Degree of Automation
Replacing human actions by machines and tools is as old as the first hammer. The core is to find a machine/tool that can augment, improve or simply replace the properties and attributes of manual labour. Machines are capable of surpassing human performance, so that the workload diminishes and defect reduce, due higher precission.
This is the second pillar of LEAN management. Aside of the JIT philosophy, we find Jidoka: autonomation or automation with a human touch. Whenever a machine runs an error, the machine will detect this and stop producing bad parts. Nowadays this principle can be found in poka yoke’s (errorless production), andons (problem signalisation on the floor), … Of course quality is not the only driver for automation.
P41 distinguishes 3 dimensions within the degree of automation, which lead to over 140 seperate levels.