5S Lean Part 2: Shine

5S Lean Part 2: Shine
5S Lean Part 2: Shine teaser

13 Nov 2019

3S - Shine – Seitou

The process of optimising a workplace for “shine” or ultimate cleanliness and orderliness is by assigning small teams to work on different sections of the workplace.

These teams can be assigned to various pieces of machinery, workstations, storage cabinets, floor spaces, or offices. When the teams are cleaning or tidying the work area, they should take notes about what needed most attention, what process they used, and how much resources they must commit each period to maintaining cleanliness.



Imaged: 4-Shelves Stationery Cabinet

These cleaning tasks must have a raft of health and safety considerations built in, such as asking if workers need PPE to use solvents or special chemicals to clean equipment. It also asks what state “clean” is –is a surface free of dirt clean, or does it require disinfection? Can the factory install methods to reduce dust and waste accumulation? For example, installing a fume hood to vent sawdust during cutting wood, instead of letting it fall to the floor and creating a fire or tripping hazard?


Imaged: Discrete Concrete Removal

Like 1S and 2S, Shine is a one-time activity to lay down a benchmark or standard for cleanliness in the workplace. Cleanliness in the Japanese lexicon is also related to orderliness or structure; therefore, a stack of paper which can be stored away is preferable to the same stack placed next to a printer, for example. This is directly related to 2S Seiton, which means “a place for everything and everything in its place.”

This entire process is documented – with photographic steps – to become the new standard.

Seitou and Kaizen


Seitou is also related to the Japanese concept of Kaizen, which is a loose translation of “continuous improvement.” Staff and management can identify problems with equipment and tools in the workplace during a “shiny clean” inspection and documentation process.

For example, does an accumulation of grime cause problems in smooth operation? Is dirt and dust getting into machinery causing wear? Are regular puddles of fluids indicative of leaks? If Seitou is not  properly managed, could this damage the equipment? This all lends to an overall improvement of workflows by identifying inefficiencies or problems.

Seitou can also be combined with maintenance – or become the new maintenance standard. Lubricating machinery can also be tied in with a “seitou” cleaning schedule, so it becomes one and the same. New problems can be documented during “seitou” so they can be remedied as part of the process.


To find out more about 5S and lean systems products, call Backsafe Australia on 1300 305 314 or visit our special 5S page here.

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