How to Manage Production Waste in the Manufacturing Industry

by | Feb 10, 2023 | Waste Management Service

It is often overlooked that manufacturing waste can be a significant expense for businesses when left unchecked. Across the company, lean manufacturing waste can occur in various areas, including transportation, inventory, and defective products.

The purpose of this article is to examine the different types of manufacturing production waste, as well as how to minimise them for a lean manufacturing production process.

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What is Manufacturing Production Waste?

An unfortunate but inevitable part of the manufacturing process is waste – the residual raw materials that aren’t used in the final product. Such waste encompasses not only physical materials in lean manufacturing and includes inefficient processes that waste time.

There may be a limited amount of waste produced by each manufacturing line, but the total reaches trillions. Globally, manufacturers in warehouses should place a high priority on reducing lean manufacturing waste. In addition to protecting the environment and the economy, implementing proper manufacturing waste management can also improve a company’s profitability.

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Eight Types of Manufacturing Production Waste

  1. Transportation
  2. Unutilised employee talent
  3. Motion
  4. Defects
  5. Excess processing
  6. Excess inventory
  7. Overproduction
  8. Waiting

Inspire Waste Management may specialise in manufacturing waste (among other things). Still, there are other forms, some of which we can’t help with, as they are not all physical waste. Nevertheless, these types of waste reductions could help your business run more smoothly and sustainably.

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Transportation Waste in Manufacturing Production Waste

Transport refers to moving materials from one point to another, specifically within the warehouse. Minimising transport costs is essential to maximising the value of the product. The goal is to have the production chain’s plants located closer to one another or to minimise transportation costs. In addition to gas emissions, transport packaging, potential product damage, and other wastes associated with transporting hazardous materials, waiting incurs environmental impacts. In handling materials, operating transportation, training, implementing safety precautions, and using extra space, time and resources are consumed.

A poorly laid-out warehouse floor is often the cause of wastage within the warehouse. Multiple trips across the warehouse equal wasted time. Time could be better spent on time and resources if workers didn’t have to carry tools back and forth numerous times a day. You can maximise warehouse efficiency for lean manufacturing in the following ways:

  • Reducing travel time for best-selling items can be stored near the assembling or shipping areas.
  • The things you buy together often should be kept close to one another.
  • Get your warehouse team to stop picking up paper orders by automating pick lists to mobile devices.
  • Clear aisles and workstations to make it easier for transport vehicles to drive and for staff to find alternate routes.

For outside the warehouse, Inspire Waste Management could help you wherever you are in the UK. We want to help the environment like everyone else, so we ensure to send our team to the nearest drop-off centre, whether a recycling centre or a landfill.

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Motion Within the Manufacturing Process

All motion that could be minimised, whether from a person or a machine, is considered wasteful. Any movement can cause wear and tear on devices, resulting in capital depreciation. Therefore, removing excess motion can prevent added wear and tear.

Excessive motion contributes to many things. Overburdened employees might not need human health resources if motion was minimised, and less activity of machines can result in fewer energy costs, unnecessary manufacturing waste, and disposal of materials to replace worn machines.

The minimising of motion is very similar to that of transportation, as they both involve movement. This proves yet again that not all waste generated is bound for the landfill as people’s time and movement count in the lean manufacturing production process!

Defective Products

Defects occur when a product does not meet the expectations of a customer or deviates from its design standards. Having defective products requires a replacement; it involves paperwork and human labour to process; it may result in a customer leaving; the resources spent on the defective product are wasted. Making a more efficient production system reduces defects and increases the resources needed to address them, but a defective product implies waste at other levels, which may have led to the weakness in the first place.

Poor planning or human error can lead to defects in products. Defects contribute to the environment in many ways, including the raw materials consumed, the defective parts of the product that must be discarded or recycled (wasting other resources in repurposing them), and the space and energy needed to remedy them.

Defects can be minimised by:

  • Ensure every employee knows the correct methods and quality expectations through standard operating procedures (SOPs) and training.
  • Find out where defects arise by creating waste audits regularly.
  • Maintain a service level agreement with your suppliers to ensure the quality of raw materials and components.
  • Incentives for waste reduction.
  • Maintenance should be scheduled for tools and machines regularly.

Commercial skip hire might be helpful if you do have faulty products to remove

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Excess Processing

During the manufacturing process, overprocessing refers to any unnecessary step. An example of over-processing would be painting an area that will never be seen or adding features that won’t be used. By definition, it is adding value greater than the customer’s needs.

During manufacturing, an excess of parts, labour, and raw materials are consumed, resulting in an environmental impact. Creating unnecessary features in a product wastes time, energy, and emissions; simplifying and maximising efficiency can reduce these costs.

Other overprocessing pitfalls can be reduced by:

  • Processes and tasks related to your core manufacturing tasks should be reviewed.
  • Determine which tasks take up time but aren’t valuable or necessary.
  • Ensure your team has standard operating procedures so they know what to do and only spend a little time on each task.

Excess Inventory

Waste from unprocessed inventory is known as inventory waste. These wastes include the cost of storing the stock, the cost of transporting the merchandise, the cost of the containers used to store the inventory, the lighting in the storage space, etc. A surplus of inventory can conceal the original waste of producing it.

As well as packaging, deterioration or damage to work-in-process, and the energy required to light or heat inventory space, inventory waste impacts the environment. Software for inventory management can be used to reduce stockpile waste. Raw materials and components can be tracked throughout procurement, production, and sales. In this way, inventory that is unlikely to sell is minimised.

An excess of parts or any raw material left over could be put in commercial recycling.

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Overproduction Leading to Production Waste

It is the most serious of all wastes, resulting in excess inventory and causing all other types of waste as the root cause. In addition to the obvious costs of storing too much inventory, the wasted materials and capital are tied up in unneeded inventory.
If raw materials are consumed more than they are needed for the product:

  • It can spoil
  • Become obsolete
  • Be discarded
  • Cause additional emissions
  • Higher costs of waste disposal
  • Environmental problems (especially with harmful materials)

Tracking and recording key changes regarding demand, product design, sales trends, and more can help you prevent overproduction waste; this is why many manufacturing places have turned to inventory software. As a result, managers can better determine the amount of each part they need – and manufacturers can adjust equipment, staff, and materials as required.

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A delay occurs when one step in the production chain is slowed or stopped while the previous step is completed causing a stop in the production flow. For example, on a production line, if one task takes longer than another, the time the employee responsible for the subsequent task spends waiting is wasted time.
To compensate for the time spent on a more extended job, identify areas in which you should improve efficiency, use non-utilized talent, hire more employees, or optimise your workflow so it is properly managed and you reduce waste.

Lighting, heating, or cooling during the waiting period has an environmental impact due to wasted labour and energy. Furthermore, an inefficient workflow can lead to material spoilage and component damage.

Ways to reduce waiting could be:

  • Make use of frameworks to visualise delays, wastage, and bottlenecks.
  • By scheduling regular maintenance, you can improve machine reliability.
  • Automate reorders of stock when low levels are reached with inventory management software.
  • Train staff so they can perform various tasks and are not restricted to a few.

Is Manufacturing Production Waste Unavoidable?

We all dream of eliminating waste to help the environment, which is why we like giving waste reduction advice to clients. However, it is sometimes inevitable that waste is produced. There are two camps in which waste is split, and each of the seven discussed types can fit into.

Necessary Production Waste

This waste may not add value to the products you create, but it is still necessary. A great example of this is creating business reports, testing the quality of products, planning production lines, etc. All of these tasks must be completed despite not going into any tangible final product. Whether for training or safety, eliminating waste like this isn’t feasible because it is necessary for the manufacturing industry.

Pure Manufacturing Waste

On the other hand, pure waste produce has no value or necessity. This is especially true for waste types like waiting, such as an employee waiting for a machine to be in use. There is also the actual waste which is produced in the process. Still, hopefully, we have given you food for thought on reducing waste.

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What Can Inspire Waste Management Do?

We have previously worked with plenty of manufacturing companies to help with their waste management. Of course, waste reduction starts with you and your business, especially the intangible ones, but we can help with any other tangible waste you may have. We have dealt with many damaged products or surplus inventory that has spoilt or been discarded. Your waste production can be taken care of by us!

What Do We Offer?

Anything related to waste management! In the manufacturing industry, any waste could need to be disposed of. However, some examples could include the following:

Contact us today to speak more about your needs, and our experts will be able to advise you on what services could be helpful to you.

Inspire Waste Management offers waste services anywhere in the UK

Our experienced, expert staff will help you navigate the complex rules for dealing with hazardous waste, electronic and electrical waste, and confidential waste.

We’ll help you get the best price for bulk recycling, and get the right skips, tankers, compactors, or balers for your business.

We’ll also help you make the most of your budget with our waste consultancy and project planning and transparent, flat rate quotes.

So, when it comes to your waste, it pays to get Inspire-d!

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