5S (methodology)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Tools drawer at a 5S working place

5S is the name of a workplace organization method that uses a list of five Japanese words: seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. Transliterated into English, they all start with the letter "S".[1] The list describes how to organize a work space for efficiency and effectiveness by identifying and storing the items used, maintaining the area and items, and sustaining the new order.[2] The decision-making process usually comes from a dialogue about standardization, which builds understanding among employees of how they should do the work.

The 5 S[edit]

There are five 5S phases: They can be translated from the Japanese as "sort", "set in order", "shine", "standardize", and "sustain". Other translations are possible.


整理 (Sort means eliminating anything that is unnecessary for the equipment to work properly.)[edit]

  • Remove unnecessary items and dispose of them properly.
  • Make work easier by eliminating obstacles.
  • Reduce chance of being disturbed with unnecessary items.
  • Prevent accumulation of unnecessary items.
  • Evaluate necessary items with regard to cost or other factors.
  • Remove all parts not in use.
  • Segregate unwanted material from the workplace.
  • Need fully skilled supervisor for checking on regular basis.
  • Don't put unnecessary items at the workplace & define a red-tagged area to keep those unnecessary items.
  • Waste removal.


整頓 (Set)[edit]

  • Can also be translated as "set in order", "straighten", or "streamline"
  • Arrange all necessary items so they can be easily selected for use
  • Prevent loss and waste of time
  • Make it easy to find and pick up necessary items
  • Ensure first-come-first-served basis
  • Make workflow smooth and easy
  • All above work should be done on regular basis


清掃 (Shine)[edit]

  • Can also be translated as "sweep", "sanitize", or "scrub"
  • Clean your workplace completely
  • Use cleaning as inspection
  • Prevent machinery and equipment deterioration
  • Keep workplace safe and easy to work
  • Keep work place clean and pleasing to work in
  • When in place anyone not familiar to the environment must be able to detect problems in 5 seconds within 50 feet.


清潔 (Standardize)[edit]

  • Standardize the best practices in the work area.
  • Maintain high standards and workplace organization at all times.
  • Maintain orderliness. Maintain everything in order and according to its standard.
  • Everything in its right place.
  • Every process has a standard.



  • To keep in working order
  • Also translates as "do without being told"
  • Perform regular audits
  • Training and Discipline
  • Training is goal oriented process. Its resulting feedback is necessary monthly

The Origins of 5S[edit]

5S was developed in Japan and was identified as one of the techniques that enabled Just in Time manufacturing.[3]

Two major frameworks for understanding and applying 5S to business environments have arisen, one proposed by Osada, the other by Hirano.[4][5] Hirano provided a structure for improvement programs with a series of identifiable steps, each building on its predecessor. As noted by John Bicheno,[6] Toyota's adoption of the Hirano approach was '4S', with Seiton and Seiso combined.

Variety of 5S Applications[edit]

5S methodology has expanded from manufacturing and is now being applied to a wide variety of industries including health care, education, and government.[2] Although the origins of the 5S methodology are in manufacturing, it can also be applied to knowledge-economy work, with information, software, or media in the place of physical product.[7] Examples of companies using 5S methodology are Infineon Technologies and Nonin Medical.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "What Is 5S? - Sort, Set In Order, Shine, Standardize, Sustain". 
  2. ^ a b "5S Comprehensive Education and Resource Center". 
  3. ^ Womack, James; Jones, Daniel; Roos, Daniel (1991). Machine That Changed The World. Productivity Press. ISBN 978-1-84737-055-6. 
  4. ^ Hirano, Hiroyuki (1995). 5 Pillars of the Visual Workplace. Cambridge, MA: Productivity Press. ISBN 978-1-56327-047-5. 
  5. ^ Osada, Takashi (1995). The 5S’s: Five keys to a Total Quality Environment. US: Asian Productivity Organization. ISBN 9283311167. 
  6. ^ Bicheno, John. New Lean Toolbox: Towards Fast, Flexible Flow. Buckingham: PICSIE. ISBN 978-0-9541244-1-0. 
  7. ^ "CEITON – Profile". 
  8. ^ "Manufacturing Storage Case Studies | Lista". www.listaintl.com. Retrieved 2015-09-27.