BRI Wastes of Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing processes reduce waste throughout production. However, little is told about what is defined as “waste.” Simply put, the wastes of lean manufacturing cover steps, processes, or materials that don’t bring value to customers. To incur the most customer value towards a product, waste must be removed through lean manufacturing. Below, let’s briefly discuss the 8 wastes of lean manufacturing to keep in mind throughout production.  


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8 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing

1. Transport

Transport is a waste of lean manufacturing wherein materials, tools, equipment, or other necessary products aren’t immediately transported to production stages. This waste is often the result of poor floor-planning, improper scheduling, or a lack of order that causes wear and tear in components. To reduce transport waste, ensure all materials and accessories are within reach of workers or close at hand. 


2. Inventory

Inventory waste refers to an excessive production of parts. Excessive production often happens due to over-purchasing supplies, lack of inventory management, or continuing production for high buyer demand. Manufacturers can eliminate inventory waste by enforcing a Just-in-Time system that strictly delivers based on buyer request.  


3. Motion

Motion is a waste of lean manufacturing that covers unnecessary movement by personnel during production. Such motion can include:  

  • Reaching 
  • Walking 
  • Lifting 
  • Stretching 
  • Bending 
  • Gathering necessary tools 
  • Complex assembly steps 
  • Moving equipment 

Now, this doesn’t mean employees should completely stop moving; rather, excess motion indicates a lack of proper room, reach of supplies, or organization. Therefore, the best way to reduce motion is by organizing the production floor so all factory space is utilized without interfering with employee mobility.  


4. Waiting

Waiting is a waste of lean manufacturing in which time is lost due to schedule delays or insufficient planning. Time waste occurs due to delays in equipment maintenance, material delivery, or misaligned production schedules. These issues show a lack of coordination within a business, which can create frustration and more work for employees. Organizations struggling with time can reduce waste by maintaining a continuous, consistent production workflow along with contingency measures should delays occur. 


BRI Waiting: One of the Wastes of Lean Manufacturing Caused by Machine Repair

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


5. Overproduction

Overproduction is a waste of lean manufacturing wherein manufacturers make more supply than necessary. Automation is a key culprit in these cases, as automating production sequences or material delivery can cause factories to quickly make many parts in very little time. Through a Just-in-Time system, manufacturers can limit overproduction by only creating parts upon customer request.  


6. Over-processing

Over-processing includes over explanation or excessive steps when making a product. Quality assurance is of paramount concern, but over-checking to determine product quality introduces more steps, testing, and instructions that delay product delivery. Ultimately, manufacturers can stop over-processing by using precision CNC cutting equipment to make adjustments during production.  


7. Defects

Defects negatively impact product value if damage, repair, or rework is needed. Such damage delays delivery and wastes resources. Ensure product quality and value to customers by testing each product’s quality through inspections and prototype testing to ensure they meet design specifications. 


8. Unused Skill

Unused skills are a waste of lean manufacturing that refers to wasting employee talents. It’s wasteful to require employees to be isolated from colleagues, as they can grow their knowledge through collaboration. Therefore, it’s important to allow employees’ talents to grow by having them share knowledge about their work. Socialization can help company morale and even reduce waste by exchanging ideas about how the organization can improve. 


Reduce Waste with Breiner

We at Breiner believe in the philosophy behind eliminating waste from production. Reducing waste is the core purpose of lean manufacturing, and we help support our customers with our precise cutting and delivery of non-metallic parts. That’s not just inspired; that’s Breiner Innovative! Learn more about our parts and solutions by contacting us today.


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