Gemba Concepts


Waste’ – the term that is always heard in context of useless, does not work, consuming time and money and not giving any results in our daily routines.

Similarly, there are 7 Types of Waste (‘Muda’ – In Japanese) defined in Lean Manufacturing that add no value to company thus resulting to extra/excess cost to company and not yielding any profit either in long run nor in the short run.

A Company’s revenue is defined as its Selling Price less Cost Price so if the Selling price is too high then the customers would prefer to avail other option. On the other hand, if your Selling Price is too low then there will a perception generated about quality of product the company is offering. Thus, there is only one option to increase the revenue that is by reducing the Cost Price incurred.

This can only be reduced by eliminating waste generated in overall Manufacturing Process.

TIMWOOD is the abbreviation for each of the 7 wastes in Lean Manufacturing.

The 7 types of wastes are:

  • Transportation
  • Inventory
  • Motion
  • Waiting
  • Overproduction
  • Over Processing
  • Defects


Let’s understand each type of waste:

Transportation waste is unnecessary movement of material from one location to other that only results in extra cost to company and yields no value/profit as trained labour and equipments like trucks and fork trucks are required for material movement.




Inventory waste is unnecessary and excess storage of Raw Material, WIP or Finished goods. Inventory waste is a result of long changeover time, Batch size production, Push System being used, poor quality etc. Inventory feeds many other wastes and all costs is bored by company until product is sold.


Motion waste can be a defined as excessive travel time between work stations, hard retrieval of material like bending or stretching to access a material, irregular path machine movements etc. All this costs time and money and also incurs stress on human body and health.




Waiting waste is defined as idle time that an operator has to wait to receive the product and start working on it. This can be a result of improper line balancing, long changeovers, slower cycles, poor coordination of line manpower etc. All these activities incur labour cost, production cost to company for the time labour stays idle.








Overproduction waste is result of producing excess and unnecessary goods than required quantity and too early. This waste directly increases the scope of inventory waste. It is a result of longer batch time, longer lead times, slower cycles, non availability of Raw  material etc. This waste can be eliminated by JUST IN TIME(JIT).

Over processing waste is a result of inappropriate techniques used, improper tools and equipments used, working to too tight tolerances and working on areas that customer puts no value to. This waste can be eliminated by clear understanding of specifications required and standards to be maintained.


Defects are defined as waste of correction/ repair/ rework. They are a result of poor quality standards, rough and unclear operating procedures, undefined specifications, low skilled labour , transportation etc. This can be eliminated by introducing Poka-Yoke and automation

Reference :-

The Seven Wastes | 7 Mudas

Article by:-

Taksh Agarwal

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