Elimination of the Seven Wastes of Lean Manufacturing

removing 7 wastes of lean manufacturing process

Lean manufacturing is a process or method of waste minimization. Lean production or Lean manufacturing is closely related to the Japanese word Muda which means “wastefulness”. The waste management is the biggest concept of this manufacturing technique. In this article, we will be looking forward to having a clear idea about the elimination of the different wastes of Lean production method. So, we will be putting some attention to remove the Muda or wastes occur at the time of production.  There are two types of Wastes in Lean Manufacturing. Muda Type I and Muda Type II.

First Type: It is very difficult to remove as it does not add any value from the manufacturing point of view but the customer may have a requirement for that.

Second Type: These are that type of wastes which are surely required to be eliminated as it may involve huge hidden cost and also not required by the customer.

For more ideas please read Lean manufacturing vs six sigma method. 

elimination of wastes in lean manufacturing

How to eliminate the Seven Wastes in Lean Manufacturing

Taichi Ohno who was the chief of production in Toyota identified seven wastes or MUDA. We will be looking at these seven forms and discuss the removal or reduction process of wastes in the lean manufacturing technique.

The seven manufacturing wastes include the following-

  • Transportation Waste
  • Inventory Waste
  • Motion Waste
  • Waiting Waste
  • Over-Processing Waste
  • Overproduction
  • Defects or Wastes due to defect rework.

For having a complete idea of the seven wastes please visit  7 wastes in lean manufacturing. 

To remember the seven wastes you can use the mnemonic TIM WOODS (Using the initial letter of each waste). Well, the waste is nothing but that element which does not add or does not have any potential to add value to the finish goods. And each and every company are trying to do some profits. The profit = Selling price- Cost Price = +ve value. And the positive value will come only if the cost price is less than the selling price. For that reason, you have to reduce the cost price which implies that you have to eliminate all types of wastes. The only way to produce finished goods at a reasonable selling price is to completely reduce the costs due to wastage.

Elimination of Wastes in Lean Production

If you are selling something at a very high cost then the customer will start to source some other manufacturer or vendor. If the price is too little then the buyer may think that you are giving some low-quality material. So there is no alternative other than to optimize the cost. So let’s begin the waste reduction technique-

Proper Planning

Before getting into the production the engineer, technicians, foreman and all the involved persons should have a meeting. For a big manufacturing order, the total manpower should be divided into different groups with different supervisors. Proper flowchart and systems should be developed. And if this proper system is implemented then you will be able to deliver the item in time. The over-production and over-processing Muda will be hugely reduced. The inventory will be properly managed and you will be almost free from the taxes that have to be paid for the inventory. The research, manufacturing and logistics team should have a good understanding, otherwise, the transportation cost will rise. The issues like motion waste will also get reduced if a proper planning is involved.

Recheck and examine your Work Instructions

Always keep your work instructions updated. Every time the process needs modification according to the workload and requirement of the customer. So work instructions should be updated. This updated working technique will help the employees to understand the customer need. You need to check the demerits of the previous technique which may have cost you the extra for the defective pieces.

Proper Logistics support team with a good supervisor

These days strong management team is needed to create an efficient logistics support. The manufacturing team and the delivery team should sit together and forecast the delivery dates. And accordingly, the logistics should be arranged. Transportation can be arranged by the manufacturing company or by the customer. If you have the obligations that you will be providing the transportation then always plan for it. If the company is not having their own logistics then they have to rent the logistics. A proper pre-planned system can reduce the transportation cost as well as reducing the waiting waste.

Always keeping a non-conformity record

A data center is needed for the record keeping of all the past products you delivered. The products can be software, hardware, electrical equipment, machines, consumer goods, heavy utility products or anything. There is always a chance of getting a defect in the product. For example, suppose that you are a software developer and you have provided complete software solutions for the customer. There may be some bugs in your software that was visible only at the time of operation at the customer use. So what have you done to eliminate the bug? Keep that record. As a result, you will not repeat that mistake again. And now you will also have the potential to overcome the defect. This is also applicable to all the other products. So keep the record of your product’s non-conformity and customer feedback. This will certainly reduce the waste due to defects and rework.

In conclusion, we can say that if we move forward with a proper planning to utilize the manpower with their highest efficiency then we can achieve our goal of minimizing the wastes, involved in lean manufacturing process. Afterwards, each and every instruction should be rechecked and updated for the proper system development. This will keep the workers or employees motivated for the job. A proper feedback system from the customers should be developed, otherwise, the manufacturer will be totally lost. To cope up with the competitive market it is very much necessary to reduce the waste in the manufacturing system. This minimized waste will improve the costing of the product, as a result, the selling price will be within the reach of the customers. The owners of the business must learn the lean manufacturing secrets to reduce the wastes in the system.


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