7 Wastes

Where the method comes from

Taiichi Ohno, the architect of the Toyota Production System in the 1950s, describes in his book "Toyota Production System: Beyond Large-Scale Production":

"When you think about absolute waste reduction, you should keep the following two points in mind:

  1. increases in efficiency only make sense if they are accompanied by cost reductions In order to achieve this, we have to start producing only what we need with a minimum of work.
  2. look at the efficiency of each task carrier and line. Consider the task managers as a group and then look at the efficiency of the whole plant (all lines). Efficiency must be improved at every stage and at the same time for the plant as a whole."

This is central

"There is a real improvement in efficiency if we do not produce waste and increase the percentage of work to 100. The key word for using this method is "understanding": approaching a goal in a positive way and understanding its essence." Taiichi Ohno.

This is the procedure

There are 7 categories of waste:

1. Waste through overproduction
Overproduction leads to an excess of stocks and thus to the added value that lies dormant in the company and to the costs associated with storage.


2. Wasting time on site (waiting)
Waiting for information, a step in the production chain encounters a problem and causes a slowdown or standstill, a delayed product delivery, an unavailable spare part are wasted waiting times.
Waiting also has an impact on the environment in the form of energy consumed during this waiting without added value, an increase in waste when components or products have to be thrown away.


3. Waste in transport
Transporting goods from one place to another takes time, consumes energy, requires maintenance of transport equipment, personnel for its propulsion and space, etc., and does not generate added value. On the other hand, there is an increased risk that the goods will be damaged during transport.
Sometimes transport is associated with overproduction or a bridging measure to avoid interruptions in the production process in case of a delivery error.
The structure of the company can also play a role if the structure is not suitable. Subdividing production according to skills (e.g. welding, casting, polishing) can lead to unnecessary transportation.


4. Waste in connection with the operational processes themselves
This element is also known as "waste of overwork" and refers to creating more value than the customer demands.
The development and industrialisation phases play an important role in reducing this waste. Effective collaboration between design departments and production departments is the key to success in integrating Design to Cost.
Another simple measure to reduce this waste is the systematic application of standard operating procedures, which provide written instructions to employees.


5. Waste of available stock (inventory, excess stock)
The inventory includes, among other things, the stock of materials, work in progress and finished goods. The inventory takes up space, consumes energy, packaging and generates transport costs; if there is a large surplus, it may be obsolete and must be disposed of unused.
Large inventories sometimes hide problems in the company's processes or can be the result of a silo structure between different functions that increases the variability of inventory and suppliers instead of trying to standardize.


6. Waste of movement
In this category, not only unnecessary movements of employees and machines are minimized, but also non-ergonomic movements of employees. Unnecessary movement is any movement that does not create added value through value creation, such as the transformation of a part into a product. A non-ergonomic work environment has an impact on the health of the employee and therefore leads to a loss of value for the company.


7. Waste in the manufacture of defective products
A defective product is any product that deviates from its design specifications, normative requirements or customer wishes.
Reducing the waste of defective products involves, among other things, considerations during product design, maintenance and continuous improvement of the production chain, implementation of systems that prevent handling errors, and empowering teams to solve and prevent problems.

Our perspective

Modesty, the constant quest for excellence, the constant effort to understand the "why", the courage to question habits, not forgetting the involvement of everyone, are the foundations of this method, which is lived in the company.

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