The 7 Wastes in Calibration & Measurement


The seven wastes of lean is not a new concept to most reading this blog.  For a detailed look at the 7 wastes check out this article

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The Seven Wastes of Lean Manufacturing are;

    • Transportation
    • Inventory
    • Motion
    • Waiting
    • Over-Processing
    • Overproduction

How is this relevant to Calibration & Measurement? These seven wastes are problems we see in some calibration/measurement programs. Let's look at the 7 wastes in calibration/measurement.

Transportation- Do you find yourself walking back and forth from your calibration lab to the shop floor to gather items for calibration/measurement? Would it make sense to have scheduled gathering times to reduce transportation? Is it possible to perform certain calibration/measurements on the production floor?  Consider using a simple checklist to help your measure how much time is spent transporting items.

Inventory- In most situations, it is a good practice to have calibrated spares. That being said, if you have not used a calibrated spare should it be on the same calibration schedule  as items in daily use.

Motion- One of the most effective tools we have seen are the use of shadow boards for measurement tools. This quick visual reduces motion as the tool you need is either there or it is not and time is not spent rummaging through toolboxes attempting to locate a measurement gage. 

Waiting- You could write a novel on this one! It is time to calibrate and the gages are not gathered or are in use. How much time is spent waiting- maybe you should get a stopwatch and measure the time! You have critical measurement equipment that must be in a fixed location. How do you allocate time to use it? Ever see anyone waiting to use it?

Over-Processing/Overproduction- You can't find the calibration sticker/data so to be safe you calibrate it again. How many times must something be measured before you believe the result? An instrument has drift so it must constantly be checked. Are you using and storing it according to manufacturers' recommendations? Is it being cleaned properly?


We want to make it easy for your to identify areas for improvement.

Click Here to Download Our FREE 7 Wastes in Calibration & Measurement Audit 

Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman

Phil Wiseman is Chief Marketing Officer at Alliance Calibration. He earned a B.S. in Chemical Physics from Centre College. Phil is an ASQ Certified Quality Auditor and ASQ Certified Manager of Quality/Organizational Excellence.

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