5S or 7S Lean Manufacturing and Workplace Organization – What Happened to 6S?
  • CODE : ZABE-0005
  • Duration : 60 Minutes
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Kenneth Zabel began his career in quality management working for global product certification agencies. After working for NSF International for ten years, he managed certification programs at ETL Semko (Intertek) and CSA International (Canadian Standards Association). Ken has trained certification engineers and auditors across North America, Europe, and Asia. 

In addition to implementing 5S principles in the laboratories and offices of these global certification bodies, Ken has worked in Quality Management positions for several automotive suppliers. The Lean Manufacturing principles of 5S (6S, 7S) were a part of the processes initiated at  manufacturers of fasteners, hose and tube assemblies, exhaust systems, and a custom prototype manufacturer as he worked with them to obtain their initial registrations to QS-9000 and TS16949 (today IATF 16949). 

The 5S Principles were a part of Health and Safety Audits that Ken was hired to conducted at North American Hotels for four European Travel Agencies.

5S began as part of the Toyota Production System (TPS), the manufacturing method begun by leaders at the Toyota Motor Company in the early and mid-20th century. This system, often referred to as Lean Manufacturing in the West, aims to increase the value of products or services for customers. This is often accomplished by finding and eliminating waste from production processes. The term 5S comes from five Japanese words that each represent one part of a five-step process that can improve the overall function of a business:

  • Sort
  • Set in Order
  • Shine
  • Standardize
  • Sustain

Areas Covered

  • SORT [5S-Seiri]: Keep only what is necessary
  • SET IN ORDER [5S-Seiton]: Arranging and labeling
  • SHINE [5S-Seiso]: Keeping and labeling
  • STANDARDIZE [5S-Seiketsu]: Maintain first three pillars (S’s)
  • SAFETY [5S+S(6S)]: Identify and eliminate all hazards
  • SYNERGY [7S]: Cooperation and Teamwork
  • SUSTAIN [5S-Shitsuke]: All pillars [5S, 6S, 7S] to become habits

Course Level - Basic/Fundamental   

Who Should Attend

Production Managers, Safety Managers, Operation Managers, Manufacturing Engineers, Lean Manufacturing Engineers.

Why Should You Attend

5S and 7S are processes and methods for creating and maintaining an organized, clean, safe, and high performance workplace. Having a disorganized workplace will cost you time, money, employee satisfaction, and likely create customer dissatisfaction. Implementing these processes is an easy and cost-efficient way of overcoming these barriers.

The benefits to addressing these areas are many – including higher efficiencies, less stress, fewer accidents, higher levels of quality, fewer breakdowns.

In recent times, Safety has been added as the 6th S in the 6S model. The addition of this “new S” was fitting and a needed extension. This step involves ensuring that the operationalization of work and the work environment meet all required safety standards.  However 6S is often confused with 6 Sigma.

  • Safety improvements : An organized workplace and established procedures will reduce accidents and damage.
  • Quality improvements : By having an organized workplace, there will be fewer lost items, fewer damaged items, and less of an opportunity for delays of customer deliveries.
  • Process improvements : If you are spending time looking for something that is not in its place, you are wasting time. If something is put in an inconvenient location or is difficult to retrieve, that slows down the process. If you inadvertently misplace something and have to go purchase another one, only to find that you already have two that were hiding, you are losing money.

5S (and the 6th S) help to create a better working environment, reduce waste while improving efficiency and quality. For the company, these tools turn into the bottom for all different Lean Manufacturing tools to be used. They are designed to help build a quality work environment, both physically & mentally.

Synergy (Spirit): As leaders understand the impact of company culture and the importance of respect for employees, the need for this additional component becomes clear. While some organizations successfully implement the traditional 5S (6th S) methods, many are choosing to add Spirit - 7S - as an additional piece to make explicit the reliance on the people factor and the need to continually keep it in mind as other steps are undertaken.

Topic Background

5S was designed by the Toyota Production System. It aims to increase the value of products or services for customers by finding and eliminating waste from production processes. This system organizes spaces so work can be performed efficiently, effectively, and safely. It focuses on putting everything where it belongs and keeping the workplace clean, which makes it easier for people to do their jobs without wasting time or risking injury.

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