Lean manufacturing is a systematic approach to reducing waste and maximizing customer value throughout production. Simply put, the wastes of lean manufacturing cover steps, processes, or materials that don’t bring value to customers. The goal of lean manufacturing is to create a more efficient, cost-effective system while providing high-quality products to customers. To incur the most customer value towards a product, waste must be identified and removed. Let’s discuss the eight wastes of lean manufacturing essential to implementing a successful lean strategy.

Learn How Breiner Helped One of the Biggest Forklift Manufacturers in the World

8 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing

1. Transportation

Transportation is a waste of lean manufacturing that occurs when materials or products are moved unnecessarily. This results in increased lead times, higher transportation costs, or potential damage to products during transit.

To reduce transportation waste, facilities can adopt a value-stream mapping process to note areas when travelling distance can be reduced.

2. Inventory

Inventory waste refers to holding onto an excessive amount of parts. Holding too much inventory can create increased storage and handling costs, obsolescence, longer lead times, less cash flow, and quality issues.

To reduce inventory waste, companies can adopt a pull system, implement a Just-in-Time production system that strictly delivers based on buyer request, or improve forecasting and demand planning.

3. Motion

Motion is a waste that covers excessive reaching, walking, lifting, or other kinds of movement. Over time, excessive motion can lead to fatigue, injuries, and decreased efficiency. This could result in lost productivity, increased costs, and potential safety hazards for workers.

The best way organizations can reduce motion is by analyzing where equipment and workstations can be rearranged on the production floor to optimize workflow and space.

4. Waiting

Time spent waiting is a waste of lean manufacturing that can lead to idle time decreases in production due to delays in receiving materials, equipment, or information. Waiting can cost businesses lost productivity, longer lead times, and less customer satisfaction.

Organizations struggling with timeliness can reduce waiting waste by streamlining production processes, ensuring equipment is maintained, and securing a reliable supply chain.

Person welding metal pipe

Waiting is a waste of lean manufacturing that stops production due to delays with equipment repairs. 

5. Overproduction

Overproduction is a waste that occurs when manufacturers produce more than what’s required by customers. This overproduction can lead to excess inventory, storage costs, potential obsolescence, and even quality issues since defects may be harder to find during the production process. To reduce overproduction, organizations can adopt a Just-in-Time (JIT) production system or pull system to only produce what is needed when necessary.

6. Over-processing

Over-processing is a waste created by using more resources than necessary to produce a product. This waste of lean manufacturing not only increases costs, but also decreases efficiency with longer lead times and higher chances of quality issues.

Ultimately, manufacturers can reduce over-processing waste by analyzing which production steps or areas can be cut or simplified precision during production.

7. Defects

Defective products can negatively impact customer satisfaction if rework, repair, or scraping is needed on a damaged part. Such damage may not only delay delivery, but also wastes resources, saps productivity, and lowers customer satisfaction.

To reduce defects, companies can implement quality control measures, provide training and development, and establish a culture of continuous improvement.

8. Unused Skill

Failing to use your team’s full skills is perhaps the greatest waste of lean manufacturing. When the team can utilize their talents to the fullest extent, production becomes more engaging and motivated.

Moreover, team members are more likely to develop innovative solutions and contributions to improve company processes—a key principle to lean manufacturing. Unused talent creates lower productivity, higher turnover rates, and decreased innovation within your company culture.

Reduce unused talent waste by allowing employees’ talents to grow, providing constant training and development programs, and establishing a culture that empowers employees to continuously collaborate and improve themselves.

Reduce Waste with Breiner

We at Breiner constantly work towards reducing the 8 wastes of lean manufacturing from our processes. It makes us a better company and enhances our ability to serve and support our customers.  Learn more about how our waste hunt can add value to you contacting us today.

Curious about our capabilities? Learn what we do here at Breiner Innovative. From our equipment to materials types this capability statement covers it all. Download our flyer!