Reduce Cost by Removing the Seven Wastes

Reducing or eliminating waste is one of the major principles of lean manufacturing, practiced by Solar Innovations, Inc.. Waste is often considered synonymous with trash; however, in lean manufacturing, it is categorized into seven areas:

Transportation: Though required and nearly impossible to eliminate, the movement of products between manufacturing functions can often be reduced by re-organizing the process flow.

Inventory: Attempting to run large batches, as is the case with traditional manufacturing, requires stocking vast inventories for both raw materials and work in progress (WIP).

Motion: Any unnecessary movement, whether lifting, walking, or transferring components should be reduced or eliminated whenever possible.

Waiting: Any idle time for either employees or equipment, caused by a host of problems, is considered waste and should be eliminated.

Overproduction: Completing finished products before the order has been placed or producing more than will be ordered leads to significant waste in a number of areas.

Over-Processing: Completing extra, unnecessary work that adds no value to the final product.

Defects: Any defect that leads to rework, waste, delivery delays, excess paperwork, and time for investigations.

There are two useful mnemonics to help you remember these ideas: TIM WOOD and WORM PIT:

T – Transport W – Waiting
I – Inventory O – Overproduction
M – Motion R – Rejects
W – Waiting M – Motion
O – Overproduction P – Processing
O – Over-processing I – Inventory
D – Defects T – Transport


Implementing Lean Manufacturing is the most efficient way to reduce and eliminate wastes in your production processes and even your office processes.

For more information on Solar Innovations, Inc.’s efforts in continuous improvement, LEED certification, and core values, please visit our website: About Us or email: [email protected]