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The Seven Wastes Found in Manufacturing

  • The Seven wastes Found in Manufacturing is an enlightening video that defines and gives examples of each waste with their associated consequences. waste elimination is key to any Lean organization.
  • Waste is the opposite of value and you should continue adding value while reducing or eliminating waste.
  • There are typically seven types of waste found in manufacturing, and for the purposes of this presentation, I will assign an animation to represent each waste that will be used throughout.
    1: Excess Inventories means holding or purchasing unnecessary raw materials, excess work in process or finished goods.
    2: Unneeded Processing Time or Over-processing means having unnecessary steps, work elements, or procedures.
    3: Waiting means time delays, idle time or time during which value is not added to the product, adding cost without creating value. Waiting lengthens the total cycle time unnecessarily.
    4: Excessive Motion is the actions of people or equipment that do not add value to the product.
    5: Overproduction can be early production, producing over the customer requirements, or producing unnecessary materials or products.
    6: Defective Products means producing a part that is scrapped or requires rework, or consuming resources without making a product for the customer.
    7: The waste of Transportation means multiple handling or unnecessary handling, and ultimately causes the delay of material delivery to next operation.
  • These wastes do not add value to the product and must be identified and either eliminated or reduced. Your business will not reach its full potential when these wastes exist.
  • Examples of excess inventories include:
    A: Most of the work in process between operations also called "batch and queue" is excess inventory
    B: And producing more than the customer demands causes excess inventories
  • The consequences of having excess inventories include the waste of waiting. Watch this one batch of parts as it slowly makes its way through production. As you can see, all of the work in process between operations causes the lead time of each batch to increase drastically. Most of the time spent in manufacturing is waiting. All of that waiting causes longer lead times and delays.
  • Excess inventory prevents problems from being detected quickly enough. In this example, let's pretend you are processing a 1,000 piece batch. The red ball represents your batch of material as it makes its way through the excess inventory. If the 3rd operation finds a problem with the 1st operation, you are looking at all 1,000 pcs being defective.
  • Materials and labor are tied up in inventories sitting on the shop floor which is cash out of pocket.
  • Excess inventory means having to handle the same material multiple times, stocking materials the customer does not need, controlling and counting inventory, and purging materials from stock.
  • Lastly, excess inventories consume valuable floor space that could be used for additional equipment that can produce product and increase productivity.
  • Examples of unneeded processing time or over processing include:
    A: Sanding more than is required to produce an acceptable product
    B: Applying more paint than is required
    C: Having to remove rust or dust because of the length of time the product sat on the shop floor
    D: Not having the right equipment to do the job, like using a machine for something it was not intended.
  • When items are over processed:
    A: It takes longer to produce the item so the lead time lengthens
    B: It takes valuable time away from production, so productivity decreases
    C: It is a waste of human energy and motion
    D: And if we have to transport the items for an operation that is unnecessary, it is excess transportation
  • Some examples of the waste of waiting are:
    A: waiting while the parts sit in queue
    B: The operator waiting for anything including inspection
    C: Waiting for operators that are not meeting takt time for example
    D: And the waste of watching any machine run
  • The waste of waiting causes:
    A: Longer lead times
    B: A loss in productivity
    C: And the start and stop prevents smooth production flow
  • Some examples of excessive motion are:
    A: Bending to pick up parts or tools
    B: Reaching for parts or tools
    C: And walking is by far the worst waste of excessive motion
  • Excessive motion applies to both machines and to manpower and causes:
    A: Longer lead times
    B: A decrease in productivity
    C: And poor ergonomics which can lead to safety concerns
  • Overproduction is characterized by:
    A: Making too many parts or producing parts before the customer requires them
    B: Excessive scrap during set-ups cause us to produce more parts than are required
    C: But long set-up times are the main culprit for producing more parts than are required. Long set-ups are a waste of time so production wants to make as many parts as possible before they tear down a setup, and that usually means producing more than the customer wants at that moment.
  • Overproduction causes:
    A: Longer lead time
    B: Excessive inventories
    C: wasted motion
    D: And a decrease in productivity
  • Some examples of defective products include:
    A: Scrap
    B: Rework
    C: Customer complaints
    D: And customer returns. Customer returns require processing, rework or remake, and sometime a formal corrective action process.
  • When defective products are produced:
    A: It costs money in materials and labor to rework or remake
    B: It takes extra time away from production
    C: Customer good will is lost
    D: And the lead time is increased
  • Examples of the waste of transportation can be found when we see conveyors (which are considered automated waste) and forklifts. The waste of transportation is caused by a poor factory layout.
  • The waste of transportation causes:
    A: A longer lead time
    B: Transportation damage causing rework or scrap
    C: And a decrease in productivity
  • As you can see, all of these wastes are interrelated. You must continuously drive waste out of the factory and increase value to the customer. Remember, the customer is only willing to pay for value added activities and not waste.

Proper flow reduces all of the wastes discussed in this presentation. If you need to change the flow of your business, give us a call today. We're the guys who make this process simple!


About the author:

Jeff Hofstetter

Jeff Hofstetter Jeff is the President of Xtreme Lean Consulting with over 24 years of experience in Lean and Six Sigma Consulting. Jeff is a results-driven, decisive leader with a proven track record of initiating time and cost-saving operational improvements while leading diverse teams to strong, sustainable performance gains. Skilled mentor and coach with a hands-on, positive approach to resource management, leadership development, and training.

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