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The seven muda

In the context of lean management, reference is made repeatedly to waste, which in Japanese is translated as "muda." Waste itself often represents the cause of losses that can occur anywhere in the company, but also offers great potential for reduction.

The seven muda are:

  • Waste due to overproduction: more is produced than is necessary
  • Waste due to waiting time: idle hands of an employee, poor process timing
  • Waste due to unnecessary transportation: value-added movement of materials or products
  • Waste due to production of defective parts: they disrupt the production flow and require expensive rework
  • Waste due to excessive inventory: stocked inventory does not add value and causes storage and warehousing costs.
  • Waste due to unnecessary movement: consumes time, causes fatigue, and increases the risk of injury
  • Waste due to improper manufacturing process: products are equipped with features that are neither needed, desired, nor paid for by the customer

The use of the TIMWOOD acronym provides another way to identify the types of waste.

T = avoid unnecessary transportation
I = avoid unnecessary stock (inventory)
M = avoid unnecessary movement (motion)
W = avoid unnecessary waiting
O = avoid over-production
O = avoid unnecessary processes (over-engineering)
D = avoid defects

By analyzing the causes of muda and applying lean management methods, waste can be minimized, costs saved and production processes optimized.

Modular products based on the Lean Management principle
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Modular products based on the Lean Management principle
for every application

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