8 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing

8 Wastes of Lean Manufacturing

Lean manufacturing is the practice of minimizing waste in manufacturing without sacrificing productivity. The concept was first introduced by Toyota in the 1930s. While it has been perfected and adjusted over the years, its core philosophy and principles stay the same. Today’s model recognizes eight wastes that can interfere with operations.


Defects, C Tek technicians will verify, can impact all parts of your business’s operations from time and money to resource availability and even customer satisfaction. Lack of documentation, poor product design, and lack of a smooth process or standards are all examples of defects that indicate lack of quality control.

Excess Processing

Excess processing translates to an inadequate design process. The cause can be attributed to administrative or management issues such as duplicate data, human error, authority conflicts, and lack of communication.


Overproduction in lean manufacturing refers to the production of components before they are needed for the next step in the process. This results in greater staging and labor efforts, which in turn uses up resources and can cause issues such as defective or low-quality products that are not carefully inspected.


Waiting can include people and equipment. This type of lean manufacturing waste occurs due to changeover, mechanical downtime, and when equipment runs are not finished. Waiting for both humans and machinery causes companies excess overhead and labor costs. Waiting can be eliminated by establishing standard work processes and procedures and improving process design.


Inventory is a type of waste because of the holding costs associated with it. This applies to raw materials, inventory that is a work in progress, and finished end products. Inventory waste is usually attributed to poor planning and over-purchasing materials and supplies. The problem can be corrected by putting a solid and reliable purchasing, forecasting, and scheduling operation into place. Establishing communication between various support functions also helps.


A poorly-designed plant can cause transportation waste. Transportation waste can also cause other wastes such as motion and waiting. It can increase fuel and energy costs, which in turn increases overhead costs, and it can eventually cause wear and tear on the plant’s equipment. Transportation waste can be minimized through value stream mapping and making adjustments if necessary to the factory layout.


Motion is a lean manufacturing waste that costs money in equipment, workers, and raw materials. It can also include excess physical motion including bending, lifting, and reaching. An optimized workplace design is the standard remedy for excess motion.

Non-Utilized Talent

Non-utilized talent may include assigning employees to tasks that they are not properly trained for or that they should not be performing. Poor communication and management are common causes.

For more information on how to reduce waste in lean manufacturing, contact C Tek for advice and solutions.