5S Methodology

What is 5S Methodology?

➝ 5S Methodology was developed in Japan and it is a system for organizing spaces so work can be performed efficiently & effectively with safely and it is a fundamental tool of Lean Manufacturing
→ It is a system for organizing spaces so work can be performed efficiently & effectively with safely.
→ Sometimes it is also referred to as a good housekeeping practice but both are different things


→ This methodology was developed in Japan by two gentlemen, Osada, and Hirano who structured a framework for implementing their philosophy.
→ Some say that the principles of 5S Methodology came from Henry Ford.
→ Henry Ford used the CANDO system (CANDO stands for Cleaning up, Arranging, Neatness, Discipline, and Ongoing Improvement) before the development of this Methodology.


→ Increase productivity through effectiveness
→ Reduction in delays
→ Improved Quality
→ Improve in Safety
→ Set-up times reduced
→ Morale & Motivation Increase
→ Less stress for operators
→ Safer work environment
→ Improvement in the regular process

Meaning of 5S Methodology:

→ It stands for five Japanese words
→ English Meaning of above Japanese words are :
→ (1S) Seiri → Sort or Tidiness
→ (2S) Seiton → Set In Order or Orderliness
→ (3S) Seiso → Shine (Clean) or Cleanliness
→ (4S) Seiketsu → Standardize or Standardization
→ (5S) Shitsuke → Sustain or Discipline

Meaning of 5S

[1] 1S - Seiri or Sort:

→ The first step is Sort in this Methodology.
→ "Sorting" means to sort everything in each work area that we need and what we do not need? 
→ Sort means removing unnecessary items or materials from a workspace.
→ Keep only what is actually required every day from the workspace.
→ Materials, equipment, instruments or any things that are not frequently used should be moved to a separate, common storage area called Red Tag Zone.
→  Items that are not used should be removed or recycled.
→ Please do not keep anything in your workplace just because it might be used in the future.
→ The whole team should spend a few hours going through the entire area (inside cabinets, under and behind machines.. Everywhere !!!)
→ All obvious scrap should be put in the scrap area / Bin
→ All unidentified things should be put in the “Red tag”/ quarantine area.
→ Only items that are required should remain.

Steps for Sorting:

    1. Cleaning
    2. Classifying
    3. Assign Responsibility
    4. Red Tagging of unnecessary things
    5. Recycling or Reassignment of things arrived in Red Tag Zone.

→ For better understanding show the below picture of Before-After comparison of Work Place and Red Tag:

1S Seiri or Sort

[2] 2S - Seiton or Set In Order:

→ Set in order is for organizing the items or materials at the workplace.     
→ “ Define Place for Everything and Put Everything in its place”
→ We can use an organized workplace more efficiently and effectively
→ To arrange all necessary items for the economy of movement.
→ Put things as per the frequency of use.
→ Provide safe storage – heavy items at a low level, light items at a height.
→ If any item is missing then we can easily find out it

Basic Principles of Set in Order:

→ The items that are used very frequently should be kept nearer to where they are used.
→ Items that are used very few times should be kept far compare to frequently used things.
→ After completion of work keep things in its defined place.
→ If several things are used together, then store them together.
→ For example, a welding rod is used with a welding machine then both should be kept together.
→ Store things in place where people can easily find it.
→ Identify all items (including fixtures, gauges, tools, jigs, molds, etc.) and mark identification symbols on them so we can easily identify and return them to their identified storage location.
→ For better understanding refer the below picture of the sort in order.
2S Seiton or Set In Order

[3] 3S - Seiso or Shine (cleaning):

→ After Sort and Set In Order, the workplace requires regular cleaning.
→ Shine is used for regular cleaning of the workplace, tools, and equipment     
→ Cleanliness makes defects easier to detect.
→ Better customer satisfaction
→ Aids efficiency and reduces accidents
→ Creates a better working environment
→ It is not just the job of a housekeeper, it is everyone's responsibility
→ Every workplace should have a person, or group, assigned to clean that area.
→ The best approach is that those who work in a workplace are also responsible for cleaning that area.

(A) Cleaning is an ongoing process:

→ Define and document :
→ Decide Who, What, When, Where, How, etc…
→ Who is responsible for cleaning
→ What needs to be cleared and where
→ When it will be done
→ How is it to be done and which tools require
→ For better clarity refer to the below picture in which we can easily see the comparison of the workplace before and after cleaning.

3S Seiso or Shine

[4] 4S - Seiketsu or Standardize:

→ After completion of Shine or Clean, Standardize will come.
→ Standardize means documenting all necessary processes or activities.
→ In Standardize we can turn Good Practices into Good Habits.
→ By developing standards for process, all person knows what to do, how to do, when to do and where to do, etc..
→ Give awareness about standardizing to all persons.
→ It will help them to remember the new standards and it encourages them to do the same.
→ We can use labels, symbols, posters, and banners for standardization.

(A) How do we Standardise?

→ Document standard ways of working (SOPs), Process Flow Diagram or Flow Chart

→ Standardize labeling, signage, and Flow
→ Audits

(B) Standard Work:

→ Document the current agreed way of doing a process
→ Provides a baseline for improvement
→ Reduces variation between people/shifts

(C) Standardized flow and Signage:

→ Common methods to show where the work enters and leaves the cell.
→ Standard methods for identifying components and tool locations

(D) 5S Audit:

→ Independent audit of an area
→ Capture current state – Use color photographs
→ Create simple audit sheets – with a score
→ Conduct audits

4S Seiketsu or Standardize

[5] 5S - Shitsuke or Sustain:

→ Sustain needs to maintain 5S within the factory or work pace.
→ Keep a record of progress with evaluations, communication, and training related activity.
→ Assign continuing responsibility.
→ Sustain keeps watch on on-going training activity and maintaining the established System.
→ Maintaining Audits
→ Maintaining cleaning
→ Making it “A Way of Life”.

5S Shitsuke or Sustain

Top Management's Support needed for Sustain:

→ We can sustain commitment towards 5S methodology in our industry with the help of Top management's support.
→ Top Management should be involved in these activities such as:
→ Conducting inspections on a random basis for checking the sustenance of the system
→ Establish a proper communication channel from top to bottom and bottom to top.
→ Provides training to employees.
→ Participation in promotional events at the factory.

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