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topic 17465

5S and Kaizen


Hey folks,

I am looking at some very comprehensive information about 5S. If any of you have done a project in 5S in a company I am hoping if I can get some of the details.

Anshuman Mehrotra
- Knoxville, Tennessee, USA


Dear Anshuman Mehrotra,

affil. link
5 Pillars of the Visual Workplace
by Hiroyuki Hirano
from Abe Books

affil. link
"Gemba Kaizen"
from Abe Books


I herewith reproduce what I have seen in a website

Based on Japanese words that begin with 'S', the 5S Philosophy focuses on effective work place organization and standardized work procedures. 5S simplifies your work environment, reduces waste and non-value activity while improving quality efficiency and safety.

Sort (Seiri) the first S focuses on eliminating unnecessary items from the workplace. An effective visual method to identify these unneeded items is called red tagging. A red tag is placed on all items not required to complete your job. These items are then moved to a central holding area. This process is for evaluation of the red tag items. Occasionally used items are moved to a more organized storage location outside of the work area while unneeded items are discarded. Sorting is an excellent way to free up valuable floor space and eliminate such things as broken tools, obsolete jigs and fixtures, scrap and excess raw material. The Sort process also helps prevent the JIC job mentality (Just In Case.)

Set In Order (Seiton) is the second S and focuses on efficient and effective storage methods. You must ask yourself these questions:

What do I need to do my job? Where should I locate this item? How many of this item do I need? Strategies for effective Set In Order are painting floors, outlining work areas and locations, shadow boards, and modular shelving and cabinets for needed items such as trash cans, brooms, mop and buckets. Imagine how much time is wasted every day looking for a broom? The broom should have a specific location where all employees can find it. "A place for everything and everything in its place."

Shine: (Seiso) Once you have eliminated the clutter and junk that has been clogging your work areas and identified and located the necessary items, the next step is to thoroughly clean the work area. Daily follow-up cleaning is necessary in order to sustain this improvement. Workers take pride in a clean and clutter-free work area and the Shine step will help create ownership in the equipment and facility. Workers will also begin to notice changes in equipment and facility location such as air, oil and coolant leaks, repeat contamination and vibration, broken, fatigue, breakage, and misalignment. These changes, if left unattended, could lead to equipment failure and loss of production. Both add up to impact your company's bottom line.

Standardize: (Seiketsu) Once the first three 5S's have been implemented, you should concentrate on standardizing best practice in your work area. Allow your employees to participate in the development of such standards. They are a valuable but often overlooked source of information regarding their work. Think of what McDonalds, Pizza Hut, UPS, Blockbuster and the United States Military would be without effective work standards.

Sustain: (Shitsuke) This is by far the most difficult S to implement and achieve. Human nature is to resist change and more than a few organizations have found themselves with a dirty cluttered shop a few months following their attempt to implement 5S. The tendency is to return to the status quo and the comfort zone of the "old way" of doing things. Sustain focuses on defining a new status quo and standard of work place organization.

Once fully implemented, the 5S process can increase moral, create positive impressions on customers, and increase efficiency and organization. Not only will employees feel better about where they work, the effect on continuous improvement can lead to less waste, better quality and faster lead times. Any of which will make your organization more profitable and competitive in the market place.

Kaizen = Continuous Improvement Enrique Mora (a) Papá Kaizen

One of the key elements for the implementation of the good philosophies of Lean Manufacturing is without a doubt the "Kaizen Event". Kaizen is, as many of you know, a Japanese word meaning "Continuous Improvement". . Actually, a Kaizen Event can be set in a few hours or a few days, but the results are so fulfilling, that the people directly involved in it will keep doing their best in order to increase the good results. It is a matter of conditioning to the rewards.

My friend Bob Rosinski explained to me how a 3 ton. whale can jump 20 feet out of the water with astounding precision. She is conditioned to the rewards of success. The first jump was just a few inches when she was a baby, but the piece of fish the trainer offered as a reward was delicious. Then, she kept finding out that in order to keep getting rewards, she should have to jump higher and higher all the time. Later, there is the fish and the applause, double reward! If the bar she has to jump goes " higher each time she will just not notice. Of course there is a limit to everything. Well, in these times of global competition, all the people who want to stay in business are having to learn the very same lesson. The marketplace is the bar that we have to jump and reach in order to keep getting the rewards. And there is no doubt, the bar is raised constantly by the fierce competition. If we want to play in the big leagues, if we want to keep our share in the market, our performance must be among the highest standards possible.

Kaizen Events when repeated have three effects equally beneficial: They generate PROFIT, SAVINGS and perhaps the best of all, they GENERATE A HABIT OF SUCCESS. The habits create a culture and that is what lean manufacturing and other best practices are all about.

Prabhu Ram
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