Lean Automation enabled by Industry 4.0 Technologies

Dennis Kolberg; Detlef Zühlke

In: Proceedings of 15th IFAC Symposium on Information Control Problems in Manufacturing. IFAC Symposium on Information Control Problems in Manufacturing (INCOM-2015), 15th IFAC Symposium on Information Control Problems in Manufacturing, May 11-13, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, IFAC, 2015.


The Lean Production paradigm has become the major approach to create highly efficient processes in industry since the early 1990s. After the sudden end of the Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) era, which finally was doomed to fail due to its unrulable complexity of the required automation technology, the Lean approach was successful because of its high effectiveness by reducing complexity and avoiding non-value-creating process steps. Today, the term Industry 4.0 describes a vision of future production. Many people are at least skeptical or even hostile towards this new approach. This position paper gives an overview over existing combinations of Lean Production and automation technology, also called Lean Automation. Furthermore, it discusses major Industry 4.0 corner stones and links them to the well-proven Lean approach. Examples of combining both are smart watches for supporting the Andon principle or Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) for a flexible Kanban production scheduling.

Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Künstliche Intelligenz
German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence