Techniques for the Evaluation, Reduction, and Elimination of Excess Material Flow within Industrial Facilities

February 24, 2006
1 min read

The flow of material represents 2, and practically even 3, of the 7 wastes as defined by LEAN practitioners. As such, the methods for evaluating, reducing, and eliminating excess material handling are fundamental to any LEAN improvement initiative.

The 7 wastes defined by LEAN practitioners include the following:

  1. Overproduction
  2. Waiting (reduced by eliminating storage locations)
  3. Transportation handling more than once
  4. Inventory
  5. Motion
  6. Over-processing
  7. Defective production

Material handling involves the Movement (relocation) of Materials (container, parts, tooling, kanban triggers) using Methods (fork trucks, people, carts). The focus of any improvement study is aimed largely at improving, or eliminating the Movement because the Materials and Methods themselves may neither be conducive to change nor offer significant benefits for cost and time savings.

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