Spoilage, scrap, waste are terms relating to material losses in manufacturing, all of which have an adverse effect on manufacturing costs, similarly rework. Manufacturers need to know what these losses are.

Scrap is often reported at a high level by the ERP system, which can compare output produced against input materials consumed. But to do anything about it requires knowing where the losses are really occurring; fast enough to be able to react; and in sufficient detail to support Continuous Improvement activities.

It can occur in a number of ways:

  • During production – there is always an element of planned waste (inherent in the process, destructive quality checks, etc.); but more concerning the unplanned waste – for example rejects during manufacturing; materials lost during breakdowns/restarts.
  • Post production – where a bad product is removed before reaching the customer.

These losses impact the business not just in the form of wasted raw materials but also lost production time and wasted energy. In some cases spoilage can be reworked, but rework is expensive; it robs production capacity; incurs more resources and adds complexity in situations requiring detailed traceability records.


The Spoilage module of Shopfloor-OnlineLifescience Edition provides two levels of solution:

  1. Manual recording – allowing operators to enter spoilage directly into the system either when it occurs during each production run or at the end of the shift. All spoilage recording includes the quantity and the reason from a user defined list of reasons.
  2. Automatic recording – by direct connection to the machines to collect rejects counts at specific points (e.g. camera rejects). By capturing production counts electronically direct from the machine/line, Shopfloor-Online Lifescience Edition is able to track spoilage in real-time and in detail.

Note: if there are no PLCs to get the signals from or that is difficult, a simple solution is to install very inexpensive PLCs just for the purpose of data capture.

Shopfloor-OnlineLifescience Edition offers a powerful range of reports and analysis to allow spoilage to be investigated by machine, line, department, shift, crew, reason, product, and so on. For example:

  • Spoilage Pareto analysis by machine and reason (top 10 reasons, top 10 machines…)
  • Spoilage trends (by shift, day, week, or month)
  • It also calculates relevant KPIs like Quality Rate, FTTQ

Additionally, Spoilage can be presented on dashboards and can be used to raise alarms via email/SMS.

When Used with Other Modules

When the Spoilage module is used in conjunction with other modules of Shopfloor-OnlineLifescience Edition more opportunities open up. For example:

  • When used with the Downtime, Production Counting and OEE modules, it can deliver real-time OEE reports
  • When used with Supplier Complaints module, complaints can be created at the line where usage of materials is giving rise to problems


  • Act – know where the losses are actually occurring so you can do something about it
  • React faster – with the immediacy of spoilage information – even in manual recording environments
  • Visibility – with dashboard displays and email alerts, ensure high levels of losses don’t go unnoticed
  • History – provide a detailed history of losses and with the powerful reports allow Continuous Improvement teams to identify areas to work on.
  • Save time – with automatic data collection – save considerable time and remove paper.
  • Dual mode – uniquely, Shopfloor-Online Lifescience Edition allows some lines to have data collected automatically and others manually. This means you can invest in automatic data collection where the payback is more likely, but still get the benefit of a plant-wide unified spoilage recording system.