How to Manage People Underutilization in an Industry 4.0 Environment?
For long time, Lean manufacturing has been often mis-defined as “doing more with less” and relied on Taiichi Ohno’s taxonomy made of seven classes of wastes. More recently, the definition of Lean Manufacturing has been mostly centered on the continuous improvement approach and an eighth class of waste has been defined: skills, or non-utilized talent. This kind of waste occurs when organizations introduce a huge separation between the management and the process operators, thus obstructing the continuous improvement routines. The spread of the Industry 4.0 paradigm, based on a massive ICT deployment, may lead to two possible risks. First, decisions may be taken based only on the data acquired on the process, without involving the people performing a task who are most capable and experienced to develop appropriate solutions. This would lead to enlarge the gap between management and operators and, in turn, the waste of skills. On the other side, appropriate skills are necessary to manage the Industry 4.0 tools. The latest literature advances in these two fields are discussed in the present paper.
The results presented in this paper has been developed within the research program DISLOMAN - Dynamic Integrated ShopfLoor Operation MANagement for Industry 4.0, funded by Regione Piemonte (Italy).
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