Seven Wastes – Over Production

Today’s Guest Blog Author: Kris Chapman is the Vision Lean Manager at Trilogiq USA. Kris has 15 years experience in helping manufacturing facilities implement Lean Manufacturing principles.

Over-Production-300x300Over Production is this weeks topic. It is the most widely observed waste during a waste walk and usually the most accepted. Over production is when you produce more than you need or what your customer needs.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do I see overstocked inventory?
  • Do I see inventory taking up a lot of floor space?
  • Do I see excess raw material?
  • Do I see an unbalanced workflow?

If you answered yes to any or all of the questions above, then you have an over production muda. Over production is a root cause of many of the other wastes, and eliminating it is critical to remain competitive in today’s dynamic environment. Over production waste is the easiest to measure and can be done by looking at what the customer requires and what is being produced. Usually, when over production is observed, the process has a push system and sends the product upstream regardless of if the next step needs it. There are many excuses to justify overproduction, but it is probably the most costly waste. It is a waste of time, requires extra resources, and adds to many of the other wastes, risking competitiveness in the marketplace.

To correct over production waste, a daily Gemba walk is recommended and the goal is to identify the waste in process and eliminate them. When conducting the Gemba walk, look at every process step, calculate the customer requirement, and you should see a nice balanced process with synchronized movement of material. If Gemba or waste walks are not practiced, there are likely many areas where products are produced that you were not aware of and that have been around for years. So, the challenge with never spending time on the process is that things are overlooked and assumed the product was needed and there isn’t a problem.

Addressing over production will reduce the time, resources, man and machine power, and save money. Addressing over production also increases your flexibility for more products while streamlining your processes to get your products to your customer sooner. When over production is corrected, the opportunity for other wastes will also be eliminated.