5S in Malaysia (vol.2)

I would like to report about “5S Excellence Workshop Part2” which was held in Malaysia for three days.

5S project leader Mr. L showed the video and introduced 5 S activities at one developed organization in Kuala Lumpur ot the opening ceremony on the first day.

・Each tool has their own fixed place to store.
・Each materials are stored vertically.
・Tilt parts for quick retrieval and storage
・Use forklift which can lift both left and right in very narrow aisles in storage so that you don’t need to change direction.
・All shelves and desk are attached with casters.

Above cases are considered advanced even in Japan.

I spoke below after his introduction session.


Last week, there was Kaizen presentations held by two makers in Japan. It was very good oppoturtunities which were filled with ideas of Kaizen. For example, from something rather easy to do such as setting hanging store place for technical tools which used to be placed on floor to something big job such as making a hall at the wall to connect two work station by roller conveye. There are several things which I wouldn’t even get such ideas and it made me realize that it is extremely important for staff to have eyes to find areas for improvement by themselves.
To materialize this, keys for successful 5S activities are to provide appropriate training and to perform proactive small group activity with all staff involvement. Of couse, it is also important to have an opportunities to get some advices from third parties (such as consultants) as many things could be missed out by internal staff.

Lastly, there’s no end for Kaizen (improvement).
We say “After you made an improvement, you now stand at the point of prior to improvement”. Once you made an improvement, this is not the end, but this will be the starting point for the next.
If you only make an improvement by being pointed out and ordered by “others”, you will be tired because you don’t know how much we should keep going because they will continue request for further changes. On the other hand, if you are willing to make an improvement for the areas which you thought they need changes, you will be satisfied with the achievement and this stimulate the “development desire” of yourself. This way, you can conitinue improvement with positive mind. This will motivate staff and keep them follow rules, and eventually leads to great results of quality, delivery and cost.

There are keys to materialize independent small group activities and I will give you advices in regards to this.


I found many improvements compared with what I’d see at the previous time of three-month before.
・Monitor display would required extra space.
 ⇒ Changed from standing monitor to wall mount monitor to save space
・Long distance to transport by carrier to store items between processes
 ⇒ Subdivided store places and reduced the transport distance by half
・Ailes were not secured (no aisle and passage line)
 ⇒ Aisle line was marked and defined the area for carrier transportation

Aisles were appropriately marked though, two carriers cannot pass each other because aisles were designed narrow, followings were suggested:
・Create standby areas at aisles
・Do not place shelves at processes and enable direct provision from carrier to devices
・Reduce depth of shelf by half and not to store except for the items to be processed at the next step.
・Chamfering for smooth turn at the corner etc.
It is necessary to revise the operation order and design of operation flow in order to materialize above.
Physical 5S will directly lead to operational improvement.

Other excellent improvements were:
・Quantity of parts storage is varied. Some are too much and some others are run out.
 ⇒ Performed 2S at parts shelves and fixed stock standard and order rules one by one.
・Equipments and tools were piled up at the shelves.
 ⇒ Fixed individual store storeplaces and hanging places.


In regards to maintenance tool box, I suggested to set hanging store places at the previous time, but it was rejected as they think it is more convenient to use tool box to transport to each devices. Then, they developed special carriage for tools which they marked the shape of tools (so that anybody can recognize where to store each tool) and enabled hanging storage and of course, this carriage can be transported. This was excellent idea by combining ideas of consultant and their own.

I look forward to seeing further improvement!