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Article
Publication date: 18 December 2019

Ting Zheng, Marco Ardolino, Andrea Bacchetti, Marco Perona and Massimo Zanardini

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how much the Italian manufacturing companies are ready to be concretely involved in the so-called “Industry 4.0” (I4.0…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how much the Italian manufacturing companies are ready to be concretely involved in the so-called “Industry 4.0” (I4.0) journey. In particular, this paper focuses on analyzing the knowledge and adoption levels of specific I4.0 enabling technologies, also considering how organizations are involved and which are the main benefits and obstacles.

Design/methodology/approach

A descriptive survey has been carried out on a total of 103 respondents related to manufacturing companies of different sizes. Data collected were analyzed in order to answer five specific research questions.

Findings

The findings from the survey demonstrate that Italian manufacturing companies are in different positions in their journey toward the I4.0 paradigm, mainly depending on their size and informatization level. Furthermore, not all the business functions are adequately involved in this transformation and their awareness about this new paradigm seems quite low because of the absence of specific managerial roles to guide this revolution. Finally, there are strong differences concerning both benefits and obstacles related to the adoption of I4.0 paradigm, depending on the technology adoption level.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should focus on developing case studies about pilot I4.0 practitioners in order to understand the root cause of successful cases. Both managerial and practical references should be developed, helping Italian manufacturing enterprises to consolidate and strengthen their position in global competitive market. Finally, it would be interesting to carry out the same study in other countries in order to make comparisons and suitable benchmark analyses.

Originality/value

Despite scholars have debated about the adoption of technologies and the benefits related to the I4.0 paradigm, to the best of authors’ knowledge, only a few empirical surveys have been carried out until now on the adoption level of I4.0 principles in the manufacturing sector of a specific country.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1986

Ray Wild

Changing manufacturing policy and manufacturing technology has had serious implications for production managers. A survey to identify the nature and extent of the impact…

Abstract

Changing manufacturing policy and manufacturing technology has had serious implications for production managers. A survey to identify the nature and extent of the impact of changes in manufacturing technology on the jobs of production or manufacturing managers shows that managers are concerned about the changing nature of their jobs and are increasingly dissatisfied with their roles. Their jobs are diminished but more stressful because they must maintain responsibility over a system over which they have little control. Yet they need a wider range of skills, e.g. people management and a broad knowledge of different subjects, to perform this role. The inevitability of change and the future directions in this area are discussed.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 6 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 17 June 2019

Pooja Chaoji and Miia Martinsuo

This paper empirically investigates the processes by which manufacturing firms create radical innovations in their core production process, referred to as radical…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper empirically investigates the processes by which manufacturing firms create radical innovations in their core production process, referred to as radical manufacturing technology innovations (RMTI). The purpose of this paper is to improve the understanding of the processes and practices manufacturing firms use to create RMTI.

Design/methodology/approach

Creation processes for 23 RMTI projects from diverse industry and technology contexts are explored. Data were collected via semi-structured interviews, and an inductive analysis was carried out to identify similarities and differences in RMTI types and creation processes.

Findings

Three types of RMTI and three alternative RMTI creation processes are revealed and characterized. An integrated view is developed of the activities of the equipment supplier and the manufacturing firm, highlighting their different roles and interaction across the three RMTI creation process types.

Research limitations/implications

The exploratory design limits the depth of the analysis per RMTI project, and the focus is on manufacturing technology innovations in one country. The results extend previous case and context-specific findings on RMTI creation processes and provide novel frameworks for cross-case comparisons.

Practical implications

The manufacturing firms’ proactive role in RMTI creation is defined. A framework is proposed for using different RMTI creation processes for different types of RMTI.

Originality/value

This study addresses recent calls for empirical research on understanding the ways in which process innovations unfold in manufacturing firms. The findings emphasize the role of manufacturing firms as creators of RMTI in addition to their role as innovation adopters and implementers and reveal the suitability of different RMTI creation processes for different RMTI types.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 30 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 1 September 1999

Michael H. Small

Addresses the relationship between firm performance on 15 manufacturing attributes and the extensiveness of advanced manufacturing technology (AMT) portfolios that firms…

Abstract

Addresses the relationship between firm performance on 15 manufacturing attributes and the extensiveness of advanced manufacturing technology (AMT) portfolios that firms adopt. Mail survey data obtained from 116 manufacturing firms in the USA that had adopted a variety of AMT are used in this research. On average, responding firms reported some improvements in manufacturing performance for all variables except changes in average labour cost (total labour cost/number of direct and indirect labour employees). Adoption of AMT tended to result in marginal reductions in the number of operators and marginal increases in average labour costs across all technology portfolio classifications. For all technology groups, firms recorded their highest level of improvement for product quality, and operator output rates/operator productivity. The majority of firms that had adopted both integrated process technologies and integrated information/logistic technologies reported improvements for 14 of the 15 performance attributes covered in this study.

Details

Industrial Management & Data Systems, vol. 99 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-5577

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

George K. Stylios

Examines the tenth published year of the ITCRR. Runs the whole gamut of textile innovation, research and testing, some of which investigates hitherto untouched aspects…

Abstract

Examines the tenth published year of the ITCRR. Runs the whole gamut of textile innovation, research and testing, some of which investigates hitherto untouched aspects. Subjects discussed include cotton fabric processing, asbestos substitutes, textile adjuncts to cardiovascular surgery, wet textile processes, hand evaluation, nanotechnology, thermoplastic composites, robotic ironing, protective clothing (agricultural and industrial), ecological aspects of fibre properties – to name but a few! There would appear to be no limit to the future potential for textile applications.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 1997

Michael H. Small and Mahmoud M. Yasin

Uses information gathered from the advanced manufacturing technology (AMT) literature to develop an integrated conceptual framework for effectively planning and…

Abstract

Uses information gathered from the advanced manufacturing technology (AMT) literature to develop an integrated conceptual framework for effectively planning and implementing these systems. Then examines the efficacy of this framework by investigating the relationship between adoption of various advanced manufacturing technology (AMT), the way that firms plan for and implement them and their eventual performance. A detailed survey instrument was administered to a cross‐section of manufacturing firms in the USA to collect the required data. The results of this investigation indicate that the rate of adoption for integrated technologies was higher among firms that adopted more extensive formal planning approaches. In addition, these firms were found to be outperforming other firms. Also provides managerial and research implications of these and the other findings of this study.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 17 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2010

Sami Farooq and Chris O'Brien

The purpose of this paper is to present result obtained from a developed technology selection framework and provide a detailed insight into the risk calculations and their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present result obtained from a developed technology selection framework and provide a detailed insight into the risk calculations and their implications in manufacturing technology selection process.

Design/methodology/approach

The results illustrated in the paper are the outcome of an action research study that was conducted in an aerospace company.

Findings

The paper highlights the role of risk calculations in manufacturing technology selection process by elaborating the contribution of risk associated with manufacturing technology alternatives in the shape of opportunities and threats in different decision‐making environments.

Practical implications

The research quantifies the risk associated with different available manufacturing technology alternatives. This quantification of risk crystallises the process of technology selection decision making and supports an industrial manager in achieving objective and comprehensive decisions regarding selection of a manufacturing technology.

Originality/value

The paper explains the process of risk calculation in manufacturing technology selection by dividing the decision‐making environment into manufacturing and supply chain environment. The evaluation of a manufacturing technology considering supply chain opportunities and threats provides a broader perspective to the technology evaluation process. The inclusion of supply chain dimension in technology selection process facilitates an organisation to select a manufacturing technology not only according to its own requirements, but also according to the interest of its constituent supply chain.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. 21 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2001

Eamon Cahill

Manufactured artefacts will always be needed to satisfy human needs, but the business of manufacturing faces a range of challenges in the emerging knowledge economy. Six…

Abstract

Manufactured artefacts will always be needed to satisfy human needs, but the business of manufacturing faces a range of challenges in the emerging knowledge economy. Six main areas are identified where manufacturing must develop and excel: concurrency, integrating human and technological resources, the conversion of information to knowledge, environmental compatibility, developing reconfigurable enterprises and innovative processes. There are many emerging technologies which can assist, but if Europe is to remain a force in manufacturing it needs to take positive action to enhance its strengths and alleviate its weaknesses – and nowhere more so than in the field of research.

Details

Foresight, vol. 3 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-6689

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 2001

Khim L. Sim

This study tests the interactive effects of successive incremental improvement techniques (i.e. total quality management (TQM) and just‐in‐time (JIT)). In addition…

Abstract

This study tests the interactive effects of successive incremental improvement techniques (i.e. total quality management (TQM) and just‐in‐time (JIT)). In addition, observations were made with respect to how technological innovations were managed in conjunction with the implementation of TQM or JIT. A total of 83 plants belonging to the electronics industry located in the USA participated in this study. Four different manufacturing performance measures were examined. There is strong evidence that synergy exists when both TQM and JIT are implemented. Results, however, indicate that investment in manufacturing technology enhances JIT performance but inhibits TQM performance. Furthermore, findings from three‐way interaction show that shorter product development time is associated with plants using both high TQM and JIT, but only for plants that did not invest in manufacturing technology during the window period. Further analyses revealed some systematic patterns within plants that invested in manufacturing technology – many of these plants exhibit a lack of attention to quality. Although somewhat surprising, results are consistent with the current body of literature.

Details

International Journal of Operations & Production Management, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-3577

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Article
Publication date: 7 September 2021

Érico Marcon, Marlon Soliman, Wolfgang Gerstlberger and Alejandro G. Frank

As the level of implementation of Industry 4.0 increases, misalignments between adopted technologies and organizational factors may result in benefits below expected. This…

Abstract

Purpose

As the level of implementation of Industry 4.0 increases, misalignments between adopted technologies and organizational factors may result in benefits below expected. This paper aims to analyze how organizational factors can contribute to a higher level of adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies. The paper uses a sociotechnical perspective lens to achieve this aim.

Design/methodology/approach

Using a sample of 231 manufacturing companies in Denmark, a leading country in Industry 4.0 readiness, the paper analyzes through cluster analysis and logistic regression whether the development of four sociotechnical dimensions – that is, Social, Technical, Work Organization and Environmental factors – in these companies can benefit the achievement of higher levels of Industry 4.0 technology adoption.

Findings

The results show that companies focused on the development of sociotechnical aspects generally present higher Industry 4.0 adoption levels. However, some sociotechnical factors are less supportive than others.

Originality/value

Based on these results, practitioners can plan the adoption of advanced technologies, using a systemic organizational view. This study provides evidence on a growing field with few empirical studies available. The paper contributes by providing an analysis of a leading country in Industry 4.0 implementation, presenting a systemic view on technology adoption in the Industry 4.0 context.

Details

Journal of Manufacturing Technology Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-038X

Keywords

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