The 7 types of Waste in the Manufacturing Industry
Waste occurring in the manufacturing industry globally is a world wide environmental danger. Keeping the world “Green” is the buzz word that indicates our responsibility for not leaving a huge environmental footprint that damages our ozone, earth’s resources and future life.
Lean manufacturing is the American phrase coined to describe a manufacturing process that has solved its manufacturing waste. The Japanese gave the name of Muda to Manufacturing Industry waste. In essence. Muda is bad, Lean is good, and Green is what we are all trying to be.
The seven wastes in the manufacturing industry include unproductive manufacturing practices as identified by the father of the Toyota Production System (TPS). Taiichi Ohhno. TPS came to be identified as lean manufacturing in the United States.
Following are the seven wastes:
- 1. Overproduction — Manufacture of products in advance or in excess of demand wastes money, time and space.
- 2. Waiting — Flow of Operation should flow smoothly and continuous. Processes are ineffective and time is wasted when one process waits to begin while another finishes. Reports state 99 percent of a product’s time in manufacture is actually spent waiting, not being created.
- 3. Excessive processing — Overly expensive equipment is wasteful if simpler machinery would work the same or better.
- 4. Excessive inventory wastes money with costs of storage and maintenance.
- 5. Unnecessary motion — Worker movements should be convenient and productive, not wasted bending, reaching or walking. Ergonomics evaluation should design more efficient behavior.
- 6. Inappropriate Processing – Excess processing wastes money in payment for employee time, wastes said employee time and can be detrimental to product.
- 7. Defects – Manufacturing defects and inoperable product causes waste of money and loss of time sensitive contracts.
Lean manufacturing is based on an immediate and timely way to avoid the waste associated with overproduction, waiting and excess inventory. Since the list of waste has been established, other categories have been proposed for addition, including:
- Under-utilization of employee skills— Employees have other talent, skills and insights for work that should be used.
- Unsafe workplaces and environments— Employee accidents, health issues arising because of unsafe working conditions.
- Lack of or timely sharing of information— Research/ communication are essential. Operations must work to capacity.
- Equipment breakdown— Poorly kept equipment causes damage and costs both time and money, plus can affect employee safety.
The seven wastes list was created for manufacturing. However, the list of categories is easily adapted to most workplaces and most industries.
Kryton Engineered Metals has taken steps within its own operations to abide by the foregoing lists.
- Equipment has been stationed at more efficient locations to minimize employee movements and time loss. This is changed as needed to keep efficiency high.
- Communications within the company are streamlined and prioritized so that important communication was delivered appropriately.
- Each morning Staff Production Meeting is held to go through the scheduled day and discuss any problems expected and assign staff to them.
- Computer software completely handles daily schedule of the manufacturing process. From moment a shipment of material arrives, it is processed and within three hours is in production. This doesn’t stop or ebb until the product is completed and shipped to the buyer.
- The Computer software also keeps the personnel all on the same page and prevents doubled efforts or lost time.