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How to avoid manufacturing waste

Waste is one of the biggest problems in manufacturing and savvy manufacturing business owners will do all they can to avoid it. One of the ways that you can help to avoid manufacturing waste is by implementing lean manufacturing. Lean manufacturing helps to identify waste which improves your business by making it run with better organization and efficiency. Once lean manufacturing is fully implemented in your company everyone who works in it will be able to understand their role and perform it to the highest level. However, you will need to be able to identify what the waste is and then determine how to reduce or avoid it. Here is what you need to know about how to avoid manufacturing waste-

- Know the different types of waste-There are many different types of waste that can be a problem for your manufacturing company. Production experts have broken them down into 7 different categories. These waste categories are:
1. Product defects-When the production process produces products with defects they must either be recycled, fixed, or thrown away. This cost money and time and results in waste.
2. Delay-Anything that slows down the production process is considered waste and costs money.
3. Inventory-The mismanagement of inventory can be a costly waste. Efficient inventory management is crucial for avoiding waste.
4. Equipment malfunctions-If equipment is not operating at peak performance it can cause waste.
5. Excess production-Any type of overage on production is considered waste. Production should be focused on producing only the amount of product to fill current orders.
6. Transportation issues-Any issues from the movement of raw material to finished products can create waste.
7. Over processing or overwork-Efficient production is critical to reduce waste. Each piece of machinery and worker should be trained to produce the highest quality of product with the lowest amount of production effort.
- Solve the waste problem-Once the types of waste have been identified then it is critical to find the right solution to solve the problem. Each type of waste must be identified individually and then a solution devised in order to reduce the occurrence of that type of waste. It can be helpful to form a research group that can brainstorm ideas about how to reduce waste. Employees from all levels of the company should be involved. This will allow insight from the people who actually work with the production process to be factored into the waste reduction solution.
- Put a process in place to avoid it-Once the solution has been devised then a plan will need to be put into place that will help to reduce that particular type of waste. The plan may involve making significant changes on the production line or simply making a few tweaks. It is important however, that the group responsible for the changes make sure that the changes they are making are significant enough to being about cost savings and reduce the waste. Putting a plan in place that does not save the company money is simply a waste of time and money.
- Monitor the change-It cannot be stressed enough that waste reduction must be an ongoing process. Because manufacturing is a complex process there are more opportunities to for waste that must be monitored. Even after a waste reduction plan has been put into place it should be monitored in order to determine effectiveness and see if the needed changes are taking place. In addition, this type of monitoring can also determine if there are changes to the waste reduction plan that need to be made in order to further reduce waste and save money.

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