What are the 7 wastes of lean?

The 7 wastes of lean originate from lean management and divide into seven different types of waste that can occur in production. According to the teachings of Lean Management, these types of waste must be identified and minimized. The 7 wastes of lean are: Overproduction, Waiting, Transportation, Over-processing, Inventory, Defects and Motion.

What is meant by waste?

In lean management, the term waste refers to all work and effort that consumes resources but does not create value.

The 7 wastes of lean

  1. Overproduction More is produced than is demanded by the customer.

  2. Waiting There is a wait for process completion or material replenishment.

  3. Transportation There is unnecessary movement between processes.

  4. Over-processing Production is above required quality standards.

  5. Inventory Inventory is higher than appropriate.

  6. Defects Processes need to be repeated or corrected due to errors.

  7. Motion There is unnecessary movement within processes.

How to avoid the 7 wastes of lean in production?

  1. Overproduction Overproduction leads to an increase in inventory, which leads to an increase in operational costs. Overproduction can be prevented by introducing a pull system.

  2. Waiting During waiting times, no value-adding activities are performed. Necessary waiting times, due to plant or machine maintenance, can be used productively for a quality inspection, for example.

  3. Transportion Poor layout planning can result in long transport routes for intermediate products. Optimal layout planning can shorten these transport routes and thus lead to less wasted time.

  4. Over-processing Production above the required standard usually involves more work than necessary. An analysis of the various process steps can provide information on which processes can be changed or omitted.

  5. Inventory High inventory levels lead to an increase in operational costs. Introducing a pull system can prevent overproduction and the associated increase in inventory.

  6. Defects Products that do not meet expectations must be reworked using additional resources. Introducing quality controls between manufacturing processes can lead to less scrap and associated rework.

  7. Motion Unnecessary movement, such as fetching tools, results in wasted work time. Ergonomic and optimal arrangement of work equipment leads to less unnecessary movement.

Want to know how to prevent waste using software?

7+1 types of process waste and how to avoid them with software

In this blog post, you'll learn how using software can help you eliminate waste and make the most of your resources.