Smart manufacturing can lead to disruptive changes in production technologies and business models in the manufacturing industry. This paper aims to identify technological…
Smart manufacturing can lead to disruptive changes in production technologies and business models in the manufacturing industry. This paper aims to identify technological topics in smart manufacturing by using patent data, investigating technological trends and exploring potential opportunities.
The latent Dirichlet allocation (LDA) topic modeling technique was used to extract latent technological topics, and the generalized linear mixed model (GLMM) was used to analyze the relative emergence levels of the topics. Topic value and topic competitive analyses were developed to evaluate each topic's potential value and identify technological positions of competing firms, respectively.
A total of 14 topics were extracted from the collected patent data and several fast growth and high-value topics were identified, such as smart connection, cyber-physical systems (CPSs), manufacturing data analytics and powder bed fusion additive manufacturing. Several leading firms apply broad R&D emphasis across a variety of technological topics, while others focus on a few technological topics.
The developed methodology can help firms identify important technological topics in smart manufacturing for making their R&D investment decisions. Firms can select appropriate technology strategies depending on the topic's emergence position in the topic strategy matrix.
Previous research studies have not analyzed the maturity levels of technological topics. The topic-based patent analytics approach can complement previous studies. In addition, this study provides a multi-valuation framework for exploring technological opportunities, thus providing valuable information that supports a more robust understanding of the technology landscape of smart manufacturing.