Production & ManufacturingQuality

Taking care of the workplace organizing cleaning

5S philosophy

5S is the philosophy of taking care of the workplace, keeping it organized and clean. It consists of five basic steps, and each step is called in Japanese with a word that begins with the letter S, hence the name 5S. This philosophy was known worldwide by this name, so that these five Japanese words were translated into English words beginning with the letter S, so that the name would be valid. Five T is a translation from my proposal, where we can translate these five words into Arabic words that begin with the letter T, which are classification, organization, cleaning, standardization, and fixation.

The five elements of this philosophy consist of five elements:

1- Sorting (Japanese: Seiri):

Taking care of the workplace begins with sorting out everything in it. Before we go on with the clarification, we should point out that the workplace or work environment is the workshop, office, factory, hospital, or any place of work and every place in it. If we are in a factory, for example, this includes the place of manufacturing, administrative offices, eating places, corridors, workshops, warehouses, and storage yards, i.e. every place in the factory. This applies to any job, as it is not limited to one profession without another.

And we go back to the classification process, so we ask what is the meaning of classification? Classification here means that we classify things into things that are needed for work at the present time and things that are not necessary for work. Then we get rid of things that are not needed for work and keep those that are needed for work. And we ask again what are the things we are talking about? The answer is all the things we use at work such as: tools, files, materials, waste, papers, equipment.

The classification process is the first step in this process, and it may seem trivial at first, and you may think that it will take a little time, but once you start classifying, you discover two things. The first is that it takes a long time. The second is that the workplace is crowded with things that have no value. There are very old files that have passed for years, there are damaged tools and used equipment that we kept until they became worn out, there are materials that have been worn out and we still keep them, and there are spare parts and operating manuals for equipment that have been replaced with another quality, and there are oils that have It has decomposed, medicines have spoiled, and chemicals have expired. Although it takes time and effort, it’s fun because you find yourself getting rid of loads that weren’t worth keeping and discovering valuables that were buried in a pile of stuff you don’t need. And it’s fun because you find that space starts to open up after you get rid of those things you don’t need right now.

And the classification process must be based on dispensing with what we do not need now of old tools, metal materials, or old files, so do not say “we may need it someday,” because you may need anything in the future, but only keep what is actually part of the work now or tomorrow. The truth is that what arrived at the workplace due to the piles, chaos, and difficulty in accessing tools and papers is this rule, that is, keeping what we may need one day. So we kept every old file, every used machine, every small piece of metal, and every trivial thing that had no value, so that it became difficult to search for the things we needed at work, and the storage places became overcrowded. The rule now is to get rid of what does not seem to have a certain use in the future.

2- Set in Order Organizing, which is in Japanese Seiton:

After that comes the organizing process, which aims to save the things that we thought we should keep in an organized way that helps us to perform the work efficiently. There are two types of things that we keep, the kind we need on a daily basis and the kind we need from time to time. We put what we do not need continuously in a place for storage and put what we need on a daily basis very close to the work area. And we think during the organizing process to arrange things logically by placing similar things next to each other and making the most used tools as close as possible to our hands. The muscular effort exerted to obtain things is also taken into account. Whenever there is a great need for a tool or a file, it should be placed in a place where access is easy and does not require severe bending or climbing a ladder, for example.

The organization process does not only include arranging tools or files on the shelves, but also reconsiders the general plan of the workplace itself. We have to think about the most appropriate way to organize the workplace from the reality of our current work. You may consider bringing the computer closer to the office, and you may consider placing some tool storage racks close to the work area in the workshop. You might consider reorganizing to make the corridors wider. One of the reasons for re-planning the workplace is that there are voids that appear after getting rid of things that we do not need, and there are some preservation or work tools that we may add. We may discover that the place needs some new shelves to store some tools. As we shall see, hygiene items will become important and we will need to keep them in close and specific places. We may discover the lack of some things that help improve the work environment, such as a meeting table, a blackboard, or some ventilation devices.

The organization process is accompanied by what is called the Visual Plant, where the location of everything is marked with a mark, such as marking the place of things that are placed on the ground, and this helps to put the thing in the same position every time and without little effort. Label everything in its place. The locations of the passages are also marked with a distinctive color, such as yellow. Tools can be drawn in their storage locations on the preservation board, in order to facilitate their return to their place.

And the organization process is not just to put things on top of each other, but we have to be creative in the way of storage so that it is easy to handle the tools. We may innovate new ways to store some materials and tools so that their circulation is easy. So we think, is it more appropriate to store this vertically or horizontally, or put it on a stand, or put it on slanted shelves, or on a vertical board? And if we put several tools in one drawer, we think, can the same drawer be divided so that the tools do not mix? Is it preferable to store this on the floor, on a fixed stand, or on a mobile stand, and will it be movable on the floor or on the ceiling?

3- Shining or polishing, which is in Japanese Seiso: we come to shine

Clean, which means cleaning everything from floors, tools, equipment, offices, windows, and stores to toilets. The bottom line is that the goal is a very clean work environment. This process is a process that takes place periodically every shift or every day. And there are things that should be cleaned by the person who uses or deals with them, such as work tools such as keys, tools for assembling, welding and fastening, as well as equipment and devices. The aim is that when the technical worker cleans these things, he cleans them in a manner commensurate with their nature, so he does not damage them, and he also discovers any defects in them and repairs or replaces them. He may discover some minor problems while cleaning the equipment, so he fixes them, and he may discover damage to some tools, so he replaces them with new ones.

The cleaning process is accompanied by a process of creativity in two matters. The first is to eliminate or reduce the sources of pollution. The second is to think of ways to simplify the cleaning process. So we start looking for sources of pollution that make the cleaning process long or difficult, so we try to find solutions to reduce these pollutants. For example, we may devise a way to circulate oils so that the oil drops do not fall to the ground. We may use some tools to prevent the grease from falling on the floor. We have taken care of the filters (filters) that prevent dust from entering the atmosphere. We also think about cleaning methods and simplify them. We may design some hygiene items suitable for the workplace. For example, we may put an electric brush to clean the shoes from the bottom when moving from a dusty area to a cleaner area.

4- Standardise, which is in Japanese: Seiketsu:

After all this effort and experience in organizing and cleaning, specific rules should be established for what should be the case in the workplace. This includes defining the responsibilities of each individual, setting standard methods for the cleaning process, and announcing all of this so that each individual knows his duty periodically and how to perform it. In addition, lists are established to check the cleaning operations, i.e. lists with specific items, so that the supervisor or worker uses them every day to ensure that all previous work is maintained in terms of classification, organization and cleaning. The use of colors, which are used to identify safe paths and which are used for warning signs, are also standardized. This process (sorting, organizing and cleaning) should become part of the daily work by allocating a period such as 15 minutes at the beginning or end of work to carry out organizing and cleaning work. By this we guarantee that the situation will continue in this good way and we will not go back to the old habits again.

5- Install Sustain

which is in Japanese Shitsuke: And we come to the last step, which is setting up systems to ensure the continuity of this whole process. For example, systems are put in place to review the cleanliness of places. One of the effective ways is for one party to inspect another party, so a delegate from one department inspects the file-keeping process at another department or the cleanliness of the work site at another department. Weaknesses are identified, i.e. things that need reorganization, placement of guiding boards, or cleaning, and then the implementation of these is followed up. Notes. The manager must also visit the site periodically and take notes on organization and cleaning, through unplanned visits and planned and announced visits.

We can summarize the matter in that five T means to keep the things necessary for work only and in small quantities. And that there is a specific and clear place for everything and that everything is put in its place. And that everything is organized in a way that takes into account ease of circulation, reducing travel time, increasing occupational safety, and helping workers to perform work efficiently. As for cleaning, it is part of the daily work, and it does not aim to show the site beautiful to visitors, but the cleaning process here takes place at all times, in a manner that makes the workplace, tools and equipment in a very clean condition. Work continues according to specific schedules for organization and cleaning, and this is reviewed periodically and workers are motivated to continue until these matters become a work habit that cannot be disposed of.

To see some examples of this system from Toyota, please watch the following video. But I would like to draw your attention to some points. Note the first picture, it is a simple machine to clean the shoes from the bottom so that the dust is not transferred from the dirty place to the clean place, and it is used here when entering the factory. Note the markings on the floor to locate everything, even the eating tables. Note that cleaning tools have specific locations. Note the saving methods that facilitate trading. Notice how everything is labeled on it or where it is kept, even soap, flashlights and small items. Notice the tools hanging close to the worker’s hand, and do not forget to look at the white glove he wears during work and be sure that it is not dirty.

Things to consider in the application:

1- Training and familiarizing yourself with five things before implementation: When you ask the employees to clean and organize the workplace without explaining the matter and explaining that this is a global method that has many benefits and showing pictures of real examples, the employees will be alienated from the matter and feel that it is a kind of oppression. But with communication, training, and a statement of goals, this aversion diminishes, and then decreases after that when the results begin to appear.

2- Participation: The supervisor and the manager must participate in these processes at least at the beginning to encourage everyone to participate and to show that the administration is really serious about it and considers it part of its work. Take off your formal clothes, put on your work uniform, and take part in these operations yourself. Remember that five T does not mean that you sit in your air-conditioned office and ask the workers to sweep the floor and get rid of the waste. Five T is a way to instill team spirit by having each of us do a piece of the work.

3- Providing the necessary tools: When you start applying this system, you will find that there is a need for many cleaning tools that were not used much before. You may need some storage tools to replace rickety shelves, organize things in small boxes, etc. You also need several guiding boards, some paints, and sticky tapes to mark the places to put things on the ground. Management should provide this

Requirements Otherwise, the workers will not be able to make this program a success and they will feel that the matter is not serious.

4- Getting rid of things, not hiding them: In the beginning, there is resistance to the process of getting rid of unnecessary things, and therefore the method of persuasion should be used, as well as making sure that these things are not moved from one place to another or are hidden instead of getting rid of them.

5- Encouraging creativity in this field: Encourage workers to suggest ideas to improve organization and encourage them to suggest ways to reduce cleaning time. Make them feel like they are doing a great job.

Five benefits:

There are many benefits including:

1- Reducing wasted time searching for documents or tools

2- Reducing injuries due to the cleanliness of the floors, the absence of anything lying here and there, and the clarity of safe passage places

3- Reducing equipment malfunctions due to early detection

4- Getting rid of excessive effort and unnecessary movements through a serious organization process

5- Feeling a beautiful work environment as a result of the cleanliness and organization process

6- Replacing damaged tools as soon as they are damaged instead of discovering it late and disrupting work

7- Finding lost things easily

8- Reducing the breakdowns that occurred after maintenance operations as a result of the entry of some dust into the microcomponents (and this was measured in other fields).

9- Reducing quality problems that were occurring due to pollution and dust.

10- Supporting the Toyota Production System tools such as visual location, quality control loops, reducing set-up time and eliminating waste


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