Requirements and Barriers for Introducing Smart Manufacturing in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
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Bigger companies have been the main adopters of Industry 4.0. However, small- and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) are significant economic and employment contributors in the European Union and the United States. For a successful application of Industry 4.0, customized implementation strategies and approaches as well as adapted concepts and technological solutions are needed. The paper presents requirements and barriers for introducing smart manufacturing in SMEs. These items were identified throughout the research project “SME 4.0 – Industry 4.0 for SMEs” by using expert workshops with SMEs from the United States, Central Europe and Northern Thailand. The results informs recommendations for managerial action to support an appropriate adaptation of Industry 4.0 technologies and concepts into SMEs.