In Lean Manufacturing, we focus on improving production, quality and eliminating waste in order to maximise financial performance. In order to achieve these targets we utilise a Lean Manufacturing tool known as the 6 Big Losses, these are the most common forms of lost time due to equipment-based issues.

They are:

  • Equipment Failure
  • Setup and Adjustments
  • Idling and Minor Stops
  • Reduced Speed
  • Process Defects
  • Reduced Yield

Exploring these production wastes can provide significant productivity improvements in many organisations, so lets take a closer look.

The Six Big Losses in Lean Manufacturing

Equipment Failure

When machine breakdowns occur, they can usually be attributed to tooling failures, unplanned maintenance or breakages. Due to the unplanned nature of these failures, it often means staff are left idle and production impacted. Anything longer than a few minutes should be documented and once a pattern emerges the root cause analysed.

Setup and Adjustments

Downtime that occurs when the equipment stops due to adjustment or changeover.  Cleaning, warm-up and planned maintenance also fall into this category. Many of the losses in this category are planned, but there is no reason we can’t look for improvements.  SMED (Single-Minute Exchange of Dies) is a useful tool for improving changeover times.

Idling and Small Stops

Loss in this category is usually under 5 minutes but can be frequent so these stopages should be tracked especially when the cause of the stoppage is continual or chronic. Some examples might be obstructed product flow, misfeeds, jams or even cleaning. We recommend recording all small stops as it can be surprising how they add up and slow down production.

Reduced Speed

This is the difference between operating speed and the equipment’s designed speed. If a machine is not operating at maximum speed and production is impacted upstream due to its delays then it needs to be addressed. There is no point increasing the speed however if the next step in the process can’t accommodate the increased production/speed.

Startup Rejects

Any type of reject is waste, early production rejects are often the result of errors in machine set-up. The result of these rejects can lead to re-work, scrap and production rejects, they need to be eliminated.

Production Rejects

All rejects must be tracked and the root cause identified in order to reduce costly rejects. Ensuring employees are trained to identify rejects, their root cause and to act quickly will definitely assist.

For organisations that strive for continuous improvement then understanding and managing the 6 Big Losses is Key. If you need help with managing waste and improving productivity, contact us today.