8 Types of Lean Six Sigma Waste in 2022

Lean Management is a type of management style in an organization based on the management philosophy & methods that strive to contribute to the sustainable development of society via the manufacturing of high-quality and innovative products and services. In other words, it provides tools and processes to eliminate waste from the manufacturing process that can result in large profitability and efficiency for the organization. Originally eight waste methodologies of Lean Manufacturing were developed for the automobile industries. But as time passed, multiple industries across different sectors started utilizing it to add value to their business processes. Here’s a case study for the same, https://www.mdpi.com/2071-1050/6/12/9179/pdf.
Each day materials are transformed into finished products and are shipped worldwide. In all ways, Waste is considered the biggest issue an organization faces in its effort to make a profit, but what is Waste anyways? Let’s understand Lean Six Sigma waste & its types.

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What is Waste?

The Japanese call Waste ‘Muda,’ meaning ‘futility or wastage.’ When more resources are consumed than is needed to produce goods and services for the customers, those resources are considered Waste. There are a total of 8 types of Waste in Lean Management which we will discuss further. Do remember not all Waste can be eliminated from the work process as few of them are a necessity.

What are the types of Lean Six Sigma Waste?

The types of Lean Six Sigma Waste are also known as TIMWOODS,

  1. Transportation
  2. Inventory
  3. Motion
  4. Waiting
  5. Overproduction
  6. Overprocessing
  7. Defects
  8. Skills

1. Transportation: The movement of materials from one location to another, i.e., transportation, is one of the biggest lean manufacturing waste areas. Transportation waste adversely affects several other wastes—including motion and waiting—resulting in high overhead costs, unnecessary expenditures, and irregular production flow. Some of the examples of Transportation waste in lean manufacturing include:

  • Poor coordination amongst the logistics team.
  • Moving parts and materials between distant facilities
  • Using a faraway supplier instead of local providers

2. Inventory:  Since inventory is considered an asset, it sometimes gets tough to think of it as Waste. However, having excess/overstocking products can also be a waste if it gets damaged and the storage cost increases. Some of the examples of Inventory waste in lean manufacturing include:

  • Unused machinery and equipment.
  • Overstocking of materials that are not needed at the moment.
  • Storage of expired products.

3. Motion:  Motion waste is the unnecessary movement of people, machinery, or other resources. Task allocation should be redesigned to reduce such Waste and enhance personnel’s work alongside their health and safety levels. Some of the examples of Motion waste in lean manufacturing include:

  • Poorly located supplies and other necessary equipment.
  • Excess of Machine’s wear and tear.
  • Unnecessary steps that are included in processes.

4. Waiting:

Waiting is another easily identifiable waste. Waiting occurs whenever processes, people, or goods are not moving through the system, resulting in lost time that ultimately affects the end line.

Some of the examples of Waiting Waste in lean manufacturing includes:

  • Idle machinery or unexpected downtime.
  • Delays caused by humans, for example, delays from suppliers’ end.
  • Pausing activity while an automated machine finishes its task.
  • Holding production until other hurdles in the step ahead get resolved.

5. Over-processing: 

Over-processing also referred to as Extra processing, is a kind of Waste where excessive features and steps are added. Over-processing creates complexity which leads to wasted time, money, and workforce.

Some of the examples of Over-processing Waste in lean manufacturing include: 

  • Vague quality standards and specifications.
  • Installing/ adding features without testing it out.
  • Offering more options than the customer needs.

6. Overproduction: 

Overproduction happens when products are made before their demand is generated. It leads to unnecessary spending, which further ties up with other wastes like inventory and transportation. Usually, this occurs when organizations produce goods under the pretense of, Just in case.

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Some of the examples of overproduction waste in lean manufacturing include: 

  • Misinformation and Wrong judgment of product demands
  • A warehouse filled with idle inventory.
  • Overstaffed warehouses.

7. Defects: 

Defects take place when a product is not made in its exact standard design or is expired. This results in either re-working on methods or scraping off the whole creation, equating to a waste of time, workforce, and other resources. Amongst all eight waste, Defects are the easiest to recognize.

Some of the examples of Defects waste in lean manufacturing include: 

  • The product is shipped to the wrong customer.
  • Lack of quality inspection process.
  • Workers fail to understand the design instructions.

8. Skills: 

Skills waste is also referred to as Non utilized talent, which means Waste of human potential and skills. Failure to put the right candidate in the right designation can lead to losses and employee disengagement.

Some of the examples of skills waste in lean manufacturing include: 

  • Misused talent or machinery.
  • Undertrained labor
  • No communication amongst leaders and staff.

These are the 8 types of Lean Six Sigma waste seen in almost every organization. If identified well, lean manufacturing strategies would be extremely beneficial for eliminating Waste and growing stronger in the manufacturing operation.

We at Arrowhead consulting conduct project and training programs in Lean Six Sigma waste management. You can check out the details of our program in lean waste management in Mumbai here (Services – arrowheadco.net)

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