Home Blog Business Waste Let’s talk about…Waste in Manufacturing

Let’s talk about…Waste in Manufacturing

“You have to crack a few eggs to make an omelette”, in other words, in order to achieve something, there has to be a some sacrifices. Waste in manufacturing is much the same and is inevitable, but it is how we manage that waste that is important.

Trends in Manufacturing in 2022 highlight the main areas of waste in the industry, be that waste through time or physical waste. In this week’s blog, we delve into the areas that we like best, rubbish!

  • Overproduction
  • Defects
  • Motion
  • Waiting

Over Production

Producing more than is required is a waste of materials and production time which could have been used elsewhere. Excess materials use up valuable space, incur costs, can get lost or worse, wasted! The simple solution here is to follow schedules closely and only produce what is needed.


Product defects can occur for a number of reasons including operator or machinery error. The best scenario is for the defect to be picked up during an inspection process and for it to be returned to production for rectification. However, this is not always possible and therefore more waste is incurred. Defected materials also represents wasted time. Improved quality checks are key in the early stages of production to limit the risk.


Motion refers to the physical movement of people within the factory. Production employees are continuously moving around the factory during production; to fetch tools, move materials, loading, unloading, walking, climbing, bending – you name it! All forms of motion cause fatigue and reduction of productivity. It is therefore important the factory is geared for such movements to limit risk of injuries and ease movements from A to B.


Any amount of time where a machine isn’t running or workers aren’t working is classed as downtime. A consequence of too much downtime, whether that be from staff change overs or unplanned maintenance on machines could cause a knock on effect to production down the line. For example; rushed quality checks or missed shipments could mean wasted materials. Forward planning is essential to reduce down time to a minimum.

As a waste management broker, we love just about any waste, but our favourite is waste that can be recycled. We work with a number of recycling and treatment centres up and down the country and we use them as often as we can with all of our projects. For more information about how we work click here: Our processes – Site Solutions (sitesolutions-ltd.co.uk)