Lean is an established and proven methodology and philosophy for achieving efficient manufacturing success through people, processes, coaching and cultural change. Industry 4.0, dubbed approximately 10 years ago, describes the world’s “fourth industrial revolution,” also termed Smart Manufacturing, initiated and driven by new and rapidly evolving technology in manufacturing, and the changes in processes, skills, organizational constructs, and human/social dynamics that accompany industrial revolutions. These two monumental topics of Lean and Industry 4.0 can at times be in conflict, synergistic, or a combination of both. FIFO can be disrupted by real-time scheduling optimization and AI; the digitization of takt boards and factory metrics, accessible remotely, can disrupt the practice of Gemba-style engagement; Kaizen related improvement outputs can be stymied by digital infrastructure. There are many more examples. But smart digital factories and automation can also enable significant efficiencies, inform decisions and processes in a Lean framework, and if done right can relieve substantial non-value add (waste) burdens from operators up through the management chain. This panel will bring together experts in the fields of Industry 4.0 and Lean to have a rich dialogue about Industry 4.0 and Lean as they evolve – sometimes in synergy, and sometimes in conflict/disruption – in the new technology laden manufacturing landscape. We are not looking for a consensus position, nor a pre-supposed answer to the relationship between Industry 4.0 and Lean – in fact much of the most interesting discussion comes from the areas of conflict/change. We appreciate and welcome your expertise and engagement in this exciting and contemporary topic.
Moderator: Kelly Dodds, Advanced Manufacturing Tech Director, Raytheon Intelligence & Space (RIS)