What is Material Handling and the Waterspider Role

Material handling is the movement, protection, storage, and control of materials and products throughout manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, consumption, and disposal.

Focusing the attention to the shopfloor the best way to handle the material is to create a WATERSPIDER.

🎥 Related Videos:

Waterspider Explained by Uttana On-Line:

📕 Related Books:

Making Materials Flow:

👉 Here the Transcript of the video:

▶ What is Material Handling and the Waterspider Role.

Material handling is the movement, protection, storage, and control of materials and products throughout manufacturing, warehousing, distribution, consumption, and disposal.

As a process, material handling incorporates a wide range of manual, semi-automated, and automated equipment and systems that support logistics and make the supply chain work.

If we pay attention to the shop floor, one of the effective and efficient methods of material handling is achieved through the lean figure of the waterspider.

It could even be said that a layout without the waterspider is not a Lean-Layout.

The waterspider is a highly specialized figure who follows a standard tour within the company.

During this tour, he supplies the necessary parts, helps with changeovers, and assists operators whenever necessary to maintain the standard work and to make the material flow.

▶ The 3 Flows

It is important to remember that a lean company must optimize the 3 flows: Materials, People, and Information.

Material handling through the waterspider is essential to keep the flow of materials constant.

The waterspider does not have to be a young and inexperienced figure who supplies only the material.

He has to perform very complex tasks that can guarantee the continuity of the flow.

In any case, the main task of the waterspider is to supply the stations with the necessary materials, according to a standardized process.

The standardized process can be designed and implemented through dedicated KAIZEN events.

Subsequently, the standard ride can be optimized through new technologies and other KAIZEN events.


▶ Material Handling Steps

Let me explains the Steps.

Step 1️⃣ – The Waterspider takes a standard tour of each location in the workshop. In each station, the waterspider will find small warehouses called “minimarket” organized according to the 5S and Visual Management method.

Step 2️⃣ – Collect the “Kanban” signals left by the station operators. Kanban signals can be in the form of a tag, container, or other.

Step 3️⃣ – Go to the company warehouse, also called Supermarket, and take only what is required by the KANBAN signals taken.

Step 4️⃣ – Set off for another standard round filling the “Minimarkets” and pick up the new KANBANs.

As previously mentioned, the waterspider talks with the operators to record standard work anomalies and remedy them.

Or, if he is unable to help the operator, activate the ANDON signal together with him.

The benefits that can be obtained from the institution of this figure in the material handling of a factory are invaluable in terms of
effectiveness, efficiency, and inventory control.

The book that explains step by step how to achieve effective and efficient material handling in the company is: Making Material Flow published by the Lean Enterprise Institute.



my name is Mark Anderson a 20+ year Lean Expert.
I have created LeanVlog because I want to spread Lean Thinking worldwide and I think the video is the most effective way to teach, learn, and spread knowledge.

If you want to stay in touch with me you can choose the channel you prefer.

A) To Be Updated on the Lean Videos and Communicate
• LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-valente-b83aaa14b/

B) Meet on Facebook
• Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeanLab-146290372099121

C) Latest Videos and Playlist
• Website: https://www.leanvlog.com

D) 2 Videos Every Week
• Telegram Channel: https://t.me/leanvlog

You May Also Like