Eliminate 8 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing: Boost Factory Productivity

Bhagyashri Kambale | January 31, 2022
ELIMINATE 8 WASTES OF LEAN
Every industrial facility generates waste in some form or another. However, not all waste has to be physical; some can appear within the processes that occur throughout the manufacturing cycle. It is critical that you adopt strategies that enable you to generate less waste.

“Lean is a way of thinking, not a list of things to do.”

– Shigeo Shingo, a Japanese Industrial Engineer

Lean manufacturing is a method for optimizing and simplifying the way a company operates and interacts with its surroundings on a strategic level. Additionally, it is an efficient method of decreasing and managing existing waste within an organization.In this article, we'll look at the eight types of waste in lean manufacturing and the lean tools that may help reduce them and improve the precision and customer focus of your business operations. 

How to Eliminate the 8 Types of Waste in Lean Manufacturing


Transport

Transport is a prominent example of lean manufacturing waste. It may be from machining to welding, or from a factory in China to an assembly line in America. This transportation adds no value to the product, does not alter it, and does not satisfy the customer. Transport waste may cause your firm to lose money rapidly; you must spend on material handling equipment, employees, training, safety precautions, additional space for material transportation, etc. Transportation requires strategic planning and logistical assistance to be lean and optimum. Transportation performance should be monitored routinely using analytical measures and KPIs.

For example, Toyota's Toyota Production System (TPS) has developed the tools and practices of Lean Manufacturing, and many of its suppliers are located near to their factories, which helps them reduce the transportation waste of their business. To start applying lean thinking to transportation management, you must first understand transportation expenses, which are divided into unit and productivity costs. Focus on long-term solutions that reduce overall mileage, trailer use, waiting times, and adherence to routing guides. Value stream mapping can help locate transportation waste. With value stream mapping, processes are documented and evaluated in terms of customer value. Any transportation that cannot be connected to value is reduced or eliminated.

Inventory

One of the main benefits of current Point of Sales (POS) and production technologies is that companies may produce things only when there is demand. Inventory waste is no longer an unavoidable issue. When this type of lean manufacturing waste occurs, it is usually the result of excessive production or a process breakdown. Order management and inventory monitoring solutions assist in decreasing inventory waste. Creating real-time inventory visibility and accuracy requires the use of a computer-based system, such as ERP software.

Additionally, it has been demonstrated that scanning barcodes significantly reduces errors associated with manual procedures. This type of solution offers a far more detailed and fast inventory tracking strategy. Moreover, an active cycle counting program is critical for a manufacturing company's inventory management to improve.

Movement/ Motion

Movement/motion waste is the unnecessary transport of objects. Motion waste, on the other hand, also refers to unnecessary human actions or movements. Motion waste is commonly caused by unoccupied or untidy workspaces. To address motion waste, lean practitioners invented the 5S method. It decreases workplace inefficiency and motion waste. Each of the five steps in the 5S technique begins with the letter S, which are:

  • Sort: Removing unnecessary material from each work area.
  • Set in Order: Set the goal of creating efficient work areas for each individual.
  • Shine: Maintaining a clean work area after each shift helps in identifying and resolving minor concerns.
  • Standardize: Documenting changes to make applications in other work areas more accessible.
  • Sustain: Repeat each stage for continuous improvement.

Waiting

Waiting time occurs when two interrelated processes are out of sync. This may include waiting for parts, instructions, labor, or repairs. Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) is a comprehensive approach that helps to eliminate waiting by reducing equipment downtime. It emphasizes empowering operators by assisting them in maintaining their own equipment. This method promotes shared accountability and increases the involvement of frontline workers.

Over-production

Overproduction happens when there is a surplus of goods produced. Overproduction is a major source of waste in the 8 wastes examples of lean. It is costly, reduces quality, and generates other wastes such as inventory and transportation. Kanban is another lean manufacturing approach designed to decrease overproduction waste. Kanban is a Japanese word that means “visual board”. As the name suggests, this approach initiates action based on visual clues. It is a "pull" method that addresses demand rather than anticipating it. Additional inventory is generated only when existing inventory is "pulled" from stock.

Over-processing

When simple processes are replaced by complex ones, this is known as over-processing. Excessive processing might entail the addition of features to products that buyers do not require. The employment of expensive equipment that isn't strictly necessary is another example of excessive processing. Value stream mapping may be quite beneficial for locating instances of excessive processing. It assists manufacturers in developing a sound action plan to leverage their available resources while also ensuring that materials and time are spent efficiently.

Defects

Defects in manufactured products are expensive to repair since the damaged product must be scrapped or re-made, interrupting the manufacturing process. Lean manufacturing approaches strive for a zero-defect output by recording problems, determining their causes, and adopting corrective action. There are several strategies for identifying and eliminating defect wastes; nevertheless, lean manufacturing seeks to prevent them from developing in the first place. This defect prevention is accomplished through a variety of techniques ranging from automation / Jidoka (machines with "human" intelligence that can detect when a non-standard event has occurred) to Pokayoke devices that detect if a product is defective, either preventing the process from running or highlighting the defect for action.

Implementing standard operating procedures (SOP) and training to guarantee that the proper processes are used and standards are fulfilled is, once again, the greatest solution for overcoming defective waste. Defects are an obvious waste. The cost of materials and labor utilized to create a product gets wasted. The waste from faulty products is aggravated by returns, lost goodwill, and wasted customer support activities.

Untapped Talent

Employees are the most significant resource in any organization. The lean waste of untapped talent is just what it sounds like: not leveraging your precious resource, your personnel, effectively or at all. This produces waste by leaving value on the table that your workers may provide through unrecognized abilities or talents. Recognizing and utilizing your team's abilities, expertise, and talents is critical to business success. Employees are your most precious resources, and not fully using them wastes time and money. Inappropriate task assignments are one typical source of talent waste.

Additionally, unnecessary administrative chores, poor communication, ineffective leadership or teamwork, and inadequate training are further untapped talent lean wastes examples. The greatest method to reduce talent waste is to empower employees rather than micromanage them. Many unseen abilities and talents emerge when employees feel empowered, making it simpler to identify and develop accessible talent. Following are a few ideas that can be adapted to any workplace:

  • Refine training programs.
  • Set up process management checklists that allow for flexibility.
  • Create remote monitoring systems to reduce micromanagement.
  • Hold frequent team meetings so they may express their views and ask questions.

How Did Nike Benefit from Lean Manufacturing?

According to the company's FY10/11 Sustainable Business Performance Summary, the supply chain has run more effectively after adopting a lean strategy. They termed it "better manufacturing" as it eliminated wasted resources and time. As part of its sustainability mission, the study noted, the corporation attempted to remove waste, wasted time, and materials from its processes.
According to the survey,

  • Failure rates were 50% lower in contracted factories that used the lean strategy than in companies that did not.
  • It was shown that lead times for deliveries from lean manufacturing were on average 40% shorter.
  • Lean factories have also claimed gains in productivity of 10% to 20% and a 30% decrease in the time required for launching a new model.

Final Words

We've discussed the lean strategies to deal with the eight forms of waste in manufacturing.  Identifying the lean manufacturing types of waste is critical for evaluating business loopholes and overcoming impediments to company growth.

Despite the industry’s transition journey from 1.0 to 4.0, many manufacturing professionals agree that lean manufacturing is still applicable today for running a business with the least amount of resources necessary to thrive. It is ideal for businesses looking to stay ahead of emerging industry trends, such as new technology and associated workforce shifts. By using Lean concepts, technologies, and digital operations, businesses may increase their agility and customer focus.

FAQ


How is lean different from Six Sigma?

Lean aims to reduce waste, speed up operations, and improve flow. Six Sigma lowers variation and lean decreases waste. Six Sigma targets 3.4 defects per million opportunities, whereas lean emphasizes speed.

What are the five principles of lean manufacturing?

According to Womack and Jones, there are five key lean principles: value, value stream, flow, pull, and perfection.

What is the objective of lean manufacturing?

Companies looking for ways to enhance efficiency and reduce waste should adopt lean thinking. The ultimate objective of lean manufacturing is to manufacture excellent goods that satisfy customers while using minimal resources.

Spotlight

Blue Prism

Blue Prism is the global leader in intelligent automation for the enterprise, transforming the way work is done. At Blue Prism, we have users in over 170 countries in more than 2,000 businesses, including Fortune 500 and public sector organisations, that are creating value with new ways of working, unlocking efficiencies, and returning millions of hours of work back into their businesses. Our digital workforce is smart, secure, scalable and accessible to all; freeing up humans to re-imagine work. Blue Prism’s vision is to provide a digital workforce for every enterprise. To learn more visit www.blueprism.com and follow us on Twitter @blue_prism and on LinkedIn.

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The digital thread, on the other hand, records a product's life cycle from creation to dissolution. { "@context": "https://schema.org", "@type": "FAQPage", "mainEntity": [{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a digital twin in manufacturing?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "The digital twins could be used to monitor and enhance a production line or perhaps the whole manufacturing process, from product design to production." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "How digital twin benefit manufacturers?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "Using digital twins to represent products and manufacturing processes, manufacturers can save assembly, installation, and validation time and costs." } },{ "@type": "Question", "name": "What is a digital thread?", "acceptedAnswer": { "@type": "Answer", "text": "A digital twin is a realistic version of a product or system that replicates a company's equipment, controls, workflows, and systems. The digital thread, on the other hand, records a product's life cycle from creation to dissolution." } }] }

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