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OVERPRODUCTION – The Big One

The Largest Waste – By Swati Jadhav

Taiichi Ohno developed a lean system framework with the foundation of waste reduction. Anything that doesn’t add value to the product must consider as Waste (Muda in Japanese).Among all waste, overproduction is the most undesirable waste. It is an excess/faster production of products than the demand or required state. It costs you more than you can imagine! It is indirectly affects Capital-in stock, organization profit and directly affects with raw materials, Work In Progress (WIP), inventory, transport and finished products. Overproduction also affects logistics and facility planning in any application.

The major causes for the overproduction are large batch sizes, inaccurate demand planning, improper production processes and un-leveled scheduling.

Methods to reduce the Overproduction:

Planning: The first stage to reduce the overproduction is an effective planning. Effective plan consists of employee roles and responsibilities, inventory management system, process mapping etc. Once the planning has been identified, smooth flow of the product process can be made.

Standardization: It is key element to reduce all type of waste. It is based on three factors – Takt time, Precision in work sequence and standard inventory. By documenting the process and setting the method, one can ensure the ongoing progress results for an organization.

Process inspection: Process inspection allows you to verify the product at every stage before reaching to the customer. It is effective way to prevent excess work, scrap and inventory.

Inventory management: Effective management of inventory helps the organization to focus more to be productive. It is the integral part of JIT, eliminates the scrap and rework and utilizes floor space optimally.

Tools to reduce the overproduction:

Pull system/Kanban; This is the major principle in the Toyota Production System to avoid waste. The tool Toyota uses under this principle is Kanban. Kanban (Signboards in Japanese), is a scheduling system is used to prevent the waste in all forms. It plays important role in logistics system. Kanban concept was discovered by Taichi Ohno in 1952 and implemented at the Toyota business. When material is consumed, Kanban cards signals the supplier to deliver new stock. The concept runs according to demand rate to control production rate i .e pull system.

Heijunka, a Japanese term, also known as production smoothing or production leveling. It creates even production process by reducing variations in the work space. *avoiding waste throughout in entire workplace is related directly to creating and developing lean environment which improves overall efficiency.

JIT (Just In Time); JIT is inventory management strategy used to reduce waste by receiving products at the right time and the right place. Toyota started using this method in 1970 and according to Toyota’s experience; organization must run stable production, balanced workload and efficient system to approach JIT.

Cellular flow; Using the cellular manufacturing system in the organization will always benefits the reduction in the waste. Changeover and reducing setups in the flow are considered as value added activity and it reduce the overproduction.

By all means, overproduction can be measured and reduced effectively by using Toyota Lean tools.

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