The evolution in computing and communications has fundamentally changed how manufacturing plants can operate. Digital plants are creating opportunities for smart manufacturing techniques to support Lean operations and improve efficiency and responsiveness. Although Lean has been researched extensively, the use of disruptive technologies in conjunction with Lean is understudied.
In this WP we study the link between Lean Manufacturing and Industry 4.0. We collect theories developed by scholars about the use of smart Industry 4.0 technologies within a Lean Manufacturing context, as well as current applications of smart technologies which support the leanness of manufacturing companies (i.e. value focused manufacturing). This study leads to an application-oriented mapping of smart technologies for Lean Manufacturing.
This project mainly aims to investigate four main groups of smart technologies. These are augmented reality, industrial internet-of-things, simulation (digital twins) and big data analytics.
Several Lean practices can be linked with these technology groups, e.g. Heijunka, pull production, poke yoke and SMED/waste reduction. It is important to understand how smart technologies and Lean practices may complement or contradict, strengthen or replace each other. Furthermore, the emerging smart technologies may alter the organization, not only on operational level, but also on tactical/strategic level. This WP will put the collected information into a taxonomy that will be continuously updated and accessible by all partners to encourage utilization throughout the project.