Business Processes



Canon Production System (CPS)

Five Ss at Canon

Executive Summary by Vadim Kotelnikov

5Ss at Canon 5Ss Kaizen Mindset 5S: Canon Production System (CPS): 5Ss at Canon

Key Benefits of Canon Production System

  1. Environmentally-conscious manufacturing and logistics

  2. Quality-oriented methods

  3. Lower costs

  4. Shorter deadlines

  5. ... All aim for maximum customer satisfaction


Canon Production System (CPS) includes:

  1. Management by objectives at all levels of the hierarchy

  2. Environmental care, quality, cost, and delivery (EQCD) to optimize production

  3. Support and training system

  4. Staff participation (quality circles, suggestion boxes, improvement proposals), and workshop dynamism

  5. Bulletin boards for results and performance for each department

  6. Continuous improvement is at the core of the innovation system approach

The Five-S approach

The "5S" refers to five Japanese principles for workplace management to increase efficiency.

  1. Seiri (Sort): Do things in the proper order. Eliminate unnecessary items from the workplace. Keep the strict minimum.


  2. Seiton (Set in order): Specify a location for everything. Put things where they belong. Set in order and identify useful items in order to locate them more easily. "A place for everything and everything in its place." Designate Location by number, color coding, name. etc.

  3. Seiso (Shine): Specify recommended procedures for cleanup. Follow the procedures. Thoroughly clean the work area or work place.

  4. Seiketsu (Standardize): Standardize best practices in the work area. Keep equipment and the workplace in the best possible condition.

  5. Shitsuke (Sustain): Scrutinize practices; expose the wrong ones; learn correct practices and make sure you use them.

The 5 S approach is a basis for continuous improvement and can lead to less waste.

The 2 S (Sort and Set in order) are the keystone for the 5S.

The other 3 S (Shine, Standardize, and Sustain) are the keystone for the 2 S.


The Five Ss are implemented through frequent grading of each work area by using an inspection check sheet. In some factories, Five-S committees conduct regular inspections of plants and departments using Five-S criteria. In other factories, the work areas evaluate themselves on a weekly basis.

All work are expected to continuously find ways to improve regardless of their performance. Results of evaluations are posted on bulletin boards to foster responsibility and pride. The best work areas are awarded recognition plaques.

Kaizen Mindset


The Five-S movement helped change attitudes. Employees started readily follow workplace rules (keeping parts and tools in the right place, etc.), that previously had been difficult to employ.

As a result, performance measures such as defect rates, equipment breakdowns, and number of accidents have all been improved.

CIF - Continuous Improvement Firm (Smart & Fast Mini-course)