7 Wastes

1457 Words Aug 9th, 2008 6 Pages
Elimination of muda
Muda is a traditional general Japanese term for activity that is wasteful and doesn't add value or is unproductive or not useful in practice or others. It is also a key concept in the Toyota Production System (TPS) and is one of the three types of waste (Muda, Mura, Muri) that it identifies. Mura signifies wastes due to unevenness and muri signifies wastes due to overburden.
Waste as defined by Toyota’s president, Fujio Cho, is “anything other than the minimum amount of equipment, materials, parts and workers which are absolutely essential to production”. The seven types of wastes identified are
1. Overproduction – Waste due to producing before customer requires or more than needed which often hides production
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Over refining adds no value to the customer. Good designs should reduce analyzing, testing, inspecting and validating. Designs should be kept as simple as possible.
Excess inventory leads to additional costs. Designs should favor just in time production. There should be no stockpiling of raw materials and parts.
Designs have bearing on the number of defects in production. If designs can be assembled incorrectly, chances of defects increase. Missing, unclear or incorrect designs lead to defects. High precision designs lead to lower yields and higher defects. Design should also meet the customer requirements. Review

People often start using lean production tools without understanding their impacts on the waste reduction. Value stream mapping can be used to recognize the wastes in the system. Value stream is a network of steps from beginning to end that provides the result for the customer. Some activities add value while others do not. All non-value adding activities are wastes. Tools like value stream mapping and 5S need to be linked with waste reduction.
There is a growing trend to increase the number of wastes. The original muda concept had 7 wastes – overproduction, waiting time, transportation, inventory, over processing, motion, product defect wastes. Because of its inherent simplicity people feed the need to improve it and add various other wastes like complexity and unused people skills.

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