As advancing technologies unleash Industry 4.0, the prospects of lean manufacturing are getting better.
FREMONT, CA: New technologies have brought about new opportunities for the manufacturing industry. In the process, lean manufacturing is undergoing several transformations. Most of the advancements in the realm of manufacturing today are conducive to lean operations. While traditional tools and methods in a manufacturer's lean toolbox still remain, there are new additions that are making a big difference. The new tools and technologies contribute towards making lean manufacturing more flexible and efficient. In many ways, lean methodology is experiencing a boost, and the following list illustrates the influence of modern technologies on lean practices in manufacturing facilities.
• Better Access to Data
The opportunities for capturing vital information from operational systems have evolved rapidly with new technologies like IoT. Access to data is essential for modeling any lean process. Subsequently, data also reveals potential use cases and possible improvements in manufacturing. Even success in the implementation of lean manufacturing practices can be evaluated with the help of relevant data sources. Thus, new technologies have helped lean manufacturers access and leverage operational data for enhanced performance.
• Improved Convenience in Testing
Optimizing tests is essential in any lean manufacturing facility. With the availability of wireless connectivity and real-time monitoring capabilities, manufacturers have been able to achieve major improvements in testing. Today, it is possible to control an extensive number of variables and identify defects in product lines with a high degree of accuracy. Thus, testing is now integrated and accelerated, contributing to lean manufacturing.
• Empowered Workforce
It is the workforce that lies at the core of any lean manufacturing methodology. With technologies improving worker engagement and training, manufacturers are today in a position to rapidly empower their workforce. Be it enhanced access to tools and techniques, or improved communications between fellow workers, technological capabilities are enabling a host of new efficiencies. These aspects are central to optimizing lean manufacturing.
For manufacturers aiming to gain benefits of lean manufacturing, the technologies and capabilities under Industry 4.0 can become powerful drivers.