Knowledge Transfer and Introduction of Industry 4.0 in SMEs: A Five-Step Methodology to Introduce Industry 4.0

Knowledge Transfer and Introduction of Industry 4.0 in SMEs: A Five-Step Methodology to Introduce Industry 4.0

Dominik T. Matt (Free University of Bolzano, Italy), Erwin Rauch (Free University of Bolzano, Italy) and Michael Riedl (Fraunhofer Italia Research, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-3468-6.ch013

Abstract

Industry 4.0 is for most companies and especially for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) one of the major challenges after the wave of lean management. The aim of this chapter is to provide a methodological guidance for the practical use of the Industry 4.0 vision and principles in production system design in the specific context of SMEs. Based on the analysis of literature, a procedure model for the target-oriented introduction of Industry 4.0 principles in SMEs is proposed. A first practical evaluation of the approach is carried out based on two industrial case studies. The experiences made in the industrial cases show that Industry 4.0 is not limited to the application in large enterprises but is very suitable also for SME. This chapter contributes, with its case-study-based methodology, to the existing sparse knowledge on the introduction of Industry 4.0 in SME production systems.
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Theoretical Background

This literature review section is organised in three parts. First, the terms ’Industry 4.0’, ‘Smart Factory’ and ‘Cyber-Physical System’ are explained to provide a basic knowledge of these concepts. The second part describes the extension of the Smart Factory concept in small and medium-sized enterprises, while the third part highlights the importance of knowledge transfer in Industry 4.0 competencies and then formulates the objective of this research.

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