7 Wastes of Manufacturing

Muda is a Japanese term used in the Toyota Production System that refers to a wasteful activity and pertains specifically to the TPS "seven wastes":

  1. Motion
  2. Waiting
  3. Transportation
  4. Over-processing
  5. Inventory
  6. Over-production
  7. Defects

These wastes are anything that exceeds what is required to provide particular goods or services to the customer. Businesses should create environments where people keep an eye out for waste and then try to eliminate it when possible.

Originally identified by TPS forefather, Taiichi Ohno (who also developed the kanban system), the idea that something that exists but does not 'add value' is a waste. This can be excess inventory, a broken product, or taking too much time to assemble the product.

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