A Maturity Level-Based Assessment Tool to Enhance the Implementation of Industry 4.0 in Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises
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Industry 4.0 has attracted the attention of manufacturing companies over the past ten years. Despite efforts in research and knowledge transfer from research to practice, the introduction of Industry 4.0 concepts and technologies is still a major challenge for many companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Many of these SMEs have no overview of existing Industry 4.0 concepts and technologies, how they are implemented in their own companies, and which concepts and technologies should primarily be focused on future Industry 4.0 implementation measures. The aim of this research was to develop an assessment model for SMEs that is easy to apply, provides a clear overview of existing Industry 4.0 concepts, and supports SMEs in defining their individual strategy to introduce Industry 4.0 in their firm. The maturity level-based assessment tool presented in this work includes a catalog of 42 Industry 4.0 concepts and a norm strategy based on the results of the assessment to support SMEs in introducing the most promising concepts. For testing and validation purposes, the assessment model has been applied in a field study with 17 industrial companies.
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