The 6 Big Losses is one of the lean tools and refer to the causes of loss in manufacturing. They are related to the 7 Wastes, and if having employees who are aware of them, the business is more likely to eliminate or at least minimise them.

Categories of Six Big Losses

The 6 Big Losses can be split into 3 categories with two items in each.

Availability Loss

  • Breakdowns: This is when a machine is down or can’t produce due to an unexpected issue. This could for example be due to equipment failure
  • Setup and Adjustment: This is when the productivity slows down or there is a production stop which could include items like changeover, material shortage, machine warm up etc.

Performance Loss

  • Small Stops: This could relate to items like Jams or blocks in a machine, or related to cleaning or required checking of produced parts.
  • Speed Losses: This is when equipment doesn’t run as fast as it can for some reason, and be related to items as efficiency of operator, wear of machines.

Quality Loss

  • Start-up Defects: When starting production there could some defective parts produced due to improper setup of machine or warm up period. Those parts will either have to be reworked or scrapped and is considered as a loss.
  • Production Defects: This includes all the defective parts that have been produced during a production run.

In order to control the six big losses, it require employees who are familiar with them and a continuous improvement culture where they identify any loss and turn it into an opportunity for improvement.

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Six Big Losses