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Seven Waste in Lean Manufacturing Description of Waste Waste or “Muda” in lean manufacturing is considered to be any activity or resource in an organization that does not add value to an external customer. There are Seven specific types of waste in lean. Overproduction Manufacture of products in advance or in excess of demand wastes money, time and space. Point to consider when trying to eliminate this waste: Can the operation produce to order rather than produce for inventory? Unnecessary motion Resources are wasted when workers have to bend, reach or walk distances to do their jobs. Workplace assessment should be conducted to design a more efficient environment. Process to consider while eliminating this waste: What aids, such as fixtures, new equipment, or special tools, could speed up the process? Defects Any work that contains errors, mistakes or lacks something necessary is a defect. Point to consider while eliminating this waste: Where can mistake-proofing be used to eliminate or reduce errors or rework? Waiting Processes are ineffective and time is wasted when one process waits to begin while another finishes. Point to consider while eliminating this waste: The flow of operations should be smooth and continuous. Can some tasks be done in parallel rather than in series? Transportation Moving a product between manufacturing processes adds no value, is expensive and can cause damage or product deterioration. Point to consider while eliminating this waste: Can the process be configured to move product to the next operations (rather than have people do the moving)? Inventory Excessive inventory wastes resources through costs of storage and maintenance. Point to consider while eliminating this waste: Is WIP (inventory) needed just-in-case or can we operate without it? Inappropriate processing Over-processing occurs any time more work is done on a piece than what is required by the customer. Point to consider while eliminating this waste: Can some tasks be combined or eliminated?
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