The seven wastes of manufacturing can be difficult to remember, but the mnemonic TIMWOOD  makes it easy. Each letter in the acronym represents one of seven wastes:

Transport: Unnecessary movement of products, equipment, and people. Results in time wasted and materials are more likely to be damaged.

Inventory: There are different views as to whether or not excessive inventory should be included in these wastes, as inventory (no matter how much) is considered an asset. Having too much inventory however, can lead to longer lead times, damaged or defected products, and an inefficient use of capital. Trying to maintain excessive inventory means reducing available storage space and utilizing extra resources just to manage it.

Movement/Motion: Unnecessary, dangerous, and complicated movements are wasteful; they can cause harm to employees, damages to equipment, or defects in the product.

Waiting and Delays: Waiting is often an easy waste to overlook. Time that is lost due to a lull in productivity is considered a waste. This usually happens when workers need to wait on material or when production is halted for unexpected equipment maintenance.

Overproduction: Did you know overproduction can lead to other types of waste while hiding the need for improvement? When production exceeds customer demand, facilities are left with excessive inventory to store and manage.

Over Processing: A product or service that has more features or capabilities than required or expected by the company would be considered over processing. It is important for businesses to understand what they’re customer requires from the product and eliminating any tasks or processes that is not useful or necessary to those requirements.

Defects: Many consider defects to be the worst of the seven wastes. Characterized as products that do not meet company standards, these products must either be scrapped or reworked, thus adding costs to the operation but not adding value for the customer.

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