The 7 Wastes in Manufacturing and how to eliminate them


Become more responsive to your customers demands and provide greater levels of service without compromising your business objectives.

LEAN manufacturing storage and handling techniques can be applied to virtually any manufacturing process to deliver significant performance improvement and reduce overall costs.

The goal of LEAN is to identify and eliminate non-essential and non-value steps in the business process in order to streamline operations, improve quality, and gain customer loyalty.

Simplifying and eliminating wasteful processes in seven key areas, will help to optimize handling and storage throughout your production chain and especially at the lineside.

The Seven Wastes


Unnecessary movement of products from one place to another adds no value, uses up capital and space. Lean manufacturing reduces the amount of handling required to support any given process and minimizes the distances between points such as the loading bay, lineside or workstation so that less time and space is utilized. Adaptable carts and trolleys can be used for handling specific products that can be modified if the items change.


Align production to demand so that products leave the factory (and are invoiced) as soon as they are ready. Deliveries of raw materials are arranged to coincide with when they are needed at the lineside. At the most extreme this means taking deliveries of supplies just-in-time straight to the lineside to minimize handling costs and eliminate storage needs.

Shortening production lead times and reducing handling and storage tasks releases capital and cash.

Reduce waste by using adaptable carts and trolleys designed to carry precise numbers of specific items to the lineside and modular parts supermarkets positioned at the lineside, replenished frequently when stocks fall below predetermined levels.


In practice, many companies operate small buffer warehouses that feed the lineside, allowing them to combine the economy of scale benefits of batch deliveries with the super-efficiency of just-in-time lineside replenishment.


Eliminate unnecessary movement in the working area to reduce the time taken to complete a task.

Workstations and storage areas should be designed ergonomically so that items are close to hand whenever they are needed and so avoid time-consuming steps and movements to fetch or reach for them. Production staff have fewer distractions and are then less likely to make mistakes which helps improve quality and productivity.


Production staff waste time waiting for replenishments if they run out of components. Lean manufacturing aims to ensure a steady flow of items to the lineside, not too many and certainly not too few, to allow production to continue without interruptions. Installing lineside parts supermarkets which are replenished regularly helps avoid the problem. Larger items can be brought to the lineside or workstation when they are needed using adaptable carts and trolleys.


Overproduction occurs when manufacturing schedules are misaligned with demand.

Introducing customer-focused “pull” scheduling through use of just-in-time or Kanban principles helps ensure that products are produced to the customer’s specification when they are needed. Adaptable parts supermarkets and the use of carts, trolleys and trains to supply the production line or cell promote flexibility and enable production to be modified very quickly to match changing customer demand.


Any task that can be eliminated without affecting the production of an item is wasteful. For example, using small front-picked containers reduces the length of the production line, optimises pick paths, reduces flow costs and saves time. Making an installation smaller generally makes it less expensive to build in the first place.


Defects cost time and money. Returned items must be fixed and this affects customer perceptions and service. Disposing of rejects adds more cost. The easiest solution is to avoid making bad products. Adaptable ergonomic workstations matched to the specific process can be designed and built where components, assemblies and tools are in the correct position and easy to reach. This makes the working area much more efficient and staff are more productive and less stressed or fatigued which means they are less likely to make mistakes and damage items.


We provide LEAN manufacturing solutions that help deliver Kaizen-based continuous performance improvement to customers in manufacturing, engineering and production. Assembled into a variety of solutions our applications including:

  • Live storage / Gravity Flow Racks (GFR)
  • Carts and trolleys
  • Ergonomic workstations


All our solutions can be modified or reconfigured quickly and easily to meet process change. We offers a complete range of consultancy, project management, design, build and component supply services. Contact our team for more information.

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