For more than thirty years, companies have extensively adopted Lean manufacturing mindset to continuously improve their operations. Moving towards the amalgamation of digital and physical systems as part of Industry 4.0 transition, businesses can customize both ideas and concepts, to take operational excellence to the next level. Lean and Industry 4.0 philosophies are often complementary and can give phenomenal results, as manufacturing finds its way through the 21st century.
There is a wave of change that is emerging. Organizations are competing for a competitive position as they attempt to describe this phenomenon. Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution, and the industrial internet of things (IIoT) are few concepts being tried extensively.
Although the current transition is enabled by technology, there is a timeless underlying impulse: which is material velocity and production efficiency. Manufacturing or operations managers aim to accomplish a higher level of production efficiency. Excellence experts are calling it ‘Lean Industry 4.0’.
The primary concern of Lean and Digital Manufacturing will always be to address rapidly increasing challenges. Hence, this article presents a holistic methodology to include – Value Stream Mapping (VSM) – to improve processes considering Lean and Industry 4.0.
Value Stream Mapping through Lean Manufacturing
For many organizations, Value Stream Mapping has become one of the most powerful Lean Manufacturing method for holistic optimization of value streams. The elimination of non-value-adding activities is one of the vital principles targeted by Value Stream Mapping Consultants.
In recent years, Industry 4.0 has been further called out to address the increasing complexity and dynamics of modern production systems. The objective is to have greater levels of digitization, integration and automation of data and material flow for a factory and beyond the factory boundary including the suppliers, vendors and customers. Value Stream Mapping helps to make more transparent and clear decisions and helps improve production systems.
Value Stream Mapping is the tool that Lean practitioners have been using to envisage— and quantify the efficiency of— their system. It is not the only tool that one can use, and it is always argued that the most imperative thing you can do is use any tool to get it on paper (virtual or otherwise). Until one establishes the process, information and material flow using robust Value Stream Mapping methodology, one doesn’t really know what they are (current state) or what they could become (future state).
Value Stream Mapping is a tool that has been used successfully by a lot of companies; a quick Value Stream Mapping exercise for “getting started for smart manufacturing” will yield a lot of results. It has always encompassed information flows, thought leaders in this space have already acknowledged benefits of Value Stream Mapping that it harmonizes flawlessly with Industry 4.0 initiatives – i.e. smart manufacturing, machine learning, automation, internet of things, and others.
Improve Productivity using Value Stream Mapping
Value Stream Mapping is a well-accepted, widely used and complete method for mapping, analyzing and designing value streams in order to reduce and eliminate waste. The new, promising opportunities of digitization and Industry 4.0 to integrate information flows, lower lead times and improve flexibility. Other than productivity in complex environments can also be addressed by Value Stream Mapping. A large number of guidelines and maturity models are available for Industry 4.0. However, no sound method with a step-by-step-guidance for designing value streams holistically exists to date. As it differs organization to organization.
No matter how fundamental tool – Value Stream Mapping is, it forms a base for further improvements in productivity and process flow. Team Faber Infinite Consulting has been an ardent supporter of Value Stream Mapping (VSM) across industries and sectors. We have always believed in providing more optimized business solutions with the help of Value Stream Mapping. We believe in innovation and always support the same across industries and sectors to achieve the ultimate goal – continual improvement and sustainable development.
Team Faber Infinite has been delivering phenomenal results at several organizations – right from leading lighting solutions company to the largest engineering company to the leading supplier of Indian Railways and many more!
Here is a path-breaking methodology by Faber Infinite on – Value Stream Mapping (VSM) for industry 4.0 . That will help organizations to see information and process inefficiencies from traditional as well as industry 4.0 perspective and design future-ready lean value streams.
Approach – Value Stream Mapping for Industry 4.0
Faber Infinite Consulting has been helping clients improve material and information flow using the following steps:
- Gemba Walk
- Data Collection
- Detailed data analysis
- PQ analysis and value stream identification
- Target setting
- Team formation and team orientation
- Current State Mapping
- Process redesign exercise – Lean and automation perspective
- Future State Mapping
- Detailed implementation plan
- Risk mitigation
Industrial IoT is a powerful framework with huge potential, but it is merely a framework. This framework is incomplete without LEAN thinking. It is only lean thinking only that leads towards the IIOT. In fact, it makes lean thinking more vital than ever so that we stay focused on value creation. Value Stream Mapping being the very base for Lean management detects the areas for improvement by comparing the current state with the desired future state which will ultimately take the organization to the next level in the journey towards smart manufacturing.
Written & Compiled by Faber Manasi & Faber Mayuri