lean manufacturing concepts explained

Lean manufacturing 5S

Lean manufacturing principle ultimately targets in waste elimination. This is the aim of 5s technique as well. Let me explain how lean manufacturing and 5s works together.

If I ask you what is a waste, what your answer will be. Well I saw an interesting answer to this question. It says “Waste is something useful in wrong place in wrong form”. I do not know who told this first. However we have to salute him. This definition gives a good indication about the power of waste elimination. If we keep this useful thing (for an example, a raw material) in the correct place, in the correct form, this will not be treated as a waste.

So lean manufacturing has a requirement to eliminate waste. 5s system is there to help lean manufacturing to achieve this objective. Simply 5s system will find unnecessary things in the system. Then it will sort (Seiri) and sorted items will be kept in order (Seiton). Then there will be a regular cleaning process (Seiso). Then the system will be standardized (Seiketsu). Last the system will become the way of life (Sitsuke). So think about this with the definition for the waste above. You are sorting unnecessary things and keep them in the place that they belong to. So you are moving the things to a place where they will have a value. By doing this continuously you will not allow waste to appear in your system. So lean manufacturing and 5s works together to get double advantages in single process. First, it eliminates wastes. Secondly it cerates value by giving the waste the position it require.

This is an only superficial view in to the combination of lean manufacturing with 5 s system. But this concept can go much deeper in to the process. Think about how you can use these concepts in human resource management. Everyone has something special about them. You will be able to understand these talents and use them without wasting these talents.

Chart below will give you an idea about the deliverables of lean manufacturing 5s combination

5s Rule
Wastes eliminated or areas improved
Achieved Lean manufacturing Objective
Sort (Seiri)
  • Work space expansion (Since wastes are removed)

  • Quality defects(When unnecessary things are removed no chance for wrong
  • parts get in to the production, other damages etc)

  • Time will be saved(Since there is no need to select correct among others)
  • More space for productive work

  • High quality with reduced costs

  • Reduced cycle times and lead times

  • Higher percentage of on time delivery

Keep In Order (Seiton)
  • No finding of tools

  • Correct tool every time

  • Better ergonomics

  • Nice workplace

  • Higher percentages of on time delivery

  • High quality products

  • Better Safety

  • Good workplace conditions

  • Reduced lead time

Prevent disorderliness (Seiso)
  • Maintenance is minimal(Since keeping things in order continuously will reduce maintenance)

  • No need for bigger cleaning operations

  • More time for operation

  • Preventive maintenance is greatly helped

  • Reduced quality damages

standardized (Seiketsu)
  • Everyone in the same map

  • Organization wide changes are easy

  • No multiple ways of working

  • Sub optimization is eliminated

  • Team building is easy

  • No requirement for different machinery and tools for similar jobs

  • Consistency in quality

Making 5s system way of life (Sitsuke)
  • Disciplined workforce

  • Single rhythm of operation

  • One organization feeling

  • Teamwork in organization

  • Departmentalized thinking will be removed from the organization

  • Better Quality inbuilt to the system

There are many other improvements 5s can bring to your system. We listed only the important points here.

Whenever you think about 5s think it with lean manufacturing, so that you will understand the full power of these two systems when applied together.

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