Industry 4.0 – Leading to Smart Lean Manufacturing Process
Published by : Industrial Automation
Kunal Gaur examines the similarities and differences between Industry 4.0 and Lean Manufacturing, and the future manufacturing trends in automation.
In order to create the most efficient process, the Lean Production paradigm has become the major approach in industries in India and around the globe since the beginning of 1990s. Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) came up with new advanced features in early days but with an unforeseen dropdown in its use, due to the complexity of required automation and control monitoring in most manufacturing process, it was doomed to fail. On the other hand, the Lean Manufacturing and automation approach became successful due to its high effectiveness with reduced complexity and eliminating non-value process step creation in the process. In today’s era, Industry 4.0 describes a vision of future production. The new approach towards automation has made people more hostile and sceptical.
Today’s manufacturing is more quality product based at a lesser investment with real time data monitoring for all the finished goods produced and rejection count at the same time. Industries are moving towards the field of technology by implementing new ideas and developing their engineering team to handle the scope of requirement by engaging them in professional training and skill development programs. The objective of automation and integration of machine and ERP is to achieve production control with a dedicated planning system. This can be achieved by interlinking the machine production line with Production Planning and Control, which is usually carried with the help of ERP software (SAP for instance). For a successful and sustained introduction of this whole new technological industrial step, it becomes mandatory and must be safeguarded by implementation of some pre-requisites in order to make possible the full integration and synergy necessary to the most varied levels.
Business Model: At the level of the business model, it is necessary to have a horizontal integration through the entire chain of value creation and business process integration. Providing an end-toned of engineering system, allowing a vertical integration of the production systems where the structure of manufacturing will not be fixed or pre-defined, but will be based on the flexibility that will allow the companies are able to adjust immediately their present needs in production.
Industry Level: At the industry level, the necessity on the development of structural technological is to be incorporated in the development of technological products and services resulting from the investment in innovation. These shall be made available to the market, with particular emphasis on autonomous systems allowing the interoperability among them and with the users through interfaces and different communication system available.
Information Management: All this information must be reliable and available for use in service. Another pre-requisite with high importance is the establishment of a degree of security such that, it permits reliable use of these industrial systems autonomous, by establishing a legal and technical framework for the more different social levels and industrial development. Network and data security shall be taken in consideration while adopting this.
Mentalities Change: A change in the capacity mentalities shall be the prioritised pre-requisite for an initial success of all other systems. The need for a stimulus in a new way of thinking about how to integrate the various disciplines present in this challenge, especially to be able to keep up with the dynamism of this technological revolution with the existing set up of the equipment could be the biggest obstacle.
Lean Manufacturing process – Advantages & disadvantages
In a technology-independent way it gives a description of how the production has to be organised and processes have to be designed to reach shortest lead time with minimum costs and highest quality. The simplicity and highest effective productivity had been reasons why Lean Manufacturing became famous in 1990s. It is still a fundament of production systems in many OEMs and is used among various business domains. Lean Manufacturing has a few key concepts that include reduction of waste, a continuous improvement process and a change in production control towards demand oriented production. Lean Manufacturing process contributes to faster reaction on changing the market demands, smaller batches and transparent plus standardised processes to mass and batch production.
Industry 4.0 – Capability in future
Industry 4.0 is a new term in automation and control which was started in Germany and has gained its name around the world with leading manufacturers; the term describes the increased integration of ICT into production. In order to match future requirements, it could complement
the established Lean Manufacturing system followed by German associations of mechanical engineering, ICT and electrical industry. According to them, Industry 4.0 aims for optimisation of value chains by implementing an autonomously controlled and dynamic production. Enablers are the availability of real time information and networked systems. Instruments to reach this increased automation include cyber physical system equipped with microcontroller, actuators, sensors and a communication interface – an autonomously working CPS can interact with their production environment. This will result in development of smart factories. The department of Innovative Factory Systems (IFS) at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI) identified four enablers for the Smart Factory – Smart Products know their production process and negotiate it with Smart Machines. The Smart Planner optimises processes in nearly real time. In this environment, humans take a central position. Supported by innovative ICT they become Smart Operators who supervise and control ongoing activities.
Lean Manufacturing and Industry 4.0
Lean Automation picks up the idea of combining automation technology with Lean Production. The term occurred in the mid-1990s, shortly after the peak of CIM. In the recent days, there was less intervention and participation of process engineers in Lean Automation system. However, Industry 4.0 introduces new solutions that are available for combining automation technology with Lean Manufacturing. The Kanban system is known to people working in industrial logistics already since several years. Conventional, physical cards for an order-oriented production control are replaced by virtual Kanban system. With the introduction of e-Kanban system, missing or empty bins are recognised automatically via sensors which continuously monitor the bins where an e-Kanban system sends a virtual Kanban to trigger replenishment. With virtual usage and support from ICT, lost Kanban works mistake proof in production control as long as inventory in manufacturing execution system matches real inventory. Further there is flexibility of adjustments of Kanban due to changes in batch sizes, processes or cycle times are easily possible.
In 2013, a German company presented the optical order system iBin as an extension for Kanban bins. A bar code scanner in the module detects the charging level of the bin and iBin reports wireless the status to an inventory control system or the ERP system which usually is SAP in most manufacturing industries. Also the stock of the material can be maintained by the iBin itself by sending a requisition to the supplier on achieving a minimum stock value. As a result, buffer stock can be reduced and spare parts can be scheduled order-oriented. Instead of fixed intervals, an automated system calculates round trip intervals for the transport system based on real-time demands. In the first prototype, collection of data is done by scanning QR codes which fetch and move data to the ERP system in real time, further with this order-oriented material supply system
stretches of way can be reduced by approximately 25 per cent at the same level of supplier’s reliability.
Recommendation framework for Lean manufacturing in industry 4.0
A framework for Industry 4.0 shall be designed in such a way that it supplements the LeanbManufacturing, on the one hand, and contain recommendations which Industry 4.0 application and CPC could reasonably support and could be able to set examples for the future manufacturing trends in automation. Comparison on Industry 4.0 enablers with methods of Lean Manufacturing provides an overview over possible connections. Further approaches identified for future manufacturing system should be described more in detail and shall provide the details of requirements and additional benefit which will come as a result. Alongside the isolated application, the network framework shall also define different interface showing how the solution with Industry 4.0 approach and lean manufacturing can complement each other and how to utilise them into an existing environment of production.
Kunal Gaur is Assistant Manager, Instrumentation & Control, DCM Engineering Limited Ropar, Punjab. Kunal has specialisation in specialisation in PLC controls and robotic automation, with application in Industry 4.0. He is a freelance trainer and speaker on industrial automation and industry 4.0, with good knowledge of PLCs, HMI and SCADA, robotic automation, and other equipment.