Queues Waste to Eliminate For Ever Using Lean-Six-Sigma

What is the Queues Wastes or waiting wastes



In this article, you will learn what are Queues waste and how to reduce it in 5 simple steps of lean manufacturing.

Queues Waste Definition

Also known as “Waiting & Transportation Time” or “Inventory/Transportation Time”.

Queues are defined as:

(1) the time between processes.

(2) The time that the components or events gets waiting for someone to work on it.  Queues Waste

The waste of Queues stops the process flow, which impacts adversely the thruput of the manufacturing operations.

Queues are one of the eight wastes of lean manufacturing, it means doing nothing or working slowly meanwhile you are waiting for a previous step in the process.

The Costs of the Queues Waste (Waiting)

The waiting time of the employees is the time that they do not use to add value to the product.

This cost will affect directly the company’s income and profit.  Queues Waste

The time spent waiting shall be required later in the form of overtime at a premium rate, excellent for the employees but not so good for the company.

Queues waste is one of the Eight (8) Wastes of Lean Manufacturing.

Waiting is considered the fourth waste in lean manufacturing because is a non-value activity for the end-user(s).

The eight wastes of lean manufacturing are:  Queues Waste

  1. Transport
  2. Inventory
  3. Motion
  4. Waiting or Queues
  5. Over-production
  6. Over-processing
  7. Defects
  8. Skills – The 8th Waste

4 Main Causes of the Queues Wastes or Waiting times.

  1. Unbalanced processes are a major cause of waiting in the workflow, if one process requires more time than the next, then the employees will hold their idle waiting.
  2. Poorly designed processes also promote waiting, the process shall be waiting due to breakdowns, quality issues, information, or for prolonged changeovers to be completed.
  3. The waste of overproduction and waste of Inventory also may promote the waste of waiting. Since the material has to be transported (another waste) from one location to the other location. The material handling is often a root cause of the Queues waste.
  4. Missing information can promote waiting, either through unclear or missing data to conduct work or even through waiting to know which component is required next.

Seven 7 Examples of Queues Waste:

  1. Breakdown operations.
  2. Operators or machines standing idle whilst they wait for a previous process’s production.
  3. Waiting for a previous process to complete a batch of material prior to movement.
  4. Waiting for the material handler to deliver a batch of components.
  5. Waiting for information from other departments.
  6. Waiting to be told which product is required next.
  7. Operators waiting or working slowly whilst waiting for a previous operation to complete its cycle.

How to Eliminate or Reduce Queues Wastes using 5 Steps

  1. Balancing the manufacturing processes using Takt time and Yamazumi boards improve the processes to be better matched with regards to cycle times.
  2. Improving machine reliability and quality using Total Productive Maintenance (TPM) and quality tools.
  3. Reducing overproduction and inventory to minimize transport and movement between and within cells.
  4. Implement Standard Operating Procedures to ensure that standards and methods are clear.
  5. Use visual methods of planning combined with daily cell meetings to ensure that everyone is clear about what is required for the day.

In summary, the waste of waiting involves: standing idle or marking time whilst waiting for materials, information, or instruction.

 brought to you by CIQA logo

CIQA is a quality and regulatory consultant with 25 years of experience developing products and managing projects in the medical device supply chain, and pharmaceutical industries. Rest assured of the safety or being in the right hands.

Our Lean Manufacturing team could provide you a broad range of professional expertise implementing these techniques and tools.


For more details about the Queues Waste, follow us.

Quality procedures templates

Three (3) Options to Create Document Control Management DCM Procedures:

Bronze Option. You Can Create Your Own Quality Procedures, using a Template.

You can download samples of the Document Control Management DCM procedure templates in .pdf format. 

To see the complete list of the most popular quality procedures templates, click here.

In addition, you can request a quotation to buy online a full SOP template document in MS Word format that is completely editable, ready to fill, and adapt to your specific needs.

Silver Option. We Can Bring You Formal Training about the Six Sigma Definitions.

This option is recommended if you want to learn more about how to build robust quality system procedures. One of our expert(s) can provide online step-by-step training to your team (unlimited assistance) on how to build reliable SOPs using our template(s). Also, you can improve your corporate quality procedures and policies by incorporating our template(s) and tools.  It includes a fully editable template from the Bronze option, plus training, exams, and a training certificate for each assistant.  Request a quote now.

Gold Option. We Can Create Customized Quality Procedures.

One of our expert(s) will create and prepare your customized SOPs with the inputs and specific information of your company. It includes a fully editable template from the Bronze option, plus online support in document creation, implementation, and training. Request a quote online.

Get in compliance today, CONTACT US (Hablamos Español)

REFERENCES: Queues Waste.




Picture of Ramon Cayuela, MS, BS, Chemical Engineering

Ramon Cayuela, MS, BS, Chemical Engineering

CIQA President and CEO.
I've been working in validation engineering since 1992 with many multinational pharmaceutical companies. I love sharing my passion and knowledge with others. If you have any questions about anything (or just have general questions). I will be more than happy to assist you. You can count on the BEST customer service on CIQA. I go to great lengths to make sure my clients are 100% satisfied with their purchases and check emails/messages consistently throughout the day. You can rest assured that everything being sold here is as-described or your money back. I look forward to working with you!