Christian HOHMANN

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Theory of Constraints and Industry 4.0

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Bottlenecks and constraints exist in any environment, any organisation and in all processes regardless to technologies. Hence, Theory of Constraints (ToC) will not be affected by foretold technologic drift in smart factories.

Since heterogenous resources are used in production, experience told that balancing their utilization is impossible. Therefore, even in a fully automated plant, some machines or equipments will turn out to be bottlenecks, candidates for ToC application.

What will change in smart factories, are machines and objects able to communicate with each other and collaborate in order to optimize Throughput in real time. ToC will be embeded in those smart processes.

Smart machines will be able to learn and apply the most efficient scenarios, emit early warnings before malfunctions may affect bottleneck resources.

Conscious of the peculiar status of a bottleneck resource, smart machines and equipments in smart factories will take special care of the precious.

Markets or supplies of the future will continue to be external bottlenecks, another case for future application of ToC.

Decisions and policies, being of political, economical or regulatory nature, some even originated by the plant’s equipments themselves, will be constraints and obstacles on the road toward the company’s objectives. This is where Thinking Processes will be able to provide solutions to cope with or bypass constraints. More generally, problems will continue to pop up in future and the way to solve them (e.g. via Thinking Processes) will not change fundamentally.


Mise à jour le Samedi, 04 Janvier 2014 14:43