Highly successful companies have been deploying Lean for decades and it has helped them achieve remarkable business results. The success these companies have achieved are in part because they have been steadfast in their deployment of Lean. Industry 4.0 has introduced technology to manufacturers that a decade ago was too expensive and took too long to implement. Today, technology solutions cost much less, and the technology is often quick to implement. These Lean companies are at a crossroads: should they shift from Lean to Industry 4.0?
Dr, Jeffrey K. Liker, Distinguished Professor, Author, and Lean expert, says, “In the 1990s Toyota’s principles of production equipment became “simple, slim, and flexible,” which some people might interpret as “go slow and be cautious in adopting new technology.” In today’s age of lightning speed technological change, particularly in the digital world, I believe that would be a mistake. The real message here is: "adopt and adapt technology that supports your people and processes." The starting point is this: where are real needs that technology can address to help achieve your goals? This is a question of pulling technology based on the opportunity, instead of pushing the technology because it is the latest fad.”1
During this session, we will explore the intersection of Lean and Industry 4.0 and discuss how to integrate Industry 4.0 into your Lean deployment.
1 Industry Week, April 27, 2020, “When the Toyota Way Meets Industry 4.0,” by Dr. Jeffrey K. Liker