Graduate Research Papers


Graduate Research Paper (UNI Access Only)


5S implementation in manufacturing is a valuable lean system used to establish foundation for continuous improvement. The 5S system is utilized to reduce waste, improve quality, optimize productivity, improve employee morale, establish organized work area, and reduce injuries. 5S system needs to be understood; it needs to be coached in a way that employees, both wage and salary, will buy into the approach. "The 5S pillars, Sort (Seiri), Set in Order (Seiton), Shine (Seiso), Standardize (Seiketsu), and Sustain (Shitsuke), provide a methodology for organizing, cleaning, developing, and sustaining a productive work environment".

At John Deere Waterloo Works (Tractor cab assembly operations) 5S implementation was successfully executed in one of the largest departments within the factory - final line assembly. Within the final line assembly department, a group of teams were formed to lead the implementation and execution of 5S. Each team was responsible to lead a zone within the department. This team approach worked out well as all employees participated and felt involved. With 5S implementation, the final line assembly department experienced a gain in push rates (units per hour), reduction in defects per unit, and organized the work areas in such a way that abnormalities were easily identified. Department metrics push rates (units per hour), quality, and efficiency is reviewed with the team on a daily basis to ensure team alignment and identify opportunities for improvement. Based on the metrics review from March 2013 through September 2013, there has been a significant improvement in productivity, quality, and safety as result of 5S implementation; maintaining organized and safe work environment.

Year of Submission



Department of Industrial Technology

First Advisor

Ali E. Kashef


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Date Original


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