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5S is a Japanese concept of management mainly used in the manufacturing units with the intention of bringing about a systematic way of doing the business resulting in quick and effective production. The concept of 6S, 7S, 8S were added to the basic concept of 5S for further improvement of the manufacturing process.

5S stands for the Japanese words seiri, seiton, seiso, seiketsu, and shitsuke meaning sort, set in order, shine, standardize, and sustain. The main objective of this principle is to standardize the activities involved in the production to guarantee smooth flow of the operations by reducing wastage in the process and time taken by the activities. The 6th S stands for safety which is the outcome of introducing and following 5S in the system.

Seiri or sorting refers to the identification of the tools and processes that are essential for the smooth flow of the functions in the unit and removing or setting aside those which are not required. Seiton or setting in order means having a place for everything and ensuring that everything is in its place to facilitate easy access to the tools for smooth functioning of operations. Seiso or shine emphasises the need for maintaining cleanliness within the shop floor. The employees are to clean their work place and tools and keep them in the areas allotted for easy accessibility. It also helps in identifying the breakage, etc and repairs can be undertaken at the earliest without adding to the loss of time. Seiketsu refers to the standardisation procedure that is to be followed to ensure that the process to be followed by the employees are well defined and well communicated to the employees. A standardised procedure guarantees a standard for monitoring the implementation of the procedures defined. A procedure which is part of the normal routine reduces the chances for chaos in the production. Standardisation requires the blue print to be prepared and well communicated to the employees and assuring that the employees recognise what is expected of them. Assignment of the activities becomes easier on standardisation. Shitsuke or self discipline is to bring about a monitoring system for ensuring the sustenance of the system within the entity. Self discipline in professional and personal life can be brought about through the introduction of motivational measures. A good audit system can help in verifying the success of the implementation and in taking new measures to improve the existing system as and when required. The successful implementation of the standards can guarantee the safety of the employees. It also means the introduction of new safety measures to guarantee employee security. Companies in India like Maruti, Royal Enfield who are involved in the production line has adopted this concept into their organisation.

The adoption of the concept of 6S can minimise red tags, add to the speed of production, limit wastages, eliminate hazards, and helps in the introduction of JIT techniques like kanban into the manufacturing process. It adds to the improvement in all areas of the entity. A clean environment and a healthy work force who readily adopts and accepts the standards of procedure set in production is an asset to any business entity.

Comments Listing
Posted: 14/08/2011 15:25:04

Yep..!! I agree

Posted: 28/07/2011 21:39:50

Good One.


Priya V

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