In manufacturing, it’s important to eliminate non-value adding processes. There are 7 wastes that are often seen in manufacturing that can easily be eliminated.
- Over production – the number of items produced are higher than demand for that product. This wastes both time and materials.
- Supply Chain White Paper Waiting – there is extra time used in the previous, current, or next step. The result is time wasted for both workers and machines which means low efficiency.
- Transportation – materials are moved unnecessarily. This wastes time and the work-in-progress materials take longer to complete.
- Non-value added processing – doing more work than necessary can be due to a poor plant layout or misguided attempts to recover expensive machinery costs.
- Unnecessary motion – movement of people such as bending, stretching, or walking too far is typically due to inappropriate location of tools, parts, and inventory. This causes workers to be less efficient and can even cause injuries on the job.
- Excess inventory – usually a direct result of over-production, having more inventory than needed causes clutter and ultimately costs.
- Defects – producing defective parts or products results in rework which wastes time and increases manufacturing costs.
Eliminating waste and running lean.
To increase efficiency and decrease costs, it is important to eliminate waste throughout the workflow. Lean manufacturing is the obsession of eliminating waste – defined by lean practitioners as what customers would perceive as processes and actions that don’t add value, and for which they don’t want to pay for.
Many see lean manufacturing as companies trying to get more for less, however this can be argued. The US National Institute of Standards and Technology defines lean as: “A systematic approach to identifying and eliminating waste through continuous improvement, following the product at the pull of the customer in pursuit of perfection.” This definition of lean manufacturing has 5 governing principles:
- Deliver value with the customer in mind
- Identify the value stream
- Make the value flow
- Make to order, meaning only make or do things when you need to
- Strive for perfection
A Real-time Asset Management Solution can eradicate waste.
Zebra’s Material Flow Solution is a comprehensive execution management solution that streamlines the entire replenishment process. It gives operations the ability to be centrally managed and is designed to support and automate lean replenishment techniques.
A Material Flow Solution can directly address almost all of the 7 wastes mentioned above.
- It decreases inventory by 5-10% by cutting the waste of over-production and dramatically reducing excess inventory.
- It reduces labor costs by 15-20% by eliminating unnecessary waiting, movements and motion.
- It improves asset utilization by 5-10% by reducing moves towards over-processing and preventing the waste of waiting.
- It eliminates line stoppages and business interruptions, again cutting into the waste of waiting.
- It decreases expedite fees, directly impacting the waste of transportation.
- It reduces cycle times and increase throughput – in line with lean fundamental values and customer-pull principles.
Learn more about lean manufacturing and Zebra’s Material Flow Solution – download a whitepaper: Eliminate 7 wastes from your supply chain.