5S Cleaning -Stage 3 (Seiso)

The third step of 5S, cleaning, does not actually take place until all the clutter has been removed and the area has been organized. Trying to clean prior to the first two steps will result in having to do it twice.

There are two types of clean-up to consider during this stage; 1. general clean-up, and 2. chronic problem identification and clean-up. By focusing in both these areas you will be setting yourself up for success during the next stage.

General Clean-Up

At this point in the 5S process, you need to get out your brooms, dust pans, water buckets, sponges, and any other material required to get the place spic-and-span.

Wash walls and machines. Mop and sweep up any debris in and around the work stations. Dust off shelves and racking. Clean up any grease on the machines. Wipe down desks and drawers.

Once the place has been thoroughly cleaned, see if there are any areas that would benefit from a fresh coat of paint. A new finish on the walls can boost morale and add support for your 5S initiatives.

To keep up with general 5S it must be performed on a daily basis. It should become part of your end-of-day routine.

Chronic Problem Identification and Clean-Up

Now that the general clean-up is complete, it's time to identify the chronic problems and resolve them.

You need to find any areas that leak, drip, blow dust or dirt and perform root cause analysis. Once you've determine the cause of the issue, permanent countermeasures should be put in place.

Look for leaky seals on machines where oil is leaking and replace them. Inspect air filters to ensure they are clean and serving their purpose; replace if necessary.

Are parts falling off machines? Improve the chutes if required. Are trimmings or shavings landing on the ground? Create an area where trimmings/shavings fall directly into a waste basket.

At this point in the process the place should be looking really good. But be sure to follow-up on the problematic areas to ensure the fix is still valid. Now you are ready for stage 4, Standardization.

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