3rd European International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management

Exploring the Potential of New Technologies in Lean Shop- floors: Do Industry 4.0 Resources Really Matter?

Antonio Sartal & Josep Llach
Publisher: IEOM Society International
0 Paper Citations
Track: Lean and Six Sigma

This study examines the main Industry 4.0 technologies that, according to the literature, might reinforce the capacity of lean manufacturing (LM) to improve plant performance. Moving away from the existing studies that typically handle this question at a high level, we opted for a fuzzy-set qualitative comparative analysis (fsQCA), which enables multiple antecedents and their combinations to be identified to determine the outcome. Necessary data were obtained from a multisector sample of 568 manufacturing plants (NACE codes 15–37) from six European countries. The results support the argument that different causal paths among LM and Industry 4.0 improve plant performance; however, contrary to the initial expectations, the findings revealed that Industry 4.0 technologies (specifically digital technologies and additive manufacturing) seem to be, by themselves, sufficient conditions that can improve the results. In fact, in contrast to conventional lean wisdom, the findings suggests that in 4.0 technology-intensive shop floors, certain lean practices, those conceived for high volume-low variety (HVLV) manufacturing systems, might be counterproductive.

Published in: 3rd European International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management, Pilsen, Czech Republic

Publisher: IEOM Society International
Date of Conference: July 23-26, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-5323-5949-1
ISSN/E-ISSN: 2169-8767