Understanding the Two Types of Wastes and the 7 Wastes in Lean Manufacturing

In Business Skills, Management Skills
Seven Wastes in Lean Manufacturing

Waste or Muda (Japanese) is an activity that absorbs or wastes the resources of the manufacturing. It’s an expenditure or additional time in the manufacturing but does not add any value in the activity. Eliminating a waste (Young) is a basic principle in the Lean Manufacturing. The concept of Waste elimination should be taught to every individual in an organization in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the manufacturing activities.
Initially, the 7 Wastes in lean manufacturing were introduced by Taiichi Ohno who worked at Toyota Production System.

If you would like to analyze how to waste elimination, you should consider the two types of wastes. Generally, the two types of wastes in lean manufacturing include Obvious Waste and Hidden Waste.

The Two Types of Wastes

Obvious Waste refers to something that is easy to recognize and can be removed instantly with a small cost or no cost at all.

Hidden Waste refers to the waste that can only be removed with the newest working methods such as technology assistance or new policy.

7 Wastes in Lean Manufacturing

There are 7 wastes that often occur in the Manufacturing industry, include:

1. Waste of Overproduction

The waste that occurs due to excess of production either in the form of Finished Goods or WIP (Work In Progress) goods. But they have no order from Customer. Some Reasons to the Waste of Overproduction include a Long Time Setup of Machine, Low Quality, or “Just in case” thought.

2. Waste of Inventory

The waste due to the Inventory is the Accumulation of Finished Goods, WIP and Excessive Raw Materials in all stages of the production that requires storage, large capital, and the human resources that watching it and documentation work (Paperwork).

3. Waste of Defects (Damage)

The waste of defects occurs due to the poor quality of the some of the goods or the defective that requires repairs. Such condition will lead to additional costs in the form of labor costs, components used in the repair and other expenses.

4. Waste of Transportation

The Waste of Transportation occurs due to poor production layout, poor workplace organization of that requires the goods movement from one to another place. For example, the Warehouse Location is far from the Production workplace.

5. Waste of Motion (Movement)

The Waste of Motion occurs due to Movements of Workers and Machines that do not do not provide or add value to the product. For example, the laying of components is far from the operator’s reach, in which to reach the components the workers require some movements from its working position to take the components.

6. Waste of Waiting

When a worker or machine does not do the job, the condition is named as waiting. The waiting could be due to the unbalanced process that makes some workers and machines need to wait to do their work, the technical problem of the machine, late component supply, loss of work equipment, or waiting for a decision or certain information.

7. Waste of Overprocessing

Not all processes can provide added value for a product or customer. The processes that don’t provide added value to the product or customer is a waste or an excessive process (Read also: How to Define a Product and How to Become a Product Manager). For example a repeated inspection process, an approval process that must pass many people, and cleaning process. All Customers want a quality product, but the most important thing is not the repeated inspection process but how to guarantee the Quality of Product at the time of the manufacturing. All we have to do to overcome the Waste of Overprocessing is finding the root cause of a problem and execute the action (countermeasure) in accordance with the root cause.

The Seven Wastes are abbreviated to “TIMWOOD“, which consists of:

  • TTransportation
  • IInventory
  • MMotion
  • WWaiting
  • OOverprocessing
  • OOverproduction
  • DDefects


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