How does Kaizen reduce waste?

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    • #47
      Mike Wilson

      The philosophy of Kaizen improves processes through incremental changes, in turn reducing common wastes in manufacturing. Kaizen can be practiced to address each of the wastes identified in TIMWOOD:

      • Transportation: When you simplify production and can manage the flow of processes, you can save wasted time, resources, and costs associated with unnecessarily moving products and materials.
      • Inventory: Sometimes less is more. Having too much inventory or WIP takes up space, utilize more materials, and you may end up with more than what customer demand is. Take a look at what small improvements you can do within your production system to make things easier for workers and better for the customer.
      • Motion: You may not know where to pinpoint unnecessary movement of equipment, people, or machinery, but your workers do! Set up quality circles and ask employees working on the frontlines what improvements they have in mind.
      • Waiting + Delays: Whether it’s people waiting on materials or equipment waiting to be serviced, all this time adds up to an uneven production process. One of the best way to combat waiting is through one of Kaizen’s most powerful tools: standardized work.
      • Overproduction: You should really only be producing enough to meet customer demand, not just as much as possible. Just-in-time production, a key tenant of Kaizen, evens this out by operating in a pull system rather than the traditional push system.
      • Over Processing: Are you satisfying your customer? One of the biggest examples of over processing is adding features or capabilities to a product that customer isn’t interested in. By having that unnecessary feature, time and materials are being used and not adding any value to the customer. Use Kaizen to simplify.
      • Defects: Arguably the worst of the seven wastes, defects are any product that do not meet company standards and must be scrapped or reworked. Kaizen is focused on improving processes, which in turn improves the quality of the final product.

      If your company uses Kaizen—share with us what wastes you think have been most affected by the philosophy!

    • #76
      Tony Ferraro

      Kaizen has helped us better control our inventory and workflow processes. We realize we had no control over our production schedule and jobs were getting pushed to the floor when the order due date was 6-8 weeks out. This caused over-production issues and defects. The orders that were due, were getting pushed out with very minimal quality control. We ended up implementing an MRP system which helped us control our manufacturing jobs and manufacturing schedule. The employees were able to spend the time needed to get quality parts out the door instead of rushing through each job. Jobs were being released to the floor within the appropriate time based on work centers and takt time.

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