8 Wastes of Lean and a Practical Solution

posted on: Friday June 17, 2016

Xpress SingledrevaAccording to the successful manufacturing strategies created by Toyota Production System, anything that doesn’t increase value in the eye of the customer is considered waste. Lean manufacturing is a part of Kaizen, or continuous improvement, that strives to eliminate all such waste. In manufacturing, the 8 most common wastes of Lean are described in the acronym DOWNTIME:




Not utilizing talent


Inventory excess

Motion waste

Excess processing

Every business will find different wastes at different points in its process. However, there are some solutions out there that address numerous kinds of waste in several separate areas of workflow. One such solution is an electric power tug, often as part of a tug and cart system. Here is how it can address some of the wastes of lean.


Excess product, parts, and inventory are issues commonly addressed with Just-in-Time (JIT) manufacturing. This approach focuses on paring down delivery to or from the facility to materials that are required. This strategy demands a reasonable workflow and a reduction of bottlenecking. A cart and tug system maximizes productivity by offering a simple, convenient way to move a lot of parts or materials at one time by just one operator.


One of the most significant ways an electric-powered tug reduces waiting time is that it can substitute a forklift for horizontal movement. While only a certified forklift operator can drive a lift truck, anyone can operate a tug. For the cost of a forklift, a company can buy several power tugs, providing ample opportunity for product to be moved as soon as it’s ready.

Not Utilizing Talent

If you are pulling workers off of tasks to help push heavy loads from one point to another, a power tug can replace the extra manpower. Additionally, if you use contract employees, it takes little training to operate a tug. You can keep your skilled experts where they need to be and fully utilize every person on the floor with a tug.

Motion Waste

Eliminating excess movement is one area where a power tug really shines. In addition to promoting a better workflow, a tug and cart system drastically increases efficiency. Carts can be hooked together to create a train and pulled by one person with a tug. This minimizes the number of loads and manpower required to move parts and product throughout a facility.

Manufacturers who implement electric-powered tugs always see dramatic improvements to safety and productivity. Most find the equipment so practical that they find other valuable applications and order more units. Whether it’s one tug or several that help you eliminate waste, it is one of the most impactful material handling solutions for Lean strategies. Contact Load Mover Inc. to discuss whether a tug will effectively eliminate waste at your facility: 952-767-1720; info@loadmoverinc.com.