There is an episode of the Jetsons where George brings home a faulty lugnut from his place of employment, Spacely Sprockets. Because nuts and bolts are apparently like candy to robots, Rosie the Jetsons’ robot maid eats this faulty lugnut and goes on a crazy cleaning spree while muttering “A place for everything and everything in its place” over and over.
Obviously it was very clear that something was off with Rosie and while her behavior in repeating a phrase multiple times was an indicator of a problem, what she was repeating is the basis for the second step of 5S, which is set in order.
Set-in-order = “A place for everything, and everything in its place”
Now that we’ve got all items within a work cell sorted, we must start putting those items where they serve operators best based on usage frequency and process steps. Everything used hourly/shiftly/daily needs to have a place near where they are to be immediately used.
Items used only a couple times per week should find a place near the work cell but not directly within it.
Items used less than once per week should find homes far away from the process and work cell so they do not clutter the area.
During the set-in-order phase of 5S is when we should start to consider point-of-use storage and markings. In the above photo, “a place for everything and everything in its place” is certainly demonstrated. Shadowboards indicate where tools are supposed to go (and what tools are missing or are in use somewhere). Lines/boxes are drawn on the floor indicating free-standing tools/buckets/brooms/brushes/etc have homes.
With the completion of sort and set-in-order a large chunk of lean preparation has been implemented – you don’t have in your work cell what isn’t needed, and those things you do need in your work cell have specific locations that are strategically placed based on usage and visual recognition. These are small steps in progress, but huge steps nonetheless.
Learning: set-in-order = “a place for everything and everything in its place”