How to Effectively Eliminate Seven Deadly Wastes

Waste is an awful word that devalues quality, manufacturing processes, and your business’ bottom line. In most cases, you’ve put a lot of effort into lean manufacturing principles - striving to work towards eliminating waste. Did the 5S principles work? Or is it time to clear the dust and re-valuate the steps you took to eliminate seven deadly wastes?

If you feel as though waste has crept back into your workplace and you’re not sure what to do about it, here are some tips. We’ll help you identify the seven deadly wastes, and offer some tips to help your kick them to the curb once and for all.

Defects – Defects are a direct result of both human error and improper machinery. Defects create products that can’t be sold to consumers and require the product to be scrapped or reworked.

  • You can eliminate issues with defects by:
  1. Improving the manufacturing process by applying automation. Automation is the technique, method, or system of operating or controlling a process by using mechanical devices.
  2. When machinery isn’t producing quality products, perform a problem solving solution called a root cause analysis. The most common approach to a root cause analysis is to ask why five times until the true underlying problem is discovered.

Overproduction – Overproduction is the production of goods in higher levels and numbers than what is needed. In other words, making products before they’re needed or making more product than what is required to fill an order. Overproduction will create excess inventory, which takes up space.

  • You can eliminate overproduction by:
  1. Building to takt time – the maximum amount of time in which a product needs to be produced in order to satisfy customer demand.
  2. Creating a Kanban pull system to regulate the flow of goods inside the plant and with suppliers. A pull system will free up space in the workplace by reducing the cost of storing excess inventory.

Waiting - Waiting is when work-in-process stops until the next step is completed or provided to the manufacturer. Waiting prevents the completion of a product. Often times, a product is waiting for raw material or component parts before it can move through the process of completion.

  • You can eliminate waiting by:
  1. Maintaining a smooth process of continuous flow in your production and eliminating ‘waiting’ barriers.
  2. Creating standardized work procedures that describe the best practices for completing each task and update the processes as you see fit.

Transportation – Transportation is the unnecessary movement of raw materials through manufacturing processes.

  • You can eliminate issues with transportation by:
  1. Creating centralized manufacturing operations per plant so that each plant manufacturer specific products on their own.
  2. Establishing a flow of production that only places finished goods into inventory.

Inventory – Inventory involves any products that go beyond supporting the immediate need. Is stock depleted, overflowing, or outdated?

  • You can eliminate issues with inventory by:
  1. Avoiding untimely depletion of stock by monitoring inventory for low stock numbers.
  2. Bringing in raw materials only as they are needed and practicing Just-In-Time (JIT). Just-In-Time is the process of pulling parts through production based on customer demand, instead of pushing parts through production based on projected demand.

Motion – Motion refers to the unnecessary movement of people that doesn’t add value. Think of a worker walking away from his/her work station to grab something across the plant in order to effectively complete their job.

  • You can eliminate issues with motion by:
  1. Improving the production line and providing all stations with the resources they need to complete specific tasks. This might include re-arranging equipment and processes to reduce the amount of wasted motion.
  2. Creating clean, organized, and logical work spaces that are efficient.

Extra Processing – Extra processing is often known as one of the most difficult wastes to detect and eliminate. Over processing is over producing orders.

  • You can eliminate extra processing by:
  1. Looking for ways to proactively create a strategy where all employees at all levels of a company are working together towards a common goal – to improve the manufacturing process. This step is also considered Kaizen.
  2. Comparing customer requirements at quality control checkpoints and reporting any access so you can change/simplify the manufacturing process.

Bonus step: Non-Utilized People – When you’ve re-evaluated the process of lean manufacturing and implemented proper solutions to problems, some of the tedious jobs become non-existent.  Eliminate underutilized people in your workplace by developing strong coaching skills for management so they know where to place employees for effective contributions to your business.

Contact the the5sstore for solutions and 5S best practices.

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