Digital Kaizen: production systems developed by digital tools
E-Kanban, digital spaghetti diagrams (spaghetti, RTS), AI assistants, eAndon: it's worth starting with understanding and attributing terminology, meanings and effects to your processes
During 2010-2020, technological opportunities became more and more accessible to companies of various levels and industries. This allowed the teams of companies to be incredibly inventive and create digital services that significantly affect the speed of business development. Which services are created by company teams most often, which of them bring maximum results?

Digital TORO, maintenance and repairs of equipment. Applications that are used to bypass machines and equipment in the workshops of manufacturing enterprises, a quick search for spare parts is possible. Often, with the help of the same application, the mechanic of their workshop can communicate with an engineer or technologist via video communication and clarify details that are important for understanding when operating equipment.
Alternative names: digital MRO, digital maintenance, tpm, Full Productive Maintenance 4.0.
E-Kanban, electronic interaction services for workplaces and storage systems. Depending on the way the service is implemented, for example, the fullness of the storage bins for fasteners is automatically detected by sensors. The electronic kanban system sends a digital order signal to initiate replenishment (for example, Thermo King, Ireland). In this case, the part or material number and the place where replenishment is required are transmitted. The software automatically orders the delivery of the batch to the corresponding workstation.
The purpose of Kanban is to ensure a continuous flow of materials while maintaining a pre-determined inventory level to ensure an uninterrupted supply of materials. Some of the main supporting technologies of Industry 4.0:
  • Digital Twin: with the help of modeling methods or virtual representation of physical objects in real time, new Kanban cycles can be planned with greater foresight and ideally integrated into the existing production environment;
  • the industrial Internet of Things allows you to constantly monitor the degree of completion of work;
  • Cloud Computing: Data can be sent to the supply chain data bank to extend the kanban cycle to suppliers.
Alternative names: Electronic Kanban, eKanban, Kanban 4.0.
Read more: ...eKanban complements some elements of physical Kanban with automation designed to eliminate errors...
Digital spaghetti diagrams - the service allows you to determine losses that do not create value when moving material and technical values or personnel by tracking the location. Real-time location heat maps are used to optimize the routes of personnel, transport and components.
Alternative names: spaghetti, electronic spaghetti, RTLS, real-time location detection systems.
Digital mapping of the value stream. Value stream mapping is a graphical visualization method to increase the transparency of the flow of materials and information in value chains to identify non-value-creating losses. Some of the Industry 4.0 technologies that significantly increase the business effects of mapping:
● Internet of Things: sensors and self-identification systems allow you to instantly localize objects and analyze data, simplifying the creation of VSM;
● Machine learning and data analysis support the design and optimization of the value stream. With a good understanding of the requirements, it is possible to generate a target flow map in automatic mode.
Alternative names: CPSC, digital stream mapping, VSM, digital value stream mapping, value stream mapping 4.0.
  1. Industry 4.0 Implies Lean Manufacturing: Research Activities in Industry 4.0 Function as Enablers for Lean Manufacturing, September 2016, Adam Sanders ,Chola Elangeswaran, Jens Peter Wulfsberg
  2. Lean Intelligent Production System and Value Stream Practice, November 2016, Biao WANG, Ji-yuan ZHAO ,Zhi-guo WAN
  3. Industry 4.0 Impacts on Lean Production Systems, December 2017, Tobias Wagner, Christoph Herrmann, Sebastian Thiede
  4. Lean 4.0 - A conceptual conjunction of lean management and Industry 4.0, Andreas Mayr, Michael Weigelt, Alexander Kühl, May 2018,
  5. Industry 4.0 User Guide by Nicola Accialini, 2021