Beyond Lean Management & Industry 4.0

Following the invitation of UNIDO, Michael Toborek (Senior Associate, accilium) had the pleasure to share his expertise at the “From Lean Management to Industry 4.0” conference which took place in Minsk, Belarus, from 17 to 18 October 2018. In front of local representatives from the manufacturing industry, he gave a presentation on the concepts of lean management and industry 4.0 with respect to the automotive sector.

“Industry 4.0 allows to create a smart network of connected production units and in combination with artificial intelligence, provides the opportunity to raise lean management to the next level” (Michael Toborek, accilium).

Beyond Lean Management and Industry 4.0 

Lean Management and Industry 4.0 are two topics that do not have much in common at first sight. While the first advocates a culture of continuous improvement that empowers workers on the shop floor and reduces waste. The second advertises the superiority of machines that are enabled through collected and analyzed data.

At the moment however, such a clean distinction is not possible. The human being is still a vital part of the manufacturing process. Even Elon Musk who built one of the most digitalized and automated factories for the Model 3 production in the world, had to admit, that he underestimated the value of the human being.

Therefore, it becomes evident that in order to be successful both parts need to be leveraged in chronological order. First, you improve & optimize your core process using the lean approach. Only once that has been accomplished the new tools that Industry 4.0 provides, allow for further growth. In the end, Lean Management and Industry 4.0 are two sides of the same medal. A lean process approach supported by the right Industry 4.0 tools that enable a human, is imperative to reap the benefits of both worlds.

How this works in detail and what capabilities are necessary to succeed at the intersection of Lean Management & Industry 4.0 can be found in the presentation below.