The Integration of True Lean and Industry 4.0 to Sustain a Culture of Continuous Improvement

M. Abbot Maginnis, Buddhika M. Hapuwatte, David Keown

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Recent advances in information and communication technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) are driving the development of Industry 4.0. Its objective is to enable real-time information exchange between people, machines, products and resources, providing new opportunities for improved safety, quality, productivity and cost factors which can be applied in all stages of Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). The application of lean principles and practices where Industry 4.0 is deployed can leverage real-time processing visibility into even greater productivity improvements if implemented correctly. To do this, companies need to go beyond the implementation of the familiar lean tools and practices such as 5S, visual management and management directed kaizen activities etc. to consider the thinking behind the tools, especially the role of the team members. An over-reliance on technology risks undervaluing the importance of human innovative capacity which can significantly impact the ability to conduct systematic problem solving, adversely effecting daily operational performance and significantly reducing continuous improvement (CI) capacity. This conceptual paper introduces the major elements and thinking of the Toyota Production System (TPS), also referred to as ‘True Lean’, which are often hidden or underdeveloped within the popular understanding of lean. This paper illustrates how TPS-thinking can be operationalized to support and sustain a CI environment while leveraging the improved visibility possible with Industry 4.0 to integrate all stages of PLM.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProduct Lifecycle Management in the Digital Twin Era - 16th IFIP WG 5.1 International Conference, PLM 2019, Revised Selected Papers
EditorsClement Fortin, Louis Rivest, Alain Bernard, Abdelaziz Bouras
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2019
Event16th IFIP WG 5.1 International Conference on Product Lifecycle Management, PLM 2019 - Moscow, Russian Federation
Duration: Jul 8 2019Jul 12 2019

Publication series

NameIFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology
Volume565 IFIP
ISSN (Print)1868-4238
ISSN (Electronic)1868-422X


Conference16th IFIP WG 5.1 International Conference on Product Lifecycle Management, PLM 2019
Country/TerritoryRussian Federation

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019, IFIP International Federation for Information Processing.


  • Industry 4.0
  • Lean
  • PLM
  • Product Lifecycle Management
  • Toyota Production System
  • True Lean

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems and Management


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