Use of 5S to Ensure Well Organised and Safer Workplace in Textile Production | Application of 5S in Garments Industry

Posted by Firoz Kabir on Monday, June 16, 2014 0

 The 5 'S' Process: Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, Shitsuke
     
The 5S Process, or simply "5S", is a structured program to systematically achieve total organization, cleanliness, and standardization in the workplace. A well-organized workplace results in a safer, more efficient, and more productive operation.  It boosts the morale of the workers, promoting a sense of pride in their work and ownership of their responsibilities.

According to the Free Encyclopedia (Wikepedia) -
5S is the name of a workplace organization method that uses a list of five Japanese words: seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke. Transliterated or translated into English, they all start with the letter "S". 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. The decision-making process usually comes from a dialogue about standardization, which builds understanding among employees of how they should do the work.

"5S" was invented in Japan, and stands for five (5) Japanese words that start with the letter 'S': Seiri, Seiton, Seiso, Seiketsu, and Shitsuke.  Table 1 shows what these individual words mean. An equivalent set of five 'S' words in English have likewise been adopted by many, to preserve the "5S" acronym in English usage. These are: Sort, Set (in place), Shine, Standardize, and Sustain.  Some purists do not agree with these English words -
they argue that these words have lost the essence of the original 5 Japanese words.

The 5S practice is a technique used to establish and maintain quality environment in an organization. The name stands for five Japanese words: Seiri , Seiton, Seiso , Seiketsu and Shitsuke .  The English equivalent , their meanings and typical examples are shown in the following table:


Objectives of 5S
  • Promote Safety
  • Improve Work Flow
  • Better Product Quality
  • Reduce Inventory Waste
  • Give People Control of Their Workplace

Benefits of 5S   
  • Clean work place
  • Reduction in materials handling
  • Reduced lead time and cycle time
  • Reduced search time
  • Reduced changeover time
  • Decrease in flow distance
  • Increased floor space
  • Reduced equipment breakdowns
  • Improves workplace safety
  • Fewer hazards
  • Establishes standards for operating equipment and conducting processes Less spending on          replacing lost or damaged items
  • Less stress and tiredness
  • Improved morale and pride in the workplace
  • Greater self-esteem
  • Improvement of communication
  • Increase in productivity
  • Fast work
  • Improved appearance of the facility and expectation for compliance to maintain that condition
  • Better and constant quality of products, services
  • Training time reduced for new employees
  • Greater efficiency in achieving goals
  • Greater readiness for new tasks
  • Better impression on clients
  
Explanation of 5-S Process
                      
Seiri (Sort/Organization)     
The first step of the "5S" process, seiri, refers to the act of throwing away all unwanted, unnecessary, and unrelated materials in the workplace.  People involved in Seiri must not feel sorry about having to throw away things. The idea is to ensure that everything left in the workplace is related to work. Even the number of necessary items in the workplace must be kept to its absolute minimum. Because of seiri, simplification of tasks, effective use of space, and careful purchase of items follow.

Main Features of Seiri-
  • Remove unnecessary items and dispose of them properly
  • Make work easy by eliminating obstacles
  • Provide no chance of being disturbed with unnecessary items
  • Prevent accumulation of unnecessary items

 Organization is about separating the things which are necessary for the job from those that are not and keeping the number of the necessary once as low as possible and at a convenient location.
Stratification Management
The art of organization is in stratification management. It involves deciding how important something is and then reducing the non essential inventory. At the same time stratification management ensures that the essential things are close at hand for maximum efficiency. Thus the key to good stratification management is the ability to make these decisions about usage frequency and to ensure that things are in their proper places. It is just as important to have the things you do not need far from hand as it is to have the things you do close at hand. It is just as important to be able to throw out a broken or defective part as it is to be able to fix it. A summary of organizing things is shown in table below.



Differentiation between Need and Want
Many people do confuse between need and  want. Most of us have a colleague who has collected 60 trade magazines in his shelf over the last five years and claims that he wants to keep all of them for reference. If you ask him “Which of the 60 magazines do you need ?”, he would probably scratch his head and say “ I do not know what you are talking about .” However , if you formulate you question the following way: “Which of these 60 magazines have you not been touching over the last year?”, you should not be surprised to find that the answer is 50.
Most people tend to err in the beginning , on the conservative side of saving things ‘just in case’. But it is crucial that management make a decision. Is it needed? If not, get rid of it. If yes, how much of it is needed? Get rid of the rest. If something is borrowed , return it to its owner.



Seiton ( Shine/ Neatness)
Seiton, or orderliness, is all about efficiency.  This step consists of putting everything in an assigned place so that it can be accessed or retrieved quickly, as well as returned in that same place quickly.  If everyone has quick access to an item or materials, work flow becomes efficient, and the worker becomes productive.  The correct place, position, or holder for every tool, item, or material must be chosen carefully in relation to how the work will be performed and who will use them.  Every single item must be allocated its own place for safekeeping, and each location must be labeled for easy identification of what it's for. 

Main Features of Seiton-
  • Arrange necessary items in order so they can be easily picked for use
  •  Prevent loss and waste of time
  • Make it easy to find and pick up necessary items
  • Ensure first-come-first-serve basis
  • Make work flow smooth and easy
  • Can also be translated as "set in order"

Neatness is a study of efficiency. It is question of how quickly you can get the things you need and how quickly you can put them away. Just making an arbitrary decision on where things go is not going to make you any faster. Instead, you have to analyze why getting things out and putting them away takes so long. You have to study this for both the people using the things frequently and those who seldom use them. You have to devise a system that everyone can understand. There are four steps in achieving neatness:

Step1. Analyze the status quo
Start by analyzing how people get things out and put them away, and why it takes so long. This is especially important in workplaces where a lot of different tools and materials are used, because time spent getting things out and putting them away is time lost. For example , If a person gets something out or puts something out or puts something away 200 times a day and each time takes 30 seconds , you are talking about 100 minutes a day. If the average time could be reduced to 10 seconds , more than an hour could be saved.

Typical problems  in retrieving things are :

1.       Not knowing what things are called
2.       Not sure where things are kept.
3.       Storage site far away.
4.       Storage site scattered all around.
5.       Repeated trips
6.       Hard to find because many things are there.
7.       Not labeled.
8.       Not there, but not clear whether it is finished or somebody is using it.
9.       Unclear if spare parts exist (no ledger and nowhere to ask)
10.   One brought was defective.
11.   Hard to get out.
12.   Too big to carry.
13.   Need to set or assemble.
14.   Too heavy to carry.
15.   No gangway to transport.



Step 2.Decide where things belong.
The  second step is to decide where things belong. It often happens that an object can have two names: Its real name and what everybody call it. In such cases , make a decision  which one you are going to use and stick to it. It only confuses people to have two names for the same object. On the other hand, during stock-take , you may find out that there are many things that do not have a name. There may be times when two different things have the same name, even when there are minor differences between them. You should rectify all these problems as soon as possible.

Step 3 Decide how things should be put away.
The third step is to decide how things should be put away. This is critical to functional storage. For example, files and tools should be put away so that they are easy to find and easy to access. Storage has to be done with retrieval in mind.
Having a name for everything is not yet sufficient. Things must have a location, just like everybody would have a home. It is in fact quite amazing to send a letter through the world-wide mailing system. As long as you put on the right address, it will go to its destination, anywhere in the world.  The principle is very simple – there is a name on your letter and then there is a name on the location which matches with that on the letter. Therefore in doing your ‘neatness’ , it is imperative that every object should have both a name an a location.
In assigning storage space, designate not only the location, but even the shelf. Decide where things should be, and make sure that they are at their home. This is crucial. When the storage location is on the tool and the tool’s name is on the storage location, you know you are doing it right. The following procedures should be adhered to:

1.       Everything should have a name.
2.       A place for everything and everything in its place [PEEP] 
•         No more homeless items.
•         Even if someone is just using something temporarily, it should be clear where it is.
3.       Quick identification
•         Arrows and lamps
•         Frequent –use items to be retrieved easily
4.       Safe storage
•         Heavy things on the bottom
•         Heavy things on dollies
•         Benches and ladders
5.       Height considerations
•         Knee to shoulder height most convenient.



Step 4.Obey the put –away rules.
The last step is to obey the rules. This means always putting things back where they belong. It sounds simple, and it is as if you would be doing it. It is just doing it that is difficult. Whether or not this is done will determine whether or not organization and neatness succeeds. At the same time, inventory management is important to see that you do not run out of parts or products. In order to achieve this, the rules are:

1.       Out of stock
  • Decide on minimum stock level
  • Indicate that more are on order
2.       Somebody is using it
  • Have an indication of who is using it and when they will return it.
3.       Lost
  • Decide how many there should be
  • Draw a shadow outline indicating clearly what is missing

Seiso ( Set in order )        
Seiso, the third step in "5S", says that 'everyone is a janitor.'  Seiso consists of cleaning up the workplace and giving it a 'shine'.  Cleaning must be done by everyone in the organization, from operators to managers. It would be a good idea to have every area of the workplace assigned to a person or group of persons for cleaning. No area should be left uncleaned. Everyone should see the 'workplace' through the eyes of a visitor - always thinking if it is clean enough to make a good impression.

Features of Seiso
  • Clean your workplace completely
  • Use cleaning as inspection
  • Prevent machinery and equipment deterioration
  • Keep workplace safe and easy to work
  • Can also be translated as "sweep"


Everyone is a Janitor’—Cleaning should be done by everyone in the organization, from the managing director to the cleaner. This is why in Japan, they do not need street cleaners in residential areas. Every family is responsible for cleaning the pavement in front of their houses. Therefore, what they need are rubbish collectors. The Japanese believe that while they are doing cleaning, they are cleaning their minds, too.  If  you have done your annual cleaning at home before the New Year, you would probably have this feeling of freshness.

There are even companies that have taken steps towards putting little gardens in their workplace rest areas as hygiene has ramifications well beyond the factories and offices to the surrounding environment. The mottoes for cleaning are:

•        I will not get things dirty.
•        I will not spill.
•        I will not scatter things around.
•        I will clean things right away.
•        I will rewrite things that have got erased.
•        I will tape up things that have come down.
An orderly progression of cleaning in the factory environment by piece of equipment and by location will often identify causes of various problems in the production process, such as :
•         Dirty air – conditioning filters lead to defects in printing.
•         Filing in the conveyance chutes lead to scratching.
•         Scraps in the die leading to faulty pressings.
•         Things fall off the equipment and get into the products.
•         Things get dented or bent in conveyance.
•         Filings and other particles contaminate the resin.
•         Dirty coolant leads to clogging.
•         Dust and other substances ruin the painting process.
•         Bad connections ate made because the electrical contacts are dirty.
•         Fires are caused because garbage short-circuited the electrical equipment.
•         Computer always plays up because dirt is accumulated inside.
In an office or a factory, you might start by graphing out the individual areas of responsibility. In doing this, it is important that all assignments be absolutely clear and that there is no undefined, unallocated, or grey areas. Unless each and every person takes these admonitions to heart and accepts personal responsibility, you are not going to get anywhere. 

Seiketsu(Standardization)        
The fourth step of "5S", or seiketsu, more or less translates to 'standardized clean-up'. It consists of defining the standards by which personnel must measure and maintain 'cleanliness'.  Seiketsu encompasses both personal and environmental cleanliness. Personnel must therefore practice 'seiketsu' starting with their personal tidiness. Visual management is an important ingredient of seiketsu.  Color-coding and standardized coloration of surroundings are used for easier visual identification of anomalies in the surroundings. Personnel are trained to detect abnormalities using their five senses and to correct such abnormalities immediately.

Main Features of Seiketsu
  • Maintain high standards of housekeeping and workplace organization at all times
  • Maintain cleanliness and orderliness

Standardization means continually and repeatedly maintaining your organization, neatness and cleaning. As such, it embraces both personal cleanliness and the cleanliness of the environment. The emphasis here is on visual management and 5-S standardization. Innovation and total visual management are used to attain and maintain standardized conditions so that you can always act quickly.

Visual management
Visual management has recently come into the limelight as and effective means of continuous improvement. It has been used for production, quality, safety, and customer services. Colour management has also come in for considerable attention lately. This has been used not only for colour-coding, but also to create a more pleasant work environment. There are more and more workers opting for white and other light-coloured clothes. Because these clothes show the dirt quickly, they provide a good indicator of how clean the workplace is. They highlight the need for cleaning.
One effective method of visual management is to put up appropriate labels.

Examples are:
•         Lubrication oil label- Indicate the type, grade, colour, and where it is for.
•         Annual inspection label-Should be attached to all equipment.
•         Temperature label –Indicate abnormality or overheat.
•         Responsibility label-Show who is responsible for what.
•         Identification label – Tell people what things are.
•         Safety label – Remind people of special safety considerations.
•         Zone label on meters – Normal zone and danger zone should be differentiated by different colours.
•         Ok mark- After things have been inspected, an OK mark will tell others that the part is acceptable.
•         Position mark- Put little position marks for where things go. Place footprints where people should stand. Place lines to indicate where things are supposed to stop. Put up lots of visual clues so that everybody will be able to see what is happening and to anticipate what will happen next.
Transparency
Another important consideration for standardization is ‘transparency’. In most factories and offices, tools and files are put in lockers, on closed shelves, and under covers to be off sight. Just like sweeping things under the carpet this is known as “out of sight, out of mind” practice. Those closed spaces are often among the most disorderly places, because they are not a constant eyesore. So it will be a good idea to take the wraps off these messes. Make the covers transparent. If you must have metal panels, put inspection windows in them. Make it so that everybody can see what is stored and how good (or bad ) things look.

Visualising Conditions
Many places have little ribbons on the fans so you can see the breeze. Sometimes, this method is called ‘visualizing conditions’. As a variation of this, some plant maintenance people put windows and plastic strips in some of the drain pipes so that other people can see the effluent flowing. There are many other things you can do to help people visualize a process.

Trouble Maps
When there are problems, you can show them on a map of the workplace. Just as many sales departments have pins in maps to show where their people are, you can also have pins to show problems, emergency exits, fire-fighting equipment, and other locations. Put the maps where they are visible to everyone. A trouble map can also be used to indicate those workplaces and processes that are trouble-free.

Quantification
By constantly measuring things, quantifying the results, and analyzing the data statistically, you can quickly identify the limits to management and spot deviations before they become major headaches.

   

Shitsuke (Sustain/ Discipline)       
The last step of "5S", Shitsuke, means 'Discipline.' It denotes commitment to maintain orderliness and to practice the first 4 S as a way of life.  The emphasis of shitsuke is elimination of bad habits and constant practice of good ones.  Once true shitsuke is achieved, personnel voluntarily observe cleanliness and orderliness at all times, without having to be reminded by management.

Main Features of Shitsuke-
  •  To keep in working order
  • Also translates to "Self-Discipline" meaning to do without being told

Discipline means instilling the ability of doing things the way they are supposed to be done. The emphasis here is on creating a workplace with good habits. By teaching everyone what needs to be done and having everyone practicing it bad habits are broken and good ones are formed. This process helps people form habits of making and following the rules.

The word shitsuke originally comes from the guiding stitches that are done before a garment is properly sewn. If accepted that way, discipline is an underlying tool in making life go smoother. It is recognized by the Japanese as the minimum the society needs in order to function properly.

Self –discipline is important because it reaches beyond discipline. If a person is ‘disciplined’ to do something at one time there is a chance that he may not be disciplined next time. However, self-discipline guarantees the continuity of a daily routine. The Japanese are a very self-disciplined race: they have one of the lowet crime rates in the world and are well-known as ‘obedient’ tourists.

Discipline is process of repetition and practice. Think of discipline as an integral part of industrial safety helmet, their safety shoes, or their goggles? Far too many. How many have had accidents because they stuck their hands into the machinery without shutting it off first? Again, too many. It is important that everyone has the habit of obeying simple safety rules. 


6S Process:
The name 5S comes from the 5 Japanese words that make up the 5 stages of 5S, each one starting with the letter “S”. 6S has added the additional “S” of safety to the original 5.  So the 6S is;

The 6th “S”; Safety, we now concentrate on safety aspects of our initiative, reviewing every action and each area to ensure that we have not overlooked any potential hazards.

About the Author

Md. Firoz Kabir(M.Sc in Textile Engineering)

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