Explaining The Seven Types Of Lean Waste

The principles of Lean waste explain that every activity, in every business, started by people can generate more or less waste. It exists in all domains and it can be seen in various ways. Many forms of waste are obvious, but others are not easy to see without especially looking for them. It may be hard to identify it sometimes. In Japanese, waste is categorized into three different words; Muda (unproductive), Mura (inconsistent) and Muri (unreasonable).

According to Lean Principles, there are 7 different types of waste that are explained below;

1.    Overproduction - This type of waste refers to procedures that should be finished because the requirements have been fulfilled. Instead, the procedures were continued, despite the accomplishment of the required goals. This type does not only include product amounts made in excess, but also things produced too early, as well as excess transportation costs.  It is important to know the exact demand of your product or service through research to reduce overproduction waste.

2.    Unnecessary Transportation - This type of waste means having too many transports for a certain material or work in progress transportation. It also includes product deterioration or damage which occurs during transports and the prolonged transport times, in which there is not profit.

3.    Waiting/Queuing – This type of waste could be described as the inactivity period generated by a processing machine, by a worker who stopped working, or by a function that needs time to be finished. This unused time adds no profit and actually costs the company money due to employee wages. The best example is one of a worker who is forced to leave the workplace because he/she needs more raw materials and in the same time, another worker needs a partially finished product from him/her in order to make a final product.

4.    Extra Processing – This type of waste refers to procedures that are made after the product is completed because of fabrication defects or bad storage and handling. Making too many inspections and not focusing on making new designs that could remove problems is also included in this type.

5.    Motion- Motion waste is the pointless movement of various employees, raw materials, or machines from one place to another. It also means the time spent in learning to work with imperfect designs, too much production etc. Motion is time consuming and just as in other categories, this time does not add value.

6.    Inventory - Some of the inventory may be unhelpful in the current production order or it can provide only indirect help, which is usually not enough. The inventory range can be from raw state to work-in-progress and finished products. The main reason for inventory problems is the lack of space or handling.  Only make what you know you are able to sell.  If you do not have room to make the products that people want because you have too many of the products that people do not want, your business will surely fail

7.    Defects - Products which do not respect the standards of quality imposed by the client are considered defective. This also includes rejections of raw materials by the manufacturer if it is of subpar quality and cannot be used to make their product to its specifications. These factors generate more production time and general dissatisfaction among both employees and customers.

One of the biggest concerns of product manufacturers and company employees is eliminating Lean waste. It is very important to do something regarding this waste, as it will reduce the cost of the final product. Lost time which does not add value to the process will add more cost to the product, and the money spent for it will be from the pocket of the client. These seven waste factors are easy to detect; once they are removed everyone will be happier with a more quality product made faster and easier.


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