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Continuous Improvement  >>  Lean Manufacturing Case Studies

7 Wastes To Be Eliminated


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"Only the last turn of a bolt tightens it the rest is just movement." ~ Shigeo Shingo


7 Wastes To Be Eliminated Lean Production 7 Wastes. Lean Manufacturing: The Seven Wastes To Be Eliminated (Toyota Production System, TPS)

The Seven Wastes To Be Eliminated

Overpoduction and early production producing over customer requirements, producing unnecessary materials / products

Example of a Lean Value Chain

Waiting time delays, idle time (time during which value is not added to the product)

Transportation multiple handling, delay in materials handling, unnecessary handling

Inventory holding or purchasing unnecessary raw materials, work in process, and finished goods

Motion actions of people or equipment that do not add value to the product

Over-processing unnecessary steps or work elements / procedures (non added value work)

Defective units production of a part that is scrapped or requires rework.

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Kaizen Culture: 8 Key Elements

Lean Production

3 Broad Types of Waste

5S    Just-in-Time (JIT)  >>  JIT Implementation

Toyota Problem Solving Techniques

Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF)

3 Basic Principles of Continuous Improvement

Continuous Improvement Firm (CIF) and 80/20 Principle

The Toyota Way: 14 Principles

Kaizen the Japanese Strategy of Continuous Improvement

Kaizen Mindset

Kaizen Strategy: 7 Conditions for Successful Implementation

Quick and Easy Kaizen

Japanese Suggestion System

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Glossary Kaizen & Lean Production key definitions and concepts

Quality Management

Total Quality Management (TQM)

Deming's 14 Point Plan for TQM

Kaizen and TQM

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Case Studies

Toyota Production System

Canon Production System (CPS)

Fidelity Investments: Practicing Kaizen

Toyota's Holistic Approach To Waste Elimination

The Toyota Way: 14 Principles

Toyota Production System

Wastes (muda) are the activities and results to be eliminated.

Radical Improvement (Kaikaku): Kore 10 Tips

Kaizen Mindset

While the elimination of waste may seem like a clear subject in such environmental concepts as cleaner production, it is noticeable that waste is often very conservatively identified. This then hugely reduces the potential of such an aim. In Lean Manufacturing, waste is any activity that consumes time, resources, or space but does not add any value to the product or service. Lean manufacturing is, in its most basic form, the systematic elimination of 7 wastes overproduction, waiting, transportation, inventory, motion, over-processing, defective units and the implementation of the concepts of continuous flow and customer pull.

A finer clarification of waste is key to establishing distinctions between value-adding activity, waste and non-value-adding work. Non-value adding work is waste that must be done under the present work conditions. One key is to measure, or estimate, the size of these wastes, to demonstrate the effect of the changes achieved and therefore the movement toward the goal.

Continuous Improvement Firm  Download PowerPoint presentation, pdf e-book

The "flow" (or smoothness) based approach aims to achieve Just -In-Time (JIT), by removing the variation caused by work scheduling and thereby provide a driver, rationale or target and priorities for implementation, using a variety of techniques. The effort to achieve JIT exposes many quality problems that are hidden by buffer stocks; by forcing smooth flow of only value-adding steps, these problems become visible and must be dealt with explicitly.

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Areas Targeted by TQM in Japan

The Three Broad Types of Waste

The elimination of waste is the goal of Lean. Toyota defined three broad types of waste: muri,  mura and muda.



Muri is all the unreasonable work that management imposes on workers and machines because of poor organization, such as carrying heavy weights, moving things around, dangerous tasks, even working significantly faster than usual. It is pushing a person or a machine beyond its natural limits. This may simply be asking a greater level of performance from a process than it can handle without taking shortcuts and informally modifying decision criteria. Muri also includes bad working conditions, and it will often push a resource to work harder than its natural limits.  Unreasonable work is almost always a cause of multiple variations.

Mura is the variation and inconsistency in quality and volume in both products and human conditions.



Muda is the Japanese word for waste. It specifies it specifies any human activity, which absorbs resources, but does not directly add customer value. These non-value-adding activities and results overproduction, waiting, transportation, inventory, motion, over-processing, defective units are to be eliminated.



  1. Lean Manufacturing That Works, Bill Carreira

  2. The Toyota Way, Jeffrey Liker

  3. Toyota Production System, Taiichi Ohno

  4. Lean Manufacturing, Wikipedia