Applying 5S series – (Part IV) Third S: Seiso – Shine

Clean places facilitate failure identificationSince the introductory post of the 5S series I have talked about the first two different steps of the methodology: the first S -get rid of all the things that are not necessary- and the second S -organize the place in the most efficient manner-. In this post I’m going to talk about the third step: Seiso – Shine.

This step is the one that people usually associate with 5S: a deep clean. However, it is not just about cleaning, it also involves taking measures to reduce the time spent in cleaning activities. The main idea is to systematically prevent the area from getting dirty by eliminating the sources of the dirt.
This task can be more or less difficult depending on the complexity of the area or equipment. In my example, I analyzed the dirtiest places and then set the location of the worktable, cabinets, and rubbish bins since it was a simple working area. I also installed racks to temporarily store the components to be repaired and the ones to be discarded. On top of that, we improved the floor coating to make the cleaning easier.
In a complete S5 process involving areas with complex equipment, scheduled cleaning activities should be established to perform a deep clean along with the identification of all sources of dirt. Once areas are routinely cleaned, it is easier to identify the exact location of dirt sources like leakages or damaged parts that generate metal chips as you can see in the picture on the top.
To perform this step is recommendable to:

  • Divide the location in small areas and assign them to specific persons responsible for their cleaning and dirt sources elimination.
  • Perform a risk assessment for every area.
  • Each area should have its cleaning checklist.
  • Checklist and tasks should be treated as mandatory scheduled maintenance activities.
  • Each complex equipment should have a cleaning map to register the dirtiest areas.
  • Create a spreadsheet to clearly indicate frequencies and responsibilities.
  • Provide audit sheets for the people to perform auto-evaluations of their work.
  • Keep an activity board with actualized information about procedures, checklists, achievements, and improvements.
  • Identified sources of dirt should be systematically eliminated, and the checklists should be improved.
  • Further in time, when the checklists are optimized, they should be incorporated in the maintenance schedule.

This step focuses on the importance of training your people to clean in depth, especially the first time when there is accumulated dirt. They need to remove all of it, even if it is from a long time ago. For this you also need to provide them with useful cleaning tools and products to make the task easier. Sometimes people are used to cleaning superficially, and it is necessary to change their minds and habits. This allows them to perform the cleaning task correctly and recognize when they need to clean deeper.

Don’t miss out the last part of the Applying 5S Series

How clean is your workplace? Do you just wait for the cleaning personnel or take this job into your own hands? Have you discovered hidden leaks and problems after a deep clean?
Please share your opinion below!

Thanks for reading!

One thought on “Applying 5S series – (Part IV) Third S: Seiso – Shine

  1. Pingback: Applying 5S series – (Part I) Introduction | Reliable and Efficient

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