Lean methods in manufacturing concentrate on the elimination of wasteful activities and resources that do not add value to the final product. If something isn’t required, why pay for it?
Industry 4.0 is about using digital technologies to enhance industrial operations, whether it be design, manufacturing, services, or the like.
So, a lean description of a process might well be an excellent specification for an Industry 4.0 compliant process.
Since some businesses struggle with the ideas around the adoption of Industry 4.0 technology, maybe we should start with processes that are already lean?
In fact, are lean methods a potential way forward for the introduction of industrial digital technologies?
Lean methods have been around a while, are generally people-centric when it comes to developing solutions, and there are countless case studies of organisations that have succeeded in eliminating waste from their operations. Perhaps a lean approach might provide a first step for new technology adoption for those businesses that remain sceptical of Industry 4.0.