Lean concepts were first developed in the automotive industry. Since then, lean has spread to other types of manufacturing such as food, chemicals, plastics, pharmaceuticals, packaging and electronics. The principles of lean remain the same in each of these different categories of manufacturing, which is to eliminate wastes and to make value creating steps flow. However, there are minor modifications to how lean can be adopted from automotive into other types of manufacturing.

Here is a list of the types of wastes that slow down flow of value creating steps in a manufacturing environment.

Types of wastes Examples.

Operators looking at machine.
Operators waiting due to raw materials delay.
Bottle neck.
Equipment breakdown.

Excess Inventory

Excess raw materials, WIPs and Finished Goods.
“Just-in-case” stocks.
Stocks of damaged goods.
Expired materials.

Excessive Processing Rework or correction of mistakes.
Repacking or restacking.
Inefficient processing due to poor tool or product design.
Over production

Producing items when not needed.
Producing products when there is no order.
Over sized equipment.


Moving goods from warehouse to warehouse.
Transferring parts from process to process.
Inefficient transportation.

Unnecessary motion

Too many movements within a process.
Looking for tools or parts.


Errors and mistakes.

These examples of wastes are common sense. However not every organization is looking to eliminate them. On the contrary organization are living with these wastes. At IQI Frontiers, we can show you how to look for them and then eliminate wastes. Contact us.