When it comes to the phrase lean manufacturing, many manufacturers who practice lean principles probably think of the elimination of waste and non-value added activities. And they would be correct.

But lean manufacturing is so much more. The tools and techniques of lean and continuous improvement processes can significantly benefit companies by improving quality, reducing costs, achieving shorter cycle times, and increasing revenue.

Lean processes also help avoid unplanned downtime which can interrupt valuable production flow and potentially affect customer delivery schedules.

There is planned downtime for scheduled maintenance of equipment but unplanned downtime not only results in production interruptions and work stoppages but also lost revenue which lean manufacturing can often mitigate.

There are eight examples of manufacturing wastes associated with the word DOWNTIME, with each letter applying to a type of waste that may be encountered in manufacturing:

D Is for Defects

Defects represent products or materials that must be repaired, replaced, or are non-conforming due to quality errors.

O Is for Overproduction

Overproduction is the result of producing more than is necessary, faster than is scheduled, or in quantities greater than needed by the process or by the customer.

W Is for Waiting

Waiting is idle time produced when materials are delayed, or as a result of a lack of synchronization between various processes, interrupting production flow and resulting in system downtime.

N Is for Non-Utilized People

Non-utilized people refers to not using or leveraging the capabilities and resources of workers effectively, often limiting their responsibilities or relying on one or two skilled people.

T is for Transportation

Transportation involves moving products or materials from one location to another, often long distances, without adding value.

I Is for Inventory

Inventory is for any supply in excess of a one-piece flow through a process, be it raw materials, WIP, or finished goods.

M Is for Motion

Motion signifies unnecessary movements by machines or by workers searching for tools, materials, or supplies that could be simplified or optimized.

E Is for Excess Processing

Excess processing applies to processes performed beyond what is requested or required by the customer, conducting extraneous inspections, or spending more time on a task than needed.

For most manufacturers, downtime is the single largest source of lost production time.

By minimizing or eliminating many of these eight manufacturing wastes, your business can accelerate its ability to deliver to customers with shorter lead times and sustain your competitive advantage.

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For more information about implementing lean and continuous improvement processes to grow your manufacturing business, contact the experts at CONNSTEP.

Filed Under: Manufacturing

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