The blurring definition of Lean waste in a 4.0 world – Part 1 of 2 – Additive Manufacturing

Until recently in the Lean community, the definition of waste was “simple”: waste is any activity consuming resources without producing value for the customer. In this definition time can be  considered a resource and “customer” is extended to anyone beneficiary of the outcome, like a patient in a hospital getting faster and better care. Focusing … Continue reading The blurring definition of Lean waste in a 4.0 world – Part 1 of 2 – Additive Manufacturing

Future of Lean and additive manufacturing

In a previous post titled “How much non-added value additive manufacturing can take out of actual processes?” my prospective thinking was all about technological disruptions and the impact on companies. The same question is valid for the future of Lean. If as I assume much of the non-added value can be taken out of actual … Continue reading Future of Lean and additive manufacturing

How much non-added value additive manufacturing can take out of actual processes?

It is a well-known fact: the sequence of all activities required to bring a product to a customer is called a value stream and despite the name, value does not flow smoothly nor swiftly along streamlined processes. Value streams are cluttered with non-added value processes, tasks and steps, so-called wastes. Traditional manufacturing processes aren’t very … Continue reading How much non-added value additive manufacturing can take out of actual processes?

Creativity breaks loose from constraints with additive manufacturing

New additive manufacturing technologies – let’s take 3D printing as symbol for them – are freeing designers from constraints that came with traditional manufacturing and the assembly methods. Additive manufacturing means adding layer of material after layer instead of cutting out material from a bigger raw chunk, allowing the design of complex and odd shapes … Continue reading Creativity breaks loose from constraints with additive manufacturing

3D printing as additive manufacturing

Every day sees new surprising applications of 3D printing and most of them are forerunners of disruptions, larger applications, breakthroughs, etc. The fast maturation of 3D printing techniques and their proven abilities make them stand as symbol of the factory of the future. In this near future additive manufacturing with 3D printing should tackle the … Continue reading 3D printing as additive manufacturing

Lean 4.0: where will you Gemba Walk when most of the processes will be digitized?

Here is a prospective thought of mine. Gemba Walks are a one of Lean’s tenet and any practitioner is urged to go around the Gemba and see for him/herself in order to learn, understand and eventually improve processes. But where will we Gemba Walk when most of the processes will be digitized? How to observe … Continue reading Lean 4.0: where will you Gemba Walk when most of the processes will be digitized?

The blurring definition of waste in a 4.0 world – Part 2 of 2 – Robotic Process Automation

In part 1 of this series I took the example of Additive Manufacturing vs. traditional machining to explain the blurring definition of (Lean) waste and value. In this post, I propose another take with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). With RPA, some tasks considered unnecessary and wasteful in the classic Lean point of view are automated … Continue reading The blurring definition of waste in a 4.0 world – Part 2 of 2 – Robotic Process Automation

Lean 4.0: nothing but rebranding good old Lean Manufacturing?

Skeptics and critical thinkers (I count myself to the latter) may argue that Lean 4.0 is nothing more than a rebranding of good old Lean Manufacturing, and new opportunity to sell refurbished Lean Manufacturing training and consulting, boosted by the Industry 4.0 hype. You have no clue what Lean 4.0 is? Read my post: What … Continue reading Lean 4.0: nothing but rebranding good old Lean Manufacturing?

What is Lean 4.0?

Lean 4.0 is the conjunction of Lean Manufacturing / Lean Management with Industry 4.0 assuming that both complement and reinforce each other mutually. Lean and Industry 4.0 are both production paradigms with a common objective: manufacture efficiently in small batches highly customized products. Paramount being producing totally customized unique products at mass-production costs thanks to … Continue reading What is Lean 4.0?