Lean Manufacturing initiatives augmented by industry 4.0 - How?
As part of Industry 4.0, key technologies, and concepts such as industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cloud computing, edge computing, digital twins, machine-to-machine communication (M2M), and cyber-physical systems (CPS) are included.
Automated processes are at the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Industrial and manufacturing processes can become more efficient and self-sufficient by using a variety of data collection and communication systems.
As part of Industry 4.0, technology connects disparate systems using hardware and software, makes information transparent, contributes to decision-making through aiding human decision-making, and decentralizes decision making within technological systems so that humans are less likely to intervene.
Manufacturers are working to become more efficient and nimbler by adopting lean manufacturing practices. It may be difficult to implement lean approaches due to their complexity and lack of visibility, despite their significant benefits. This could be improved by Industry 4.0.
What Does Industry 4.0 Mean for Lean Manufacturing
Lean manufacturing has become popular among manufacturers, aimed at eliminating waste and becoming more agile by eliminating activities that add no value to the process. Lean manufacturing is used in many industries in order to improve their operations continuously.
Lean manufacturing benefits from Industry 4.0 in ways that save time, money, energy, material resources, and human resources, particularly when multiple industry 4.0 technologies are applied simultaneously.
Industrial 4.0 and Lean can be complimentary, and each can provide manufacturing and operations managers insight into increasing production efficiency. Many refer to it as 'Lean Industry 4.0'.
The use of sensors and other IIoT devices reduces downtime for manufacturers that use Industry 4.0 technology, maximizing machine utilization through predictive and prescriptive maintenance. Pivot quickly and innovate in response to market fluctuations, identify and mitigate bottlenecks, make real-time decisions, increase visibility on the floor, optimise warehouse space, and other data sources.
Factory production lines are no longer siloed; industry 4.0 enablers such as integration power production managers manage interconnected networks of moving parts, which can identify opportunities for improvement and even be trained to optimise performance. Lean improvement activities are directly affected by this increased visibility.
How Lean and Industry 4.0 converge?
A customer-centric approach to production has always been at the core of Lean, and digital technologies are now allowing manufacturers to better understand their customers' needs.
Manufacturers can now test their assumptions in the virtual world before implementing or testing them in the real world with powerful simulation tools and digital twins with the help of New 4.0 Technologies. This helps to achieve continuous improvement in the lean manufacturing approach.
Value Chain that is Integrated
Lean tries to reduce waste all along the value chain, from client order to delivery, and industry 4.0 enablers like data analytics and system integration can help. Integrated and connected enterprise systems, IT systems, operational systems, machines, and devices provide a holistic view of the complete value chain. By analysing this data, managers can identify patterns or weak points in their processes and prioritize where to improve.
The benefits of Industry 4.0 for Lean Manufacturers
Smart factories have become one of the most important trends of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and they showcase countless technologies that will define the coming decade. As a result, vertical and horizontal value chains are being digitalized. Listed below are examples of Industry 4.0 solutions used in smart factories by lean manufacturers. Our guide provides a full list of solutions for smart factories, including:
Data for continuous improvement
Continuous improvement is central to lean manufacturing. If manufacturers intend to improve their processes, they need to know where the improvements can be made. The data from connected machines and sensors throughout the workplace can be used to provide Industry 4.0 with this information.
With IIoT devices, workplaces can build digital twins of their work environments. Digital models represent physical systems, such as the equipment on the manufacturing floor. By monitoring and connecting the entire production floor, cyber-physical systems can allow automated choices to be made based on data. These cyber-physical systems allow machines to communicate with each other, as well as with humans.
In this digital twin, each process is visualized as it affects productivity or quality overall, thereby showing where improvements are needed. After identifying which areas require improvement, manufacturers can utilize the digital models to determine the best course of action.