Glossary W

The Glossary for Quality Management +++ Popular Articles: 'Water', 'Worker', 'Welding'

Deutsch: Verschwendung / Español: Desperdicio / Português: Desperdício / Français: Gaspillage / Italiano: Spreco

Waste in the quality management context refers to any process, action, or resource that does not add value to the product or service from the customer's perspective. In quality management, particularly within frameworks like Lean manufacturing, reducing or eliminating waste is a primary goal to increase efficiency and enhance product quality and customer satisfaction.


Waste can manifest in various forms within an organization, often categorized into specific types known by the acronym "DOWNTIME" in Lean practices: Defects, Overproduction, Waiting, Non-utilized talent, Transportation, Inventory excess, Motion waste, and Excess processing. By identifying and eliminating these waste types, businesses aim to streamline operations, reduce costs, and improve quality.

Application Areas

Waste reduction is a critical focus in various quality management systems:

  • Lean Manufacturing: Targets waste reduction primarily through continuous improvement practices, aiming to enhance manufacturing processes by eliminating waste that does not add value to the customer.
  • Six Sigma: Combines waste reduction with a focus on reducing process variation; uses statistical methods to identify and minimize waste.
  • Total Quality Management (TQM): Focuses on long-term success through customer satisfaction where waste reduction is an inherent practice to improve quality and performance.

Well-Known Examples

  • Toyota Production System (TPS): Known for its pioneering work in waste reduction through the implementation of Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing and continuous improvement (Kaizen), which significantly minimizes inventory and work-in-process waste.
  • The 5S System: A methodology part of Lean management that organizes the workplace to reduce waste and optimize productivity through maintaining order and cleanliness.

Treatment and Risks

Effectively managing waste in quality management involves various approaches and considerations:

  • Identification: Recognizing different types of waste present in the organization through audits and continuous monitoring.
  • Analysis and Strategy Development: Analyzing why waste occurs and developing strategies to eliminate it, often using tools like Root Cause Analysis or Pareto Analysis.
  • Employee Involvement: Engaging employees at all levels to actively participate in identifying waste areas and suggesting improvements.
  • Continuous Improvement: Implementing a culture of ongoing improvement (Kaizen) where waste reduction is regularly pursued.

Similar Terms

  • Non-Value-Added Activities: Activities that do not add value to the customer and hence are considered waste.
  • Efficiency: Closely related to waste reduction, focusing on maximizing outputs from given inputs and minimizing resource use.


In the context of quality management, waste refers to unnecessary processes, materials, and actions that do not add value from the customer’s perspective. Identifying and eliminating waste is essential for improving operational efficiency, reducing costs, and enhancing the overall quality of products and services. Effective waste management not only supports sustainability but also drives better customer satisfaction and competitive advantage.


Deutsch: Wasser / Español: Agua / Português: Água / Français: Eau / Italiano: Acqua /

In the quality management context, 'water' refers to the element of water and its impact on various processes, products, and systems within an organization. Water quality is a critical factor that can significantly affect the quality of products, services, and the overall performance of an organization. It is essential to understand and manage water quality to ensure compliance with regulatory requirements, meet customer expectations, and protect the environment.

Deutsch: Welligkeit / Español: Ondulación / Português: Ondulação / Français: Ondulation / Italiano: Ondulazione

In the context of quality management, waviness refers to the more widely spaced, repetitive deviations from a nominal surface that can occur in the manufacturing of parts and components. It is distinguished from surface roughness, which consists of finer irregularities. Understanding and controlling waviness is crucial for ensuring that manufactured components meet the necessary specifications and quality standards, especially for applications where surface interactions play a significant role in the performance and reliability of the product.

Deutsch: Verschleiß / Español: Desgaste / Português: Desgaste / Français: Usure / Italiano: Usura

Wear and tear in the quality management context refers to the gradual deterioration of products, equipment, or components over time due to normal usage. It encompasses the physical wear and functional degradation that occur as a result of standard operational processes, environmental conditions, and customer handling. In quality management, understanding, anticipating, and managing wear and tear is crucial for maintaining product quality, reliability, and lifespan. It involves designing products to withstand expected usage conditions, selecting durable materials, implementing effective maintenance routines, and providing customers with guidelines on proper usage and care to minimize premature wear and extend product life.

Deutsch: Schweißen / Español: Soldar / Português: Soldar / Français: Soudure / Italiano: Saldare /

A "weld" refers to the joining or fusion of two or more pieces of metal or thermoplastic materials through the application of heat, pressure, or a combination of both. Welding is a critical process in various industries, including manufacturing, construction, automotive, aerospace, and more. Ensuring the quality of welds is essential to maintain the structural integrity, reliability, and safety of products or structures.

Deutsch: Schweißer / Español: Soldador / Português: Soldador / Français: Soudeur / Italiano: Saldatore /

In the quality management context, a welder refers to a skilled professional responsible for joining metals through various welding processes while ensuring the highest standards of quality, precision, and safety. Welders play a critical role in manufacturing, construction, and various industries, where they use specialized equipment and techniques to create strong and reliable metal connections. Quality management in welding encompasses adherence to welding standards, codes, and procedures to produce welds that meet specified criteria for strength, durability, and safety.

Deutsch: Schweißen / Español: Soldadura / Português: Soldagem / Français: Soudage / Italiano: Saldatura
Welding is a fabrication or sculptural process that joins materials, usually metals or thermoplastics, by causing coalescence. This is often done by melting the workpieces and adding a filler material to form a pool of molten material (the weld pool) that cools to become a strong joint, with pressure sometimes used in conjunction with heat, or by itself, to produce the weld.

Withdrawn in the quality management context refers to the process of removing or taking back a product, service, or document from circulation, use, or further consideration due to various reasons, including quality issues, regulatory non-compliance, or changes in specifications. This action is often a crucial part of quality control and assurance processes to prevent potentially harmful or non-conforming products or information from reaching consumers or stakeholders. Withdrawal may involve physically recalling products from the market, discontinuing a service, or marking documents as obsolete.