What is the 5S Definition: Sort, Set in order, Shine, Standardize, & Sustain.

What is the 5S Definition


In this article, you will learn what is the 5S definition related to lean manufacturing activities.

5S Definition

5S is the name of a workplace organization method that uses a list of five words: in English (Japanise)

  • Sort (Seiri),

    The goal of Sort is to eliminate all the unneeded tools and materials and create an organized space free of clutter. Everything from the workspace should be removed and sorted into three groups or bins: keep, remove, and holding area. This allows for a workflow free from distraction.  During sorting, keep in mind that “If you do not use it on a daily basis, throw it out or saved it in a faraway area.”

  • Set in Order (Seiton)

    Take everything deemed essential in the previous step and place them back into the workstation in a well-organized manner.  The goal of Set in Order is to create a standardized and consistent way to place and retrieve everything necessary for the job. The key is standardization. Everything is returned to the workspace will be placed in a specific and dedicated place or “home”, using a particular and logical spot within the area.

  • Shine (Seiso)

    The whole workstation should be completely cleaned. Once the area has been thoroughly cleaned, it must be maintained. The Shine phase is not a one-time task, but rather an activity that should be completed on a day-to-day basis.  At the end of each day make sure to return everything to their “homes” designated areas and clean up their spaces before leaving.

  • Standardize (Seiketsu)

    Standardizing is achieved by creating written uniform procedures to assure that the first three phases are maintained and the facility doesn’t go back to the way it was before 5S.  Standardizing utilizes a set of schedules and checklists that can be easily followed so each step of 5S is performed exactly the same way every day.

  • Sustain (Shitsuke)

    The sustain stage is designed to keep staff motivated and on track, to sure the newly-implemented 5S program doesn’t fall by the wayside. These best practices can help Sustain 5S and keep the program functioning well.

    – Assign the time to do it.

    – Start from the top.

    – Create a reward system.

    – Get everyone involved.

    – Let them see it.

The list describes what is the 5S definition and how to organize a workspace 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.

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REFERENCES: What is the 5S Definition.




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Ramon Cayuela, MS, BS, Chemical Engineering

CIQA President and CEO.
I've been working in validation engineering since 1992 with many multinational pharmaceutical companies. I love sharing my passion and knowledge with others. If you have any questions about anything (or just have general questions). I will be more than happy to assist you. You can count on the BEST customer service on CIQA. I go to great lengths to make sure my clients are 100% satisfied with their purchases and check emails/messages consistently throughout the day. You can rest assured that everything being sold here is as-described or your money back. I look forward to working with you!