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Monday, July 26, 2010

Reducing Wasted Motion Really Pays Off

Eliminating wasted motion is an essential element of Lean manufacturing.  Wasted motion is one of the seven (or eight, depending your school of thought) dealy wastes.  It refers to any unnecessary time and effort required to assemble a product.  Excessive twists or turns, uncomfortable reaches or pickups, and unnecessary walking all contribute to wasted motion and may put error inducing stress upon the operator.

In manufacturing processes small amounts of wasted motion can add up quickly over the course of an entire production run. This video from Assembly Services and Packaging illustrates how optimizing your production line can affect the bottom line.

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  1. Hey Tim-
    I like the video from a mass manufacturing point of view. Specifically how it breaks down the wasted effort.

    What I don't like is that it doesn't address the setup and cleanup when the job is completed.

    IMHO if your doing short runs (ex. 200 pieces) the time is probably wasted during the set up and clean up.

  2. Jon, I agree with you they missed changeover or set up. But this example is definitely one that most people can relate to. That can be very helpful in learning to look for waste.

  3. Hi Jon and Tim, Thank you for viewing, posting and commenting on our video. I agree with you, wasted motion and the trade-offs associated with order quantities is an important piece of the puzzle.
    With the time pressures of getting folks to watch a video, we intentionally kept it around 4 minutes. However, your perspective on set-up, tear down and order quantities,reflected in your comments sparks my interest in creating another video that addresses these aspects of the decision making process.
    Let me know if you have any additional ideas on the topic, saratn@asapwi.com