A 4-part series to examine and elevate awareness of the 8 wastes in manufacturing (DOWNTIME), and tips for enabling your employees to see them too.

Eight Wastes, Part One:


Failing to produce or deliver a quality part the first time will generate rework and scrap. These Defects impact many aspects of your business, including time, money, and customer satisfaction. There are many causes of Defects, including lack of process standards, not having a clear understanding of customer needs, poor quality control, and poor documentation. And , like any of the 8 wastes, Defects don’t just happen with parts being made on the shop floor. There are Defects in the office setting with issues like inaccurate financial reporting or missed deadlines. Some common solutions for limiting the waste of Defects are developing standardized work plans, creating job aids (such as checklists and posters), and implementing strict quality control processes (using tools like statistical process controls).



Overproduction is creating more than is needed or before it is needed. Some say ‘getting ahead which leads to getting in the way’. Your front office may see a lot of this waste with printing excessive copies or creating reports that aren’t reviewed. On the shop floor, if there is a long or difficult set-up process, the tendency is to produce more than what you need or stockpile, just in case, opposed to producing exactly what the customer needs. Producing components before the next stage in a process is ready for them can also bog down your flow. Closely examining your production needs and process, using a specific method or analytical tool, will help you pin-point areas for improvement.



Learn more about NWIRC’s Lean Together, working group for operational excellence.