Lean Six Sigma and Industry 4.0

Call for papers for: International Journal of Quality & Reliability Management

This special issue will open for submissions 8 January 2021

This special issue will close for submissions 21 March 2021

Guest Editors 

Professor Jiju Antony  
 Heriot Watt University, United Kingdom  
Email: [email protected] 

Dr S Vinodh 
National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, India  
Email: [email protected] 

Dr Ayon Chakraborty  
Federation University, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia 
Email: [email protected]

Lean Six Sigma (LSS) is a powerful methodology developed in the early 2002 which integrates the best of two most powerful operational excellence methodologies for achieving both efficiency and effectiveness in business processes. Six Sigma focuses more on variation reduction within processes whereas Lean approach aims to reduce different forms of waste between processes. These two disciplines have proven to be successful when working together, and a great success in a variety of industries has led to the fact that its application is not limited to the manufacturing area but is extended to service and public sector organizations. But over time with the advent of Industry 4.0, there is an increase in connectivity between machine and humans. The connectedness capabilities of Industry 4.0 have the potential to promote the exchange of data and information in each of the dimensions of variety, volume and velocity in a real time environment. The only restriction to the exchange would be due to security and authorization protocols. In this scenario, the applicability of LSS needs to be contextualized to accelerate the process of extracting key insights from Big Data, Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Internet of Things (IoT) etc. also how these entities could bring new light to projects requiring the use of LSS. Some of the challenges faced by LSS in this emerging context are:

•    Customers becoming more assertive and demanding improved quality
•    Capability and use of Information Technology expanding exponentially
•    The Industry 4.0 trend emerging as an important byproduct of growing IT capabilities and availability
•    Organizations having improvement needs related to large, complex, unstructured problems that can’t be resolved in a single Lean Six Sigma project or even a few such projects.

To overcome these challenges one of the solutions is to integrate Industry 4.0 with LSS. The power of advanced analytics improves the performance of Lean Six Sigma projects: in particular, the time of the data collection, availability of data, speed of data collection and the relative analysis of the phenomenon is faster using the powerful technology of Industry 4.0. Most of the LSS tools are based on data to analyze the problem and data is very essential part to make any process improvement. Industry 4.0 helps in eliminating human error in data collection process and therefore better and faster reliable decisions can be made. IoT can aid LSS tools in analyzing and validating the root causes of problem in a much efficient and effective manner.

Industry 4.0 provides the infrastructure to potentially enhance the lean/six sigma capability of an organization both at the operational and enterprise level. At the operational level, performance and operational data metrics can transmit in real time through the Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) network enabling enhancements at the operational level. By integrating Lean Six Sigma and Industry 4.0, numerous benefits have been identified like forecasting process defects in complex processes, enhancement of product and service quality and significant cost reduction.

Aligned with the above thought process, this Special Issue likes to explore further the current state of research linking Industry 4.0 and LSS, what perceived benefits are derived from this integration or what challenges are envisaged for this integration. As guest editors, we would like to invite authors to submit their research papers relevant to the following themes of this Special issue.

Potential Themes of Special Issue

•    Lean and Industry 4.0
•    Six Sigma and Industry 4.0
•    Lean Six Sigma and Industry 4.0
•    Framework for Lean Six Sigma integration with Industry 4.0
•    Practical case studies on Lean Six Sigma and Industry 4.0
•    Technologies supporting LSS integration with Industry 4.0
•    Protocols enabling LSS integration with Industry 4.0
•    Computing and Artificial Intelligence role of LSS integration with Industry 4.0
•    Literature Review papers
•    Empirical papers showing the benefits and challenges of the integration

* The topics not listed here but relevant to the context can also be considered.

Submission Information

All manuscripts to be submitted via the IJQRM ScholarOne submission portal, please select the special issue 'Lean Six Sigma and Industry 4.0' https://mc.manuscriptcentral.com/ijqrm and authors to follow journal guidelines found here


Key References

Arcidiacono, G., & Pieroni, A. (2018). The Revolution Lean Six Sigma 4.0. International Journal on Advanced Science Engineering Information Technology, 8(1), 141-149.
Kim, K. H. (2017). A Study on the Development of the Key Promoting Talent in the 4th Industrial Revolution-Utilizing Six Sigma MBB competency. Journal of the Korean Society for Quality Management, 45(4), 677-696.
Jayaram, A. (2016, December), Lean six sigma approach for global supply chain management using industry 4.0 and IIoT, In 2016 2nd International Conference on Contemporary Computing and Informatics (IC3I) (pp. 89-94). IEEE.