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5S Seiso

5S Lean Manufacturing

Lean Manufacturing is both a philosophy and a collection of tools for improving your business, 5S is one of those tools. 5S Lean Manufacturing is probably one of the simplest but most effective of the available tools and can quickly give you a return on the time that you invest implementing it. The benefits of 5S are such that you could easily see an improvement of between 10% and 30% in your effeciencies.

5S Seiso Shine and Check

5S Seiso or “shine and Check” is the third stage of 5S, it follows on from 5S Seiri and 5S Seiton the first two stages of 5S. The importance of this third stage is often overlooked by many practitioners of lean who forget the real reasons behind it.

Shine and Check as the name implies requires you to get in there and clean, sweep, re-paint and generally beautify your work place. The reason is not just about housekeeping and making things look pretty for the customer although these are admirable reasons in themselves.

5S Seiso Clean and Check

If your floor is dirty and covered with grease and absorbant granules and general waste how will you know when an oil leak starts on your machine? An oil leak that in two weeks time causes your machine to break down and requires many spare parts to be purchased, some with long lead times delaying your production! If your machines themselves are filthy how will you see those leaks? The dirt, grease and other wastes hide what is going on in your processes. The point of 5S Seiso is to make these potential problems obvious.

This should not be a one off exercise as it too often is when introducing 5S, Seiso should be repeated at regular intervals. Good practice is to set a detailed cleaning schedule, what needs to be cleaned, how will it be cleaned, when and by whom! Monitor it and maintain it to ensure that there is no slippage.

Implementing 5S

This is the third stage of 5S, 5S seiso is normally conducted in tandem wit the first two stages of 5S, before moving onto the more difficult stages such as 5S Seiketsu or standardise.




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  • Article by Tony Lean

    avatar Handsome world traveler with a background in business improvement and quality management tools and techniques such as Lean Manufacturing and six sigma developed through working in the Automotive industry then migrating into construction and consulting for major universities in the UK.. Have worked overseas in places such as Saudi Arabia in the Middle East (just in case you didn't know its location). and now live in the Philippines. A keen DIY buff I have built my own house and swimming pool.
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