Types of waste

  • Zita Rüdiger
  • Shop floor management

Classic lean production should lead to increased productivity and simultaneously lower costs. Continuous improvements lead to better control, optimization and elimination of existing waste. Anyone who knows these types of waste can identify them quickly and easily within the company. However, to draw the right conclusions, more is needed than gut feeling and powers of observation. Decisions must be based on facts, for which the decisive data is often missing. But digital support is also usually lacking in the implementation of improvements. Especially when it comes to communication in production, many companies have not yet arrived in the digital age. Efficient, digital and mobile communication not only creates the data basis for decisions, but also enables and sustainably supports the improvement process in the production.

Transportation

Transport is very present in every company. Materials, products and tools are constantly transported. This process is not value-adding, but necessary. For this reason, transport is one of the necessary wastes, since materials must inevitably be transported through the production facilities. The aim is to keep waste to a minimum and to optimize transport routes and transport processes in the best possible way.

A path analysis of material and people via wearables can provide valuable data for optimization.

Movement

Unnecessary movements also reduce productivity in a company. This includes, for example, walking to a non-existent tool or production material. The machine operator must first run to the logistics department to get the required part. A lot of time gets lost here, during the machine may even come to a downtime. With an industrial smartwatch and suitable software, the logistician can be informed in such a case with the push of a button. The logistician then quickly delivers the missing parts or tools and unnecessary movements are thus greatly reduced.

Overproduction

A strong factor is also overproduction, i.e. if more is produced than is actually purchased. The result is overcrowded warehouses, which are not in demand or needed for the time being. Moreover, it is uncertain whether the produced goods will find their way to the customer and generate revenues. Until then, the warehouses are occupied with these goods and have no capacity for other goods or production factors. Also a large amount of capital is tied up in these goods and cannot be used otherwise.

The reason for this is planning according to the optimum batch size – i.e. the optimum between setup costs and inventory costs. It is irrelevant whether these unit quantities can actually be sold. Due to the continuous data acquisition it is possible to determine the exact sales quantities and to order only the required number of different production materials and therefore to have to store them. Thus, the warehouse can be stocked effectively and overproduction can be avoided.

Waiting and layover times

During the waiting period, the employee is not able to continue working on the production process – so he can not generate any further added value on the product. This also includes the waiting time of a product until it is further processed. These waiting times occur when employees have to wait for machines or required materials. But also, if there is a lack of synchronization of different process steps of the value chain. This leads, for example, to the fact that the process of the predecessor is not yet complete, so that the successor cannot start its process. In the long run, this process flow is a kind of waste and is not particularly conducive to employee satisfaction, as most of the working time is spent waiting and no mental and physical effort is required.

With error analysis and real-time data provided by the aucobo system, this type of waste can be easily and sustainably counteracted because the sources of error are identified more quickly and can therefore be eliminated faster.

Defects and rejects

If a product is tested at the end of the value chain and judged to be defective, this is a clear form of waste. The value-added process is wasted – regardless of whether the product can be reprocessed or is completely unusable. Reasons for this could include poorly maintained machines, untrained employees or the delivery of defective production equipment.

This waste can be prevented by defining measures for early and continuous quality assurance. Almost even more important then is the control of the implementation of the measures. Only a direct, digital confirmation of the implemented measures on site and mobile can guarantee the compliance with the process quality.

Improve continuously

Improvement is usually based on numbers, data and facts. Only if you have reliable data it is possible to analyze the real weaknesses and extract the right conclusions for your improvements. By using industrial smartwatches and the corresponding aucobo system you get the information from your production that is usually still missing – directly from the employee. The system stores data on the entire production process and makes it available and analyzable in real time. You can easily identify the various types of waste and initiate the appropriate measures for improvement, based on numbers, data and facts.

There is a wide range of possibilities to minimize the various types of waste. If you are interested in identifying and reducing the types of waste in production, please contact us!