Integrating Industry 4.0 and a KAIZEN™ Culture


Two Unstoppable, Complimentary Forces Providing Quantum Leaps in Productivity, Quality, Throughput, and Flexibility

Industry 4.0, also known as the fourth industrial revolution behind the previous three revolutions of: 1) mechanization, water and steam power, 2)  mass production, assembly line, and electricity, and 3) computer automation, is the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies.  It is also known as the “smart factory” via the introduction of cyber physical systems.

Working in a KAIZEN™ centered culture is the constant everyday elimination of waste in the workplace which transforms an organization into one that continuously improves and provides excellent results.

Through the smart use of cyber physical systems and the careful planning and integration of these systems into KAIZEN™ culture, an organization can and will leapfrog the competition in terms of productivity and quality improvement while gaining more flexibility and throughput.

Why?  Because they are both based on the same principle of waste reduction. The concept and the “what” behind continuous improvement is the constant elimination of the seven process wastes: 

  • Transportation
  • Inventory
  • Motion
  • Waiting
  • Over processing
  • Over production
  • Defects

Cyber physical systems communicate and cooperate with each other and with humans in real time (i.e. no waiting, less motion/transportation to retrieve and react to data), both internally and across organizations in the total value chain.  Examples include machines that can predict failures and trigger maintenance processes autonomously (i.e. fewer defects and downtime) and self-organized logistics which react to unexpected changes in production (i.e. less over processing, less over production, and lowered work in process inventory).

As such, cyber physicals systems have a direct positive impact on enhancing the organization’s effectiveness in such areas as OEE (Overall Equipment Effectiveness) and TPM processes, poke yoke, following the three Golden Rules of a KAIZEN™ Leader including immediate reaction to problem situations, SPC, standard work development and improvement, and provides many more opportunities to reduce waste whilst Mapping a Value Stream Mapping to reach a more ideal future state.

Furthermore, prior to the fourth industrial revolution, networks and processes have so far been limited to one factory. These boundaries of individual factories will now no longer exist allowing the range of Value Stream Mapping processes to extend to the entire value stream (i.e. interconnecting multiple factories and/or geographical regions) and make quantum improvements to the overall value chain. 

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