shitsuke.

Seiri : Sorting out
Seiton : Systematic arrangement
Seiso : Spic and Span
Seiketsu :Standardizing
Shitsuke :Self Discipline

Let us reflect on our daily lives.Do you have to spend time looking for jigs and tools? Have you encountered stock outs for important parts? Have you experienced machine brakdown when you go to use them ?

Or for office workers and managers, another set of questions apply.How much time do you spend locating a piece of information or an important document? Have you experienced losing a file because someone took it and did not return it ?

Or, because you keep some files in your desk drawer, has a simple enquiry from your customer been kept wait in for your return from an out-of-town trip?

All these occurences translate into inefficiency and sacrifice customer satisfaction. The goal of the 5-S programme is to make the work area most efficient and productive possible to ensure customer satisfaction.
Let us take a look at practicing each component of the 5-S programme.
What is your workplace like ?
1. Nobody throws things around. Everybody helps to keep the place clean.
2. People do throw things around but there are cleaners who tidy up the place.
3. Everybody throws things around and there is nobody to clean the place up.
If the present condition of your workplace is best described by 2 or 3, you should seriously consider implementing S-5!
SEIRI means throw away unnecessary items.

· Look around you
· Identify things belonging to you or for which you are responsible which are not of use anymore.
· Throw these things away immediately.


List items which come to your mind in practicing SEIRI:
For each item, establish whether you have the authority to junk the item. Illustrative list as follows:
1. Outdated diaries
2. Old letters / notes in files of no use anymore
3. Old pens / pencils
4. Old / outdated telephone numbers.
5. Old visiting cards
6. Old calendars / planners
7. Outdated brochures / manuals
8. Junk mail
9. Extra copies of letters / documents
10. Outdated computer printouts
11. Used printer ribbons
12. Bad floppies
13. Unused floppy jackets
14. Non-repairable parts/components
15. Multiple copies of files on disks
16. Old versions of programs


· Periodically clear unwanted material in : Files - physical and computer, Cupboards, Drawers, Filing Racks, Book shelves, Computer room
· Have only necessary papers and files on your table
· Working Directory to have latest versions of programs only
· Spend five minutes each day to clear off unnecessary papers/material
· Lay down and implement schedule for periodic group cleanup campaign
· Weekly meeting to clear up working directories
For low value item, when in doubt throw it out.
For high value items, when in doubt consult your supervisor.

SEITON means to arrange necessary items in a proper order so that they can be easily picked up for use.

· Observe current arrangements. Is it logical, planned, methodical or haphazad, untidy, inefficient?
· A Place for Everything. Everything in its Place (PEEP)
· Arrangement Based on Thought-out plan.
· How often is the article used? How important is it?
· How accessible should it be?
· Keep lists of what is where
· Share lists so that it is not individual dependent
· Label clearly
· Update labels and lists periodically.


To clean your workplace completely so that there is no dust anywhere.
· Take pride in your workplace. It reflects your image.
· Do not wait until things get dirty, regular cleaning prevents things becoming dirty
· Put aside 3 minutes every day to clean your workplace
· Contribute to maintaining cleanliness by not throwing things out
· Do not assume that there will always be people to claen up the
· mess you make
· Machines are like us : Frequent care and checkups prevent major breakdowns.


To maintain a high standard of housekeeping and workplace organisation at all times
· Logical extension to seiri, seiton and seiso
· Let not your earliar efforts be wasted
· Emphasis on on-going maintaining of high standards achieved
· Develop standard control charts
· Institutionalise periodic reviews
· Use visual controls effectively.


To train people to follow good housekeeping descipline independently.
· Remember the value of your own efforts You are creating a positive image of yourself and your organisation
· Treat your workplace as your own home
· Develop and maintain healthy attitude and Habits
· Maintain punctuality, Individual productivity and work efficiency.
Many versions can be practiced in local language, as is done by M/s Horizontal Industrial Products Pvt. Ltd., New Delhi, India:
OR as in A VERSION termed SIX 'S' :
· SORT through and sort out things
· Set limits (e.g. Only 3 chairs in my room)
· Set your own standards (achievable and incremaental)
· SHINE your Equipment
· SEARCH time elimination (search free engg. /PEEP)
· Stick to RULES (TIME AND discipline)
· Six ' S " for others - train / retarin
M/s Universal Luggage Mfg. Company in Satara, near Pune, India, blows siren every shift, to allow all employees including Chief- Executive to clean their work places themselves for 5 minuts.
Another company, has formed a Five-s committee. Each member is assigned a specific area of workplace & specific number of employees.( ' Adopt tree ' Kind !)

The responsibilities of the commitee members are to ensure that,
· Their areas are clean & tidy
· Their team members are presentable (good hair style, nails cut, in-shirt on duty)
· They visit the team members houses to propagate Five S ideas & give help.
· Housekeeping audits are arranged with Indices such as follows
NEED : To inculcate the habit of Total workplace management
OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the performance of each department objectively with respect to house keeping practices and subsequently create a healthy competition between the departments.


head parameter weightage
AA) EQUIPMENT Location of tools/fixtures/gauges near the machine
a) equipipment location of tools nr.
1. The machine 10
2. leakages 6
3. dust on machine 4
4. noise 4
5. storage of extra tools 3

b) working conditions
1. floor cleanliness 25
2. marking for aisles, storage areas 15
3. lighting 6
4. provision for dust bins & their
cleanliness 2
c) material
1. bins in proper place 10
2. parts stored in bins 8
d) general
any unwanted things lying 7

They have made a timetable like,

SEIRI, SEITON: 2 minutes every hour to check whether all tools, tackles are in place (Place for everything and everything in place, PEEP)
SEISO: 5 minutes per shift to facilitate clean ' handing over ' of the shift.
The findings of the audit decide rewards & recognition. The idea is to foster good human relations by showing commitment of the management to the employees, so that the employees show commitment to the workplaces.
Such is the importance of FIVE - S!
The top most priority in preventive maintenance should be given to cleanliness. Japanese say do cleaning not because of aesthetics but it will improve equipment reliabilty. They give the analogy of the human body and ask you to treat the maintenance department like a doctor, whom you consult only for periodic checkups and when something serious goes wrong. They recommend you ask people to recall the breakdowns in the past and diagnose the root cause. It will turn out that presence of dust was root cause.

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