How I used Lean to eliminate Overproduction in our Company


Overproduction - The 7 Types of Waste
Wherever you have batch-production you have the risk of non-synchronized production sequences. In cases a machine breaks or you have a delay in one of these processes, you generate overproduction. So what can we do?

Overproduction – The 7 Types of Waste

But first: What is Overproduction?

Overproduction is caused by non-linked production processes. Once the following process step stops (due to a machine breakdown, a poor line balancing or any other reason) the previous process produces continuously. Unused stock occurs, thus leading to the use of additional floor space, fixed capital and waste due to further material handlings.

This type of waste is often driven by non-synchronized processes (missing one-piece-flow, poor visualization), no consumption-based production (better: use simple methods like kanban or any kanban-based approach), lack of information (better: Heijunka/Leveled production planning and visual management) and machine downtime (use TPM and simple automation).
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How to prevent Overproduction?

Some ideas were already given ahead. Most common reasons are missing synchronization of processes, i. e. a missing one-piece-flow or huge quantities of parts per packaging.

To sum up: Lean tools exist to reduce and eliminate this type of waste. Keep them in mind and download the free toolbox if you like.

  • Kanban/Pull-process/JIT: Just produce what the downstream process requires.
  • One-piece-flow: Synchronized production sequences without the possibility of any buffer between stations.
  • Visual Management: Visualize the process. Point out once a machine stops and force upstream processes to stop production as well.
  • SMED/Change-over reduction: Shorten line-stoppage due to machine change-over will reduce the risk of overproduction.
  • TPM: Eliminates machine downtime.
  • Simple automation: Reduces the risk of machine failures and downtime.
  • Leveled Production: Results in JIT production. Highly consumption-based. Reduces the risk of overproduction.
  • Shorter quality-loops: Reduce the parts per box inside your factory or even towards your suppliers. The shorter the loop gets, the more synchronized the process will be.

Further Readings:


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