What is 5S?

The term 5S refers to one of the techniques used in Lean Manufacturing and is based on five Japanese principles whose objectives are the following:

- 1S Seiri - 整理 (Rank):

It means eliminating all the non-useful items that accumulate waste and generate costs from the workplace for the operations of producing a product or providing a service.

- 2 整頓, Seiton (Sort):

Once we have gotten rid of the waste and non-useful elements, we move on to order those that we consider useful in an assigned place so that they can be easily found by those who require them, saving search time, unnecessary movements, etc.

- 3S 清掃, Seisō (Clean):

We will identify the sources of dirt so that this problem does not recur or accumulate (preventive cleaning).

The types of consequences that we can find within this problem are the following:

• Dirty work environments affect employees' self-esteem.

• Process residues can lead to damage or defective products.

• The machines are not overhauled enough.

• The presence of waste can lead to accidents.

To solve these problems we must carry out the concept of preventive cleaning.

- 4S 清潔, Seiketsu (Standardization):

This process occurs when the previous three "S" (Classification, Order and Cleaning) are maintained.

The main objective of this standardization process is to avoid going back to the previous processes and to maintain a routine of them.

- 5S 躾, Shitsuke (Discipline):

This process is the only one that cannot be measured or visualized as it is found in the motivation and will of the organization's employees and they are in charge of showing it in the actions they take in their jobs.

We can guess the origin of the term 5S, they are the initials of each of the names of the phases.

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