Towards a lean automation interface for workstations

Methods and principles of Lean Production have become the major concepts to create highly efficient processes since the early 1990s. Due to its high effectiveness by reducing complexity and focusing on value-adding tasks, the Lean concept is still successful. Nevertheless, its changeability to produce highly customised products is limited. Industry 4.0 describes the vision of a smart production which can meet these future market requirements. Enablers are innovative information and communication technologies and the integration of all production entities into a common digital network. Lean Automation is the application of Industry 4.0 technologies to Lean Production methods in order to combine benefits from both domains. First proprietary Lean Automation solutions exist, but to enhance changeability in production, a common, unified communication interface is required. This paper presents the ongoing work towards an interface for digitising Lean Production methods using Cyber Physical Systems.

The paper was published in the International Journal of Production Research (IJPR; ISBN 1366-588X). You can find the full paper at Taylor & Francis Online: or follow citations and discussions on Researchgate:

Dennis Kolberg, Joshua Knobloch & Detlef Zühlke (2016): Towards a lean automation interface for workstations, International Journal of Production Research, DOI: 10.1080/00207543.2016.1223384