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Waste exists in many forms throughout an organization. Most people think solely of the solid waste being diverted to landfill, but waste is more widely defined as "any activity that does not add value to the product or service." The activity does not add value if the customer is not willing to pay more money for this activity. Waste can be viewed as the single hurdle that can limit a business over time, unless it is identified and systematically eliminated.

slide4Following a traditional lean manufacturing approach, Green Frontier will review your processes, systems and equipment to identify and eliminate the eight non-value-added activities from the current infrastructure:

  • Defects:  Errors, mistakes and rework that result from various problems in the system. Inspection and immediate repair of these flaws is essential, otherwise, it's like throwing money into the waste bins.

  • Overproduction:  Making more than is required by the next process. It is more efficient to produce product as it's needed (pull system) rather than forcing it downstream (push system). Not only is the material lost, but the labor that was put into converting it and the time spent by the equipment producing it is also sacrificed.

  • Waiting:  Any idle time. Whenever an employee is waiting for something, it is costing the company money. Not only is the labor cost per unit higher, but machinery is often idle while the wait occurs. If the machinery is not running, it is not being operated at full capacity, reducing OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and the company is losing efficiency and potential sales dollars.

  • Transportation:  Excess movement of a material or people around a plant that does not add value to the product or service, and often results from poorly mapped out process and material flows.

  • Inventory:  Any supply in excess of a one-piece flow through the manufacturing process. This waste comes in the form of raw material, work in process and finished goods, and costs the company valuable dollars that could be used for necessary items. Moreover, inventory has a chance to become obsolete, taking up space and potentially causing inefficient operation.

  • Motion:  Any movement of people or machines that does not add value to the product or service. Excessive motion in a workplace is wasteful because it makes manufacturing processes inefficient and can affect the health of workers.

  • Extra Processing:  Adding more value to the product than the customer wants, needs or is willing to pay for.

  • Underutilization of Human Talents:  The waste of not using people to the best of their abilities. Operators often have years of experience and know what could be done to improve the business, but often are never involved. By using human resources effectively, all forms of waste noted above can be eliminated from the system.

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