Waste is a substance or process which is usually discarded after use, and its presence makes no difference or sense to the business. There are many aspects of Lean manufacturing wastes and from time to time they cost a certain amount of time and money in multiple ways. Here, we talk about such fatal Lean manufacturing wastes.
In terms of Lean manufacturing, any activity that is not adding any value to the system is termed as ‘Muda,’ which is Japanese for waste. There are various forms of waste and there are eight Lean manufacturing wastes, which can prove to be fatal to any organization. There is quite a good way to remember these forms of waste; we’ll use the acronym DOWNTIME, each letter of this word refers to a type of waste. The following are the eight forms of waste in Lean manufacturing:
- Defects – A defect is an irregularity or glitch in an existing product, service or process, causing inconvenience to the entire system. For example, an operating system failure due to faulty hardware.
- Overproduction – It can be a sheer waste of production if any material or product is produced in excess (exceeding requirements), keeping a ‘just in case’ approach in mind. To avoid such kind of waste, we must follow the ‘just in time’ principle, enabling the exact or required production of supplies.
- Waiting – Any type of waiting experienced during an ongoing process. For example, waiting for an approval from senior authority to initiate production is considered waste. This can cause major delays in process. Poor internal communication can be a major cause of this type of waste.
- Non-Utilized Human Talent – Underutilizing a skill set of employees is a waste that every organization needs to address. There is a great deal of creativity and productivity that goes to waste that instead can be identified and used for the organization’s benefit.
- Transportation – Not every product or process requires mobility, causing the unnecessary use of transportation for movement or shipping. For example, passing files from one place to another, or shifting a patient from one unit to another.
- Inventory – When there is an over-production of goods, they are settled in inventory. This type of waste occurs when the goods are not sold for whatever reason, so they stay idle in inventory, eating up space and money.
- Motion – Employees unnecessarily searching for information in order to complete a task. This involves irrelevant movement and is considered waste.
- Excess Processing – Any activity which makes no sense to the processes and is an extra exercise is another form of waste. This can prolong labor and cause an unnecessary waste of money.
It is important to have a control over Lean manufacturing wastes as this can cause the manufacturing industry a lot of inconvenience and can cost some money as well. These wastes occur in almost every industry, and they can be eradicated using Lean principles.