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

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

Will 5S resist 4.0 tech?

April 2019, in the corridors of our offices I picked a statement made by a young consultant about one of his clients: "It's a real mess in their warehouse, they do not manage storage and have no defined storage locations. They lose an incredible amount of time searching for goods. Introducing RFID tags would allow … Continue reading Will 5S resist 4.0 tech?

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?

Lean 4.0: does Lean need a version numbering system?

In the hype of Industrie 4.0, many things have been rebranded 4.0 with the hope to appear modern, trendy, fashionable and up-to-date. At least in Western Europe. Note: in French and German, Industry is written industrie. Phonetically they are the same as in English. >Lisez cet article en français Probe your search engine and you’ll … Continue reading Lean 4.0: does Lean need a version numbering system?

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?

Lean and the digital factory: is the digital twin the new gemba?

The digital twin is the virtual and digital copy of a factory allowing monitoring, post-mortem analyses, simulations, stress tests, machine learning and much more. As a Lean practitioner having started my Lean experience in the 1980s, I faced the difficulty to get engineers, techs and sometimes foremen to the shopfloor to assess and understand the … Continue reading Lean and the digital factory: is the digital twin the new gemba?

Lean in digital age: sensors and data

In near future, technology and especially connected objects - smart things stuffed with sensors and so-called wearable devices - will supercharge Lean improvements. One example of such already used device is given in a Mark Graban podcast about Hand Hygiene & Patient Safety. In this podcast (Episode #205), Mark’s guest Joe Schnur, VP Business Development … Continue reading Lean in digital age: sensors and data