Kaizen was yesterday. If you believe scientists and some OEMs, MUDA will soon be part of the past. Because Industry 4.0 will change especially logistics in a sustainable manner.
But first of all, what is Industry 4.0 ? It s a project in the high-tech strategy of the German Government. They are talking about the 4th Industrial Revolution, which already started. The goal is the intelligent – or Smart Factory – which is distinguished by resource efficiency, adaptability and the integration of business partners and customers in business and value processes. Industry 4.0 is promoting the computerization of traditional industries, for example manufacturing. Following the actual trend of production, customized products will be manufactured under the conditions of high flexibilized mass- production. The basic principle is to connect all processes and machines to an intelligent network to allow them to communicate to each others.
But why should Industry 4.0 replace basic principles of Lean Manufacturing? Well it won´t replace all principles of Lean Manufacturing, but trusting Prof. Dr. Daniela Nicklas from “OFFIS – Institut für Informatik”, real-time optimized value-adding networks will replace the classic value-added-chains with its buffers. Machines will be able to communicate, they will order fresh supply when needed, request the status of the transportation system and so on. (mm-logistik.vogel.de)
The central controlling system, as used for example at the Toyota Production System, will now be decentralized. With the help of intelligent containers and RFID Tags, machines will get all the information needed to produce the product. The product will find its way through all of the production processes by itself. (www.logistik-heute.de)
In these times, information flows grow bigger and bigger and in my opinion, it is only a question of time until the first factory will be adapted completely to Industry 4.0. And of course competitors will have to follow, if they want to continue being a competitor.