The fit of Industry 4.0 applications in manufacturing logistics: a multiple case study
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Original versionAdvances in Manufacturing. 2017, 5 (4), 344-358. 10.1007/s40436-017-0200-y
The fourth industrial revolution, Industry 4.0, is expected to cause disruptive changes in industrial production. It is driven by rapid technological developments and the need for manufacturing companies to make themselves independent of high labor costs. Industry 4.0 concerns several aspects of industrial production, including manufacturing logistics, business models and products and services. The applications of Industry 4.0 have been vastly outlined. However, the fit of Industry 4.0 applications in different production environments is not clear. The purpose of this paper is to identify and investigate the Industry 4.0 technologies that are applicable to manufacturing logistics, and how the production environment influences the applicability of these technologies. This is done through a multiple case study of four Norwegian manufacturing companies. The findings from the study indicate that the applicability of Industry 4.0 in manufacturing logistics is dependent on the production environment. Companies with a low degree of production repetitiveness see less potential in applying Industry 4.0 technologies in manufacturing logistics, while companies with a highly repetitive production see a higher potential.