The Quick Beginner’s Guide to 5S – Seiton or Setting in order

The 5S philosophy is a way of thinking focusing on organizing workplace in order to simplify the work environment and strive to reduce wastes while improving quality and safety.

5S‘ second S stands for Seiton. Seiton is usually translated into “systematic arrangement” or “set in order” and summarized in the saying “a place for everything and everything on its place.” The goal of Seiton is to arrange all necessary items in order to prevent loss and waste of times looking and searching for what is needed. Through “systematic arrangement” the tools, materials, documents can be easily spotted, selected and picked up.

A good example of systematic arrangement (Seiton) is the shadow board for tools. The general idea behind Seiton is to ease the selection, prevent losing time searching for something and make presence/absence as well as readiness visible.

Thus a missing tool on a shadow board or a missing file on a shelf can be seen from some distance, saving the way to storage place and the search for a tool/file that isn’t available.

One smart way to ‘force’ files to be placed in right order is to have a slant color line going across them.

If all files are in place and in the right order, the line is a straight line. If one file is missing, the line is interrupted, if one file is in wrong place, the line is broken.

Seiton can be cutting silhouettes out of foam in order to let only the appropriate object fit into the foam cutout. This is currently done to protect some fragile items in cases, but can be done to keep order in drawers.

Floor marking to identify machine, equipment and other needed items’ location is part of Seiton. The purpose of these markings is to distinguish safe aisleways from working or traffic areas and make abnormalities visible, such as items not located where they should be, items not available and so on.

< Previous: Introduction to 5S < Sorting >Next: Seiso or Shine


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