Implementing Industry 4.0: assessing the current state

Roland Ortt*, Claire Stolwijk, Matthijs Punter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
21 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to introduce, summarize and combine the results of 11 articles in a special issue on the implementation of Industry 4.0. Industry 4.0 emerged as a phenomenon about a decade ago. That is why, it is interesting now to explore the implementation of the concept. In doing so, four research questions are addressed: (1) What is Industry 4.0? (2) How to implement Industry 4.0? (3) How to assess the implementation status of Industry 4.0? (4) What is the current implementation status of Industry 4.0? Design/methodology/approach: Subgroups of articles are formed, around one or more research questions involving the implementation of Industry 4.0. The articles are carefully analyzed to provide comprehensive answers. Findings: By comparing definitions systematically, the authors show important aspects for defining Industry 4.0. The articles in the special issue explore several cases of manufacturing companies that implemented Industry 4.0. In addition, systematic approaches to aid implementation are described: an approach to combine case-study results to solve new implementation problems, approaches to assess readiness or maturity of companies regarding Industry 4.0 and surveys showing the status of implementation in larger samples of companies as well as showing relationships between company characteristics and type of implementation. Small and large firms differ considerably in their process of implementing Industry 4.0, for example. Research limitations/implications: This special issue discusses implementation of Industry 4.0. The issue is limited to 11 articles, each of which with its own strengths and limitations. Practical implications: The practical relevance of the issue is that it focuses on the implementation of Industry 4.0. Cases showing successful implementation, measurement instruments to assess degree of implementation and advice how to build a database with cases together with large-scale studies on the state of implementation do provide a wealth of information with a large managerial relevance. Originality/value: The paper introduces an original take on Industry 4.0 by focusing on implementation. The special issue contains both literature reviews, articles describing case studies of implementation, articles developing systematic measurement instruments to assess degree of implementation and some articles reporting large-scale studies on the state of implementation of Industry 4.0 and thereby combine several perspectives on implementation of Industry 4.0.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)825-836
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Manufacturing Technology Management
Volume31
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Keywords

  • Implementation
  • Industry 4.0
  • Maturity
  • Readiness
  • Smart industry
  • Smart manufacturing

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