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Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The 6 Pillars of 6S - Free Posters

In my plant in Avon, CT we do a number of tours sharing our Lean practices and thinking.  It is our way of giving back since we have been fortunate to learn from some many great companies in our region.  The one thing I am most requested for a copy of is our 6S Posters.  We have been doing 6S (5S +Safety) dating back to 2003 and as part of the early stages of implementation we made posters.  These were used to train people in the principles of the 6S's (we actually started wit 5S) and over the years the posters have been continuously updated.  I thought I would share these posters here:

Click on the image of the poster to get a larger version.

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  1. Although this was not the point of your post, I did want to chime in that I disagree usually with adding "safety" under 5S. First, 5S is a process whereas safety is a result. Just from a parallelism standpoint, it doesn't fit. Now, if as part of the 5S process, you also had a structured area safety assessment, then I could see adding it because it is now part of the process, but short of that, it doesn't belong.

    Second, is that safety isn't the primary purpose of 5S. Because the primary purpose is generally not well understood anyway, sticking in safety often takes us further away from understanding its purpose.

    Safety is vitally important, so no one should interpret my comments as diminishing its important. But you don't make something important just by sticking the word in.

    Jamie Flinchbaugh

  2. Jamie, I tend to agree with you. We have had a strong safety program I'll say for about 15 years. Very proactive (looking at prevention and safe behaviors). When we started 5S it was just that. The addition of safety into the 5S process was the improvement idea of the safety committee. There were overlaps in the safety committees safety audits and the 5S audits as you would expect. Since the 5S audits were naturally identifying safety opportunities for improvement the committee thought by combining the auditing processes into one that there time could be spent on other training initiatives. They have add health and wellness to their scope.

    I agree with you, anytime you go to the Gemba and observe safety and then quality must be the top priority. You should stop and address both immediately. Just because it may not be on your checklist doesn't mean you should overlook critical elements of your process and business.

    Thanks for sharing your advice Jamie.

  3. Great looking posters, Tim. I love the before and after pictures. Thanks for sharing!

  4. This is great examples of 5s. I really enjoy your posts. Keep them coming. JM

  5. Hi Tim,

    I was going to say something about keeping safety separate from 5S because it's an overriding requirement of everything we do, but Jamie has already said it more eloquently, and your response tells me you are on the same mental wavelength anyway.
    Posters are very good though. Nicely designed to put across the basic philosophy, the benefits, the method and the expected results in one (for each S) neat sheet.

  6. Really nice posters, Tim. Thanks!

    Whether you agree with 6S vs 5S, I love how these are separated into 6 posters. Very cool for a training room, or long expanse of wall on the floor.

    Where do you guys hang your posters?

    1. We used to post them all over the factory in various sizes. After 5 years of practicing 5S they started to fade because it became more habitual. We now post large poster size versions in a hallway leading to the manufacturing floor. This helps facilitate factory tours and new employee training. We have updated the posters a couple of times and also translated them into Japanese, German, Dannish, and Spanish.