The concept of lean principles in manufacturing isn’t new, but it’s taken on a whole new—and urgent—meaning over the past two years. Adopting digital technologies as part of an overall manufacturing waste management policy is just one of the ways factories around the world are reducing manufacturing waste and driving efficiencies.
The 8 Types of Waste In Lean Manufacturing
Lean manufacturing waste is broadly defined as anything that doesn’t add value (what a customer is willing to pay for) to a product.
The 8 wastes of lean manufacturing include:
- Defects: waste from a product when it fails to meet customer expectations.
- Over-production: waste from making products above and beyond customer demand.
- Waiting: waste from time spent waiting for the next step in production to occur.
- Transportation: Wasted time, money, and resources moving products and materials.
- Inventory: Excess products and materials that aren’t processed.
- Motion: Wasted time and effort from unnecessary movements by people.
- Over-processing: Using more work or higher quality than is required.
- Unused talent: Underutilization of employee talents, skills, and knowledge.
Manufacturers can use many tools and techniques within lean manufacturing to help them reduce and eliminate these 8 forms of waste, including fully digitized manufacturing solutions that leverage emerging smart technology to improve efficiency and data-driven decision-making.
How To Identify and Reduce Manufacturing Waste
The first step in reducing manufacturing waste is recognizing it exists. Only then can you begin identifying the areas in your factory processes where you can make changes or eliminations.
Just as advances in robotics, materials, and AI are changing factory production, digital solutions are making reducing or eliminating the 8 forms of waste much easier and more efficient. For instance, traditional lean solutions for inventory waste allow products to be manufactured only in the quantities needed at the time required. Digital-assisted lean goes one step further, enhancing operations with real-time visibility of the work-in-progress inventory process so you can identify unexpected inventory buildup.
Similar improvements can be gained in other waste areas, too:
- Where traditional lean helps reduce defects by establishing standards in the way products are designed and processes defined, digital lean identifies the precise process step or product feature that’s causing defects.
- Poorly designed production lines increase unnecessary people movement to complete value-added tasks. While lean processes address the additional actions, digital lean uses performance data to facilitate better-designed layouts and equipment to optimize employee movement.
- Traditional lean solutions do a good job of reducing the number of processes needed to transport materials from storage to the factory floor. Digital lean breaks down required transportation time per product or process and helps you identify opportunities where you can streamline and organize the factory floor.
When manufacturers can collect and analyze data in real-time, they get more accurate, precise, and timely information about operations. Managers, planners, QC managers, operators, and technicians can continuously collaborate, ensuring greater operations visibility and profitability.
How Matics Helps Manufacturers Implement a Smart Factory
The most recent Digital Transformation Assessment study conducted by IBM and The Manufacturer found that 67% of manufacturers have expedited digital products during the pandemic. As manufacturers look to improve efficiency and growth through digital solutions, they have a broad range of choices at their disposal. That’s typically a good thing, but it can also make success more elusive. Many enterprises admit they’re not meeting their digital transformation goals, usually for one of these reasons:
- Using technology to optimize instead of transform existing practices.
- Not focusing on the value a technology will bring to their unique production needs.
- Information silos that lead to production bottlenecks and overall shop-floor chaos.
- Insufficient data integration, so they’re unable to get a broad view of the manufacturing process.
Matics develops software that factories can use to digitize their production process. It combines advanced technology and manufacturing know-how to monitor and capture the complete digital production journey for full auditability, repeatability, and knowledge capture.
A secure, cloud-based RtOI (Real-time Operational Intelligence) solution, Matics enables rapid, non-disruptive, and scalable deployment. Much more than a standard MES/MOM platform, it provides unparalleled visibility and control of your manufacturing process, anytime and anywhere, and:
- Enables you to drill down and access real-time data about operations status, including at the shift level.
- Gives you the confidence to make better decisions based on aggregated data.
- Lets you see in real-time what’s happening on the shop floor.
- Allows you to make immediate improvements.
And because each person using the system has a dedicated app, they’re able to access the information they need when they need it, in the desired format.
Hundreds of production floors in varying environments worldwide have the Matics’ digital manufacturing systems installed in their facility. From planning and scheduling to production and the warehouse, they’re discovering just how beneficial our production management solution can be.
If you’re interested in learning more about how manufacturers are using Matics’ end-to-end solution for manufacturing waste reduction, contact us today. We’ll show you how Matics can help you make your operations leaner while facilitating continuous improvement and growth.