Reduce costs through
waste reduction:
4 tips for your production line

4 tips for your production line

Reduce costs through waste reduction:

How much does waste from the production process cost your company? Probably more than you think. Waste is not only undesirable from a sustainability point of view, but is also economically inefficient because waste costs money.

What is waste?

Under waste from the production process we categorise, for example, residual materials, rejected products and residual products. These waste streams entail the following costs:

  1. Raw material waste: All discarded material, parts and products were once purchased. In addition to depleting natural resources, this is also a waste of money.
  2. Waste management costs: The proper management and processing of industrial waste entails high costs. Failure to handle waste responsibly leads to fines for environmental violations and the cost of cleaning up pollution. Waste always costs money.
  3. Reputational damage: In the current era of corporate social responsibility, high waste generation or poor waste management can tarnish a company’s image and lead to lost customers and sales.

You can reduce these costs by reducing waste production. In addition, waste reduction brings even more benefits.


Get started on waste reduction


1. Do not produce more than necessary

If a customer orders 1000 products, how many do you produce? 1000 or 1200? Often, more is produced than necessary because it seems convenient to have a stock for a next order. The same applies to purchased parts and materials. But what do you do if the customer decides not to place another order? Or come with other wishes? Then the products remain. Produce-to-order means producing (and purchasing) what has been ordered, so you always have enough and never too much. Just-in-Time production means that parts are only manufactured when they are needed.

+ Additional advantage:  No unnecessary stocks, less or no warehouse space required, no stock administration

2. Limit rejects

Coming back to those 1000 products the customer orders; every production process has to do with downtime. To deliver 1000 good products you may have to produce 1020 products because there is an average of 2% rejection. Improving this rejection rate is one of the spearheads of Smart Manufacturing, zero-defect production. You achieve this by focusing on error prevention and early error detection. Read more? See our article on zero-defect production.

+ Additional benefit: Increased capacity due to higher percentage of approved output

3. Earlier quality checks

Actually, this falls under point 2, limiting rejects, but it is worth a separate mention. With an early or inline quality control, the parts are already checked for quality in intermediate production steps. By monitoring this in real time, you can adjust the process before defects arise (read more about inline quality control) and you have less rejection in the output. In addition, any rejection takes place earlier in the process so that there is less waste, namely only parts and no modules or end products. These separate parts are also easier to recycle, which results in lower processing costs. Triple cost savings.

+ Additional advantage: More efficient production process and the possibility of predictive maintenance


4. Improved product design

The (re)design phase of a product is the best time to take waste reduction into account. With the right choices in material and production method, a lot of waste can be saved. Some materials, such as glass, can easily be recycled if rejected (see step 3) and certain production methods, such as printing or (injection) moulding, result in less residual material. In addition, you can take waste into account in the design by looking at shapes and series sizes so that this fits in well with the available means of production.

+ Additional advantage: Possibility to make sustainable material and production choices when redesigning, good for the environment and reputation

Where do you start?

Not all tips mentioned are possible or cost-effective for every manufacturing company. A good waste reduction plan can help you make the right choice for your production process.

Do you need help optimising the production process to reduce waste? Then we are ready for you. We are happy to look along with your process to see where improvement is possible.