Lean 4.0

What is Lean 4.0?

The short answer to the question what is Lean 4.0? is: the combination of well-known Lean Manufacturing / Lean Management principles and Industry 4.0 / digitalization and digital transformation.

While many organizations have started to improve the efficiency of their processes and operations with Lean – and are still far from being done with reaping all benefits from the Lean approach – the rise of Industry 4.0, digitalization and digital transformation show new and more improvement and development potentials.

It soon became obvious that there should be no choice between implementing Lean and Industry 4.0 but go for a smart combination of both, as they complement each other.

For instance, implementing high-tech automation solutions on waste-ridden processes makes no sense. Lean is therefore considered a forerunner or even a prerequisite to Industry 4.0 and digital transformation. On the other side, digitalization, smart automation and other Industry 4.0 solutions reveal new improvement potentials and opportunities to apply Lean principles and tools. Industry 4.0 enables Lean to break free from Industry 3.0 limitations and apply on a new level. Think about the limitations that additive manufacturing remove compared to traditional manufacturing, for example.


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