Lean Manufacturing and Industry 4.0

May 21 2021

Industry 4.0 is unleashing a variety of technology (such as the Industrial Internet of Things, the cloud, edge computing, and digital twins) that is spurring a leaner manufacturing industry.

Automation is the foundation of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (IR4). All of the systems that collect and communicate data are there to serve the purpose of making industrial and manufacturing practices more efficient and autonomous.

Technology in IR4 serves to connect previously discrete systems through hardware and software, provide information transparency, augment the human decision-making process, and to decentralize decisions within technological systems so that humans need to interfere less frequently.

How Does Industry 4.0 Impact Lean Manufacturing?

In lean manufacturing, organizations prioritize minimizing waste while maximizing productivity. The lean manufacturing production method is a philosophy that works seamlessly with the innovations of Industry 4.0 which serve to support efficiency initiatives at every stage of the manufacturing process. Industry 4.0 helps lean manufacturers save time, money, energy, and material resources, and human resources, especially when multiple IR4 technologies are deployed simultaneously.

Manufacturers who use Industry 4.0 tech are able to reduce downtime through predictive and prescriptive maintenance using sensors and other IIoT devices, maximize machine utilization, quickly pivot and innovate in response to market fluctuations, identify and mitigate bottlenecks, make real-time choices such as automatically stopping a machine in the case of a safety issue using Edge computing, increase shop floor visibility, optimize warehouse space and other sources of overhead, and make more informed decisions across the board using visualized data. The list of use cases is infinite if manufacturers are able to build the right infrastructure that can support the collection and transformation of data.

Source: IIoT-World