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For example. Therefore the term Lean Manufacturing is a more generic term and refers to the general principals and further developments of Lean. The ideal shirt-making operation would be streamlined to give you. Though they may not call it Lean. the customer. Other manufacturers have adapted the system to meet their own needs and assigned a proprietary name to it. This extra time does not add value to you. Waste is defined as anything that does not add value to the customer. What was once thought of as impossible speed of delivery is now commonplace. such as Delphi Automotive's Delphi Manufacturing System. one would see a reduction in delivery time from 6 to 5 to 4 weeks and even less. As Lean Manufacturing principals are applied to the shirt-making process. the "Eyeglasses in About an Hour" companies have applied many Lean principles to their operation. The rest of the time is taken up by such things as material ordering. At Toyota the system is referred to as the Toyota Production System. What used to take weeks is now done in about an hour. The term Lean is very apt because in Lean Manufacturing the emphasis is to cut out the "fat" or waste in the manufacturing process. However the actual time the tailors or seamstresses are working on the shirt is only 5 hours. the customer. It could also be defined as anything the customer is unwilling to pay for. adding value to the customer.LEAN MANUFACTURING Lean Manufacturing is a manufacturing system and philosophy that was originally developed by Toyota and is now used by many manufacturers throughout the world. when you want it at the lowest possible cost within the least amount of time. it may take 6 weeks. It is no surprise that these operations have opened up all over the country. if you order a shirt to be custom made. waiting between processes and inefficient shipping practices. . what you want. Applying Lean Manufacturing principles gives manufacturers these types of results on a routine basis.

Transporting 4. there is a strategy to reduce or eliminate its effect on a company. Overproduction 2." "The seven wastes" is a tool to further categorize “muda” and was originally developed by Toyota’s Chief Engineer Taiichi Ohno as the core of the Toyota Production System. where waste is known as “muda. Inappropriate processing 5. The seven wastes consist of: 1. Unnecessary inventory 6. Waiting 3. it is important to understand exactly what waste is and where it exists.THE 7 WASTES IN LEAN MANUFACTURING Waste elimination is one of the most effective ways to increase the profitability of any business. Processes either add value or waste to the production of a good or service. the typical wastes found in manufacturing environments are quite similar. Defects . thereby improving overall performance and quality. To eliminate waste. Unnecessary motion 7. While products significantly differ between factories. For each waste. also known as Lean Manufacturing. The seven wastes originated in Japan.

results in high storage costs. which can never be recovered. and makes it difficult to detect defects. . a company know that it will lose a number of units along the production process so produces extra to make sure that the customer order is satisfied. 2. often the main driving force for JIT (Just in time) systems. The Toyota Production System is also referred to as “Just in Time” (JIT) because every item is made just as it is needed. Goldratt (Theory of Constraints) has stated many times that one hour lost in a bottleneck process is one hour lost to the entire factory’s output. and distances between work centers are too great. Waiting Whenever goods are not moving or being processed. Overproduction is highly costly to a manufacturing plant because it prohibits the smooth flow of materials and actually degrades quality and productivity. Overproduction has been said by some to be the worst of the 7 wastes as it encompasses the rest of the wastes. Simply put. Linking processes together so that one feeds directly into the next can dramatically reduce waiting.1. Typically more than 99% of a product's life in traditional batch-and-queue manufacture will be spent waiting to be processed. Much of a product’s lead time is tied up in waiting for the next operation. this is usually because material flow is poor. this requires a lot of courage because the problems that overproduction is hiding will be revealed. Overproduction manufacturing is referred to as “Just in Case. If the reason a company is overproducing is because of small orders and economic batch sizes then Setup reduction techniques such as SMED can help. overproduction is to manufacture an item before it is actually required. the waste of waiting occurs. The simple solution to overproduction is turning off the tap. Often caused by quality problems.” This creates excessive lead times. The concept is to schedule and produce only what can be immediately sold/shipped and improve machine changeover/set-up capability. These kind of issue can be tackled using mistake proofing methods (Pokayoke) and by understanding the machine process capabilities of the production equipment. Statistical process control (SPC) will also help monitor production outputs and give warning of problems before they occur. production runs are too long. If a company can reduce its changeover time then it is then able to produce smaller batches economically. Overproduction.

Goldratt has a lot to say on this and has been found to be very useful by many manufacturing managers. more flexible equipment where possible. When appropriate. Furthermore. Transportation can be difficult to reduce due to the perceived costs of moving equipment and processes closer together. SPC and mistake proofing (Pokayoke) are available to help identify and eliminate causes of quality defects. Concentrating on keeping bottle neck processes going are also a good way of reducing WIP. Factory layouts can often be the fundamental cause of excess transportation. Techniques such as 5 whys. This often results in poor plant layout because preceding or subsequent operations are located far apart. resulting in another organizational cost that adds no customer value.Products waiting around in factories either as finished goods or work in progress (WIP) another major cause of waste. the book “The Goal” by Eliyahu M. Transporting Transporting product between processes is a cost incursion which adds no value to the product. WIP is commonly caused by producing large batch sizes where again SMED techniques can help. creating manufacturing cells. 3. combined with immaculately maintained. Excessive movement and handling cause damage and are an opportunity for quality to deteriorate. and combining steps will greatly reduce the waste of inappropriate processing. often older machines. In addition they encourage high asset utilization (over-production with minimal changeovers) in order to recover the high cost of this equipment. Inappropriate Processing Often termed as “using a sledgehammer to crack a nut. Material handlers must be used to transport the materials. 4. .” many organizations use expensive high precision equipment where simpler tools would be sufficient. Investing in smaller. re-laying out the machines within a factory from a functional to a cellular layout has been found by many companies to help not just reduce transportation waste but also reduce WIP and waiting. it is often hard to determine which processes should be next to each other. Mapping product flows can make this easier to visualize. Rework is a typical example of over processing as discussed earlier reducing the root cause of the quality problem is solution eliminating rework. Excess inventory levels can also lead to wasted handling. Toyota is famous for their use of low-cost automation.

Through employee involvement and Continuous Process Improvement (CPI). 6. which must be identified and resolved in order to improve operating performance. rescheduling. Re-laying out the factory can also help reduce “motion” waste. Underutilization of Employees has been added as an eighth waste to Ohno’s original seven wastes. this may be due to quality problems along the production process or the often mistaken belief that is saves money by ordering larger quantities. and inhibits communication. Defects Having a direct impact to the bottom line. 7. Unnecessary Inventory Work in Progress (WIP) is a direct result of overproduction and waiting. In many organizations the total cost of defects is often a significant percentage of total manufacturing cost. which in today’s litigious society are becoming more of a problem for organizations. Simple “Good Housekeeping” is a very effective way of reducing wasted movement by men and materials. By achieving a seamless flow between work centers. These are also health and safety issues. Jobs with excessive motion should be analyzed and redesigned for improvement with the involvement of plant personnel. Excess inventory tends to hide problems on the plant floor. delays the identification of problems. 5S is a technique used by many companies to focus effort on keeping the workplace tidy with unused materials and machines disposed off so as not to create unnecessary clutter and therefore searching. and capacity loss. quality defects resulting in rework or scrap are a tremendous cost to organizations. and reaching. The true cost of excess inventory levels should be carefully analysed before ordering excess raw materials simply because the purchase price is less. walking. consumes productive floor space. Organizations employ their staff for their nimble .5. re-inspecting. stretching. Unnecessary / Excess Motion This waste is related to ergonomics and is seen in all instances of bending. there is a huge opportunity to reduce defects at many facilities. many manufacturers have been able to improve customer service and slash inventories and their associated costs. Associated costs include quarantining inventory. Many companies order over and above what is required to fulfil the order. In the latest edition of the Lean Manufacturing classic Lean Thinking. lifting. Tackling the root cause of the quality problems should also be a priority. Excess inventory increases lead times.

customers will pay for value added work. even the best manufacturers manage 96%.but never for waste. It is only by capitalizing on employees' creativity that organizations can eliminate the other seven wastes and continuously improve their performance. If you were to record all of the non-value added activities carried out in a typical manufacturing company do not be surprised to find out that 99% of all activities carried out are non-value adding. Again caused by quality related issues. . Many changes over recent years have driven organizations to become world class organizations or Lean Enterprises. The first step in achieving that goal is to identify and attack the seven wastes.fingers and strong muscles but forget they come to work everyday with a free brain. As Toyota and other world-class organizations have come to realize. The elimination of waste not just reducing it is a vital component of increasing competitiveness of your organisation.