Industrial revolution - industry 4.0: Are German manufacturing SMEs the first victims of this revolution?

Lutz Sommer

Abstract


Purpose: Industry 4.0 represents a special challenge for businesses in general and for SMEs in particular. The study at hand will examine companies´ awareness, readiness and capability to meet this challenge taking into account the special role of SMEs.

Methodology: The results of nine studies dealing with this range of topics are examined in the framework of a systematic review and compared with regard to the objective of the study at hand.

Findings: The review showed that, as a rule, there is an awareness concerning the relevance of the topic. The readiness and the capability to meet this challenge exist in parts; however, they strongly depend on the enterprise size. The smaller SMEs are, the higher the risk that they will become victims instead of beneficiaries of this revolution.

Originality/value: Considering different studies concerning Industry 4.0 the article gives an insight into the dependence of the Industry 4.0 readiness in reference to the company size. This deepens the knowledge in adaption deficits German SME still have and opens different approaches for further research and action plans.


Keywords


Industry 4.0, SME, Digitalization, Automation, Internet of Things

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3926/jiem.1470


Licencia de Creative Commons 

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Journal of Industrial Engineering and Management, 2008-2019

Online ISSN: 2013-0953; Print ISSN: 2013-8423; Online DL: B-28744-2008

Publisher: OmniaScience