5s Visual Factory


What is 5S?

5S is an approach originally developed in Japan for better housekeeping. Now it is being utilized for keeping better workplace. It includes 5 steps which are to be followed sequentially. To be precise, 5S is an approach for managing workplace. Following Japanese terms collectively are as called 5S


5S” or "Lean 5S" is a method to promote a safer, cleaner, and better-organized workplace – often a factory, but the 5S method can be applied to almost any work environment:

  • Office space – from cubicles to mail rooms to library space
  • Computer or server rooms, including online files and folders as well as physical objects
  • Work bench areas
  • Warehouses, storage sheds and outdoors storage areas
  • Hospitals and health care facilities

What are the 5S?

  • 1S – Seiri – Sorting – calls for the elimination of unnecessary items that have collected around work areas
  • 2S – Seiton – Set in Order – focuses on effective storage and organization methods that resists clutter and aids long-term productivity
  • 3S – Seiso – Shine – focuses on importance of cleaning in workplace with a view of employee health, morale and safety
  • 4S – Seikestu – Standardize - creates a workplace where employees can confidently pursue their daily work with common understanding of the working methods
  • 5S – Shitsuke – Sustain – focuses on self-discipline and methods of sustaining the efforts put in all other S’s to extract maximum effectiveness on regular basis

How to Implement 5S?

  • Identify a work area to make a Model 5S Workplace
  • Conduct initial Seiri – identity unwanted – rarely used – frequently used item, and mark them by tagging
  • Arrange only required work and items in a systematic manner – concept of PEEP (place for everything & everything in place)
  • Conduct cleaning of the workplace and promote cleaning by workplace users
  • Standardise activities and workplace through – colour coding, cleaning checklist, standard operating procedure for the workplace
  • Make the workplace as much visual as possible
  • Make auditing plan, train operators and workers about the best practices of workplace management
  • Plan for horizontal deployment in whole factory with reference of the Model Workplace

Direct Benefits of 5S:

  • Quick retrieval – less time wasted searching for misplaced items
  • Health and safety – reduces the risk of injuries, in both the short and long term
  • Lesser Breakdown – cleaner equipment may mean fewer malfunctions or breakdowns
  • Improved Productivity - standardized workflow results in quicker operations
  • Improved Morale – workers0 and employees can take greater pride in a clean and orderly workplace

Indirect Benefits of 5S:

  • Both fewer injuries, and fewer long-term illnesses, lead to a reduction in lost time, compensation, and scrambles to train workers to cover for colleagues
  • Less time spent searching for misplaced tools or parts means higher productivity
  • Cleaner equipment may mean less downtime for repairs or maintenance, and also savings on replacement parts
  • Optimized workflow leads to higher productivity due to time savings
  • Optimized workflow leads to higher productivity by reducing process errors and re-work
  • A cleaner workplace may result in cost savings for janitorial staff
  • Obsolete equipment or parts may be sold
  • Reduced inventory – whether equipment, spare parts, or raw materials – may result in reduced warehouse costs


What is Visual Factory?

Visual Factory is a manufacturing facility that is visually managed through Visual Controls and Visual Displaces. In a visual factory, one can get quicker insights of the status of the workplace and work being done. Creating a visual factory allows the management to make informed decisions promptly and employees to develop a sense of ownership of the workplace.

How to create a Visual Factory?

4 Phases of Visual Factory:

  • Use of red tags and red tag area
  • Floor and work area marking
  • Regular cleaning in workplace
  • Implementation of PEEP
  • Periodic 5S assessment
  • How to do the job (SOP)
  • Show how things are used
  • Show where things are stored
  • Show performance status
  • Use of Andons
  • Identifying what to measure
  • Measuring unit
  • Measuring frequency
  • Use of Kanban
  • Mistake Proofing
  • identifying what is and is not normal
  • Make waste obvious to everyone
  • Continual workplace improvement
  • Help make each person’s job easier
  • Involve everyone

Benefits of Visual Factory:

  • Better information sharing
  • Facilitation of worker autonomy
  • Elimination of waste
  • Continuous improvement
  • Exposure of abnormalities
  • Ability of quick response & recovery
  • Promotes mistake proofing

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