The real-time capable, intelligent and digital networking of human, machine and object – this is Industry 4.0. Behind this are revolutionary potentials for companies and research. In order to exploit these potentials, an integrated process orientation in a company is necessary. This way of thinking maps the Institut für Fabrikbetriebslehre und Unternehmensforschung at the TU Braunschweig through its Center of Excellence for Lean Enterprise (CoE) – Practical and with the latest Industry 4.0 technology.
We offer no isolated solutions. We continuously examine a manufacturing company on the basis of lean principles. This makes our concept unique. A Lean Enterprise is necessary for the realization of Industry 4.0 – a company-wide, internally coordinated, integrated overall system. With the aid of a continuous process orientation within a Lean Enterprise, interfaces can be defined and processes can be efficiently designed. For this, we examine the five main pillars of a Lean Enterprise: Digital Factory 4.0, Work 4.0, Lean Development 4.0, Lean Production Systems 4.0 and Lean Service 4.0.
In 2014 and in collaboration with the Gesellschaft für Organisation (GfO), IFU examined the implementation of process orientation. In this instance, substantial deficiencies and obstacles were uncovered within the actual state of the process orientation of manufacturing companies. This insight is also underpinned by a study by Staufen AG from 2016 that was published under the title "25 Years of Lean Management". Here, the authors indicated, for example, that only 17 percent of the companies had implemented the first Lean Approach in Development; in Sales & Service, this was only 14 percent.
Our unique learning-conducive concept can be used for research as well as for training and continuing education. Within the areas named, experts from both science and business can dive into the digital future of factories and test individual scenarios. With this, Industry 4.0 becomes experienceable.