Waste, which is called “Muda”
in Japan, is the primary focus of Lean Manufacturing. There
are eight identified wastes that occur in any manufacturing
facility. There was seven identified wastes but the eighth
waste of intelligence was added later. Most untrained professionals
identify waste with bad product, but there are many other
wastes occurring throughout the day in the facility.
The eight wastes are:
The waste of waiting occurs in almost every manufacturing
and service function. Whenever any employee is waiting for
something, it is costing the company money. Not only is the
labor cost per unit higher, machinery is often idle while
the wait occurs. If the machinery is not running, it is not
being operated at full capacity, reducing OEE (Overall Equipment
Effectiveness) and the company is losing efficiency and potential
Inventory is one of the largest wastes in any industry. Inventory
waste comes in the form of raw material, work in process,
and finished goods. It costs money to purchase the inventory
that could be used for necessary items. Inventory has a chance
to become obsolete. It takes up space and potentially causes
inefficient operation. Every operation needs some amount of
inventory, but through employing Lean Manufacturing concepts,
the company can reduce it to the minimum amount necessary.
Transportation is another large waste. One example is movement
of product through the plant. Mapping the flow of product
helps identify some of the transportation waste, as the movement
of product often requires transportation.
Overproduction waste is a very large waste because not only
is material lost but the labor that was put into converting
it and the time spent by equipment producing it.
Overprocessing occurs in many industries. One form of overprocessing
is adding more value to the product than the customer wants,
needs, or is willing to pay for.
An example of the waste of intelligence is not involving everyone
in the business for improvement. Operators often have years
of experience and know what could be done to improve the business,
but often are never involved. Lean Manufacturing implementation
is most successful involving everyone in the business improvement,
Any scrap, defect, or reject is obviously waste.
The waste of motion also occurs in every manufacturing and
service industry. One small example is looking for something.
The goal of Lean Manufacturing is to achieve 100% waste reduction
in the system. The “Eight Wastes” helps us identify
and eliminate it.
The lean manufacturing online course module on waste teaches
how to find and eliminate each of the eight wastes.