Muda, Mura and Muri highlights the events in a process that does not do value addition in a process.

Any business activity can be broken down into three parts: Input, Process and output.

Effective utilization of the inputs and having an Value addition process helps the business to be profitable and grow. If there is a question, For what customer pays? the answer is going to be simple and upfront ” Customer pays for Value addition”. Any process has both value adding and non value adding process. Business executing the process with maximum value addition and less or no non value adding process fetches maximum profit.

Let us understand Muda, Mura and Muri in detail


Muda is a Japanese word which means Waste.

It refers to an activity that we do in a process which does not add any value to the product or service. Such activities are ignored by the customer when fixing the monetary exchange for the product or service. Like i already mentioned any process will have both value adding and non value adding processes. However reducing such activities benefit the organization.

Muda or Waste is classified into two categories they are Type 1 and Type 2.

The Type 1 waste refer to non-value-added activities that are done in the process as it is necessary for the customer.

The Type 2 waste refer to the non-value added activities that are done in the process but it is unnecessary for the customer.

Here we understand that the Type 1 which is unavoidable may be kept minimal and th Type 2 waste however may be completely eliminated from the process for higher productivity.

The type 2 waste come under seven categories they are

  • Transport
  • Inventory
  • Motion
  • Waiting
  • Overproduction
  • Over-processing
  • Defects.

The above seven categories can be easily remembered by the word TIMWOOD which is the first letters of the seven categories.


MURA simply refers to the unevenness in the process. The unevenness in the cycle time, process schedules, etc. These unevenness or the irregularity is the main reason for the MUDA in the process. For example if there is a unevenness in the cycle time between the processes the need for accumulation, over production, defects etc occur.

The unevenness resulting in high inventory can be avoided by limiting or regularizing the production schedules. Kanban systems and Just In Time (JIT) are mainly used in such cases. The Kanban uses a production triggering systems that will not allow manufacturing to produce components unless the existing buffer stock is being utilized by the customer.


MURI refers to Overburden in a process. Overburden is the condition where the process is operated beyond its capacity or near to the full capacity. Things may look productive at the beginning but overtime the negative  impacts are in place resulting in low productivity.

MURI is often the result of eliminating waste (MUDA). It is beneficial of course, but too much elimination will require the process to be more robust to meet the demands.

It its always good to attack the MUDA, MURA and MURI in balance. Since all the three are interrelated any changes in one will have an impact with the other two. Therefore the three elements has to be dealt simultaneously.

Let us see an example to see how muda, mura, and muri are interrelated by which eliminating one also eliminates the others.

If a manufacturer wanted to transport six bag of packed material to its customer. Each Bag weigh 1 Ton. The vehicle that is used for transportation has a maximum capacity of 3 Ton.

What are the options

Option 1:

Transport all the six luggage in one trip in a vehicle by loading all the six in one shot. This will be overburdening the vehicle because the vehicle capacity is just 3 Tons. This is MURI. This overloading the vehicle will result in breakdown or accident. This will also lead to MUDA and MURA.


Option 2

Transport the Six luggage in two trips having 4 luggage in one trip and two luggage in second trip. This will be unevenness of delivery to customer. This is MURA. This will also lead to MUDA and MURi.

The truck is loaded with 4 luggage in one trip which is a MURI. The second trip has only 2 Luggage which is a MUDA. The uneven supply of Luggage will have production planning issues as well which is also a MUDA.


Option 3

Transport the six luggage in three trips having 2 luggage in each trip. This will be MUDA as the vehicle is loaded lesser than the load capacity.


After trying out the various options the only way to have the balance transport plan will be to have to transport the 6 luggage in two vehicles with 3 luggage in each trip.


This is the ideal solution to eliminate MUDA, MURA and MURI.

We hope we must have helped you to understand the concepts of MUDA, MURA and MURI in the simplest possible way. We would love to hear your comments and feedback in the comments section below.

Also we recommend you to have a quick read of a blog which we have published on the title ” Reduce downtime in three ways  to improve productivity

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