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How does Industry 4.0 contribute to operations


Diego Castro Fettermann, Caroline Gobbo Sá Cavalcante, Tatiana

Domingues de Almeida & Guilherme Luz Tortorella

To cite this article: Diego Castro Fettermann, Caroline Gobbo Sá Cavalcante, Tatiana Domingues
de Almeida & Guilherme Luz Tortorella (2018): How does Industry 4.0 contribute to operations
management?, Journal of Industrial and Production Engineering

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Journal of Industrial and Production Engineering, 2018

How does Industry 4.0 contribute to operations management?

Diego Castro Fettermann  , Caroline Gobbo Sá Cavalcante  , Tatiana Domingues de Almeida and
Guilherme Luz Tortorella 
Department of Industrial and Systems, Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianopolis, Brazil


Interconnection among systems requires the interaction between different technologies, such Received 26 September 2017
as radio frequency identifier, sensors, processing in the cloud and cyber-physical systems. The Revised 9 February 2018
use of these technologies entails transforming the way operations management is carried out Accepted 9 March 2018
within companies, with potential for application in several fields of activity. This article aims to KEYWORDS
identify the contribution of the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies for companies’ operation Internet of Things; maturity
management (OM). Based on a survey with 38 successful cases of Industry 4.0 implementation, level; technologies;
the results achieved the main benefits of the use of these technologies for OM. These results contingency tables
indicate that Industry 4.0’s contributions are more concentrated in areas such as Technology
management and Just-in-time manufacturing. Further, the maturity level of the successful cases
analyzed is still incipient, indicating a potential for increasing productivity after the application
of these technologies.

1. Introduction factories [4,8–11], smart manufacturing [12], industrial

Internet of Things (IoT) [7,13], networking manufacturing
The advent of Industry 4.0 implies new paradigms regard-
[8], intelligent manufacturing [14,15], industrial Internet
ing most managerial approaches. Back in the eighteenth
[16] and so on.
century, when the first industrial revolution was taking
This new paradigm is based on digital factories,
place, industrial machines were being adapted to steam
capable of combining information technologies and
engines [1]. At the beginning of the twentieth century,
machines with smart products [17]. Industry 4.0 devel-
a new revolution was underway, which was character-
opment seeks to achieve a high level of operational
ized by division of labor, employment of mass produc-
efficiency, productivity, and automation of production
tion made possible by electrical power, exploration of
systems [18]. However, despite the existence of a com-
new materials such as steel and synthetics, as well as
mon objective, the literature does not present a consen-
utilization of new kinds of fuel [2–4]. However, it didn’t
sus for its definition [1,19]. Although the term Industry
stop there, in the 1970s, a third industrial revolution was
4.0 roots back to Germany’s high-tech strategy and thus
emerging that would revolutionize society. It could be
described by the application of programmable logic has received a lot of attention recently, it still lacks a pre-
controllers (PLCs) for manufacturing automation [2], in cise, generally accepted definition [20]. Weyer et al. [21],
addition to the use of information technologies for pro- for instance, propose a concept of Industry 4.0 as devices,
duction management [5]. machines, production modules and products organized
Currently, productive processes are being prepared in CPS with the ability to autonomously exchange infor-
for what has been coined the fourth industrial revo- mation and self-control performance of its operations
lution. It has been enabled by the use of the Internet [21]. Nevertheless, this concept can be extended further
through wide communication networks in a system to a value chain, such as a new level of organization and
called cyber-physical systems (CPS) [2]. First, put forward value chain management throughout the products life
in a report (Industrie 4.0) by a research team recruited by cycle [6] or as a set of technologies and concepts applied
the German Government which targeted development in the value chain [22].
in manufacturing [6]. Although this term is considerably The benefits of harnessing the yields of Industry 4.0
widespread, there are others terms used to present the are also diversified. The integration of physical objects,
features of this same type of manufacturing system, such human interactions, intelligent machines, processes,
as advanced manufacturing [7], smart industry or smart and production lines results into the development of

CONTACT  Diego Castro Fettermann

© 2018 Chinese Institute of Industrial Engineers

a new, intelligent, connected, and efficient value chain [28] and horizontal integration [2,6,22], and remote pro-
[23]. This new value chain enables the development of cess monitoring [28].
new business models with different organizations [6,24]. However, the literature does not present a single way
Furthermore, the current research still lacks consistent of referring to Industry 4.0 technologies. Many of the
knowledge about how the Fourth Industrial Revolution is classifications used in the literature are even incompat-
going to affect future industries [20]. Such divergence on ible with each other, classifying the same technologies
concepts and benefits with respect to Industry 4.0 rein- into different categories. To reduce such diversity of clas-
forces the need for establishing a procedure for its prac- sification, technologies functionalities have been used as
tical application [25,26], especially when it involves the criteria in this work, resulting in seven different catego-
impact of new technologies on operations management ries. The first category comprises technologies used for
(OM) [27]. Still further, there is lack of understanding information processing and is denoted as “data analysis
about the implications of Industry 4.0 technologies on and processing,” which incorporates technologies such
OM [28]. Based on these arguments, one research ques- as advanced algorithms for process optimization, ana-
tion can be raised: “how does the adoption of Industry lytic tools, like machine learning, data mining, big data,
4.0 technologies impact companies’ operations manage- and authentication and fraud detection, as pointed out
ment within companies?” in the literature [4,35,36]. The second category is related
Based on research carried out on previous case stud- to an increase on the perception and information uti-
ies reported in the literature, this article aims at identi- lization, called “augmented reality.” These technologies
fying the main contribution of Industry 4.0 adoption for intend to capture objects by visual sensors to process
companies’ operations management. The existing evi- and find out the context hidden in them [37,38], includ-
dence is diversified, and the literature is fairly generic ing virtual objects in the physical environment which
to accurately identify the contributions of Industry 4.0 are shown to the user in real time with the support of
to OM. Therefore, the consolidation of studies report- some technological device [39]. The third category is
ing successful implementation of Industry 4.0, followed named “cloud computing,” and indicates the important
by research about what technologies were employed components of the future Internet [4,28,35,40,41]. It is
and their contributions to operations management. defined as a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient,
This study contributes to the body of knowledge on on-demand network access to a shared pool of config-
Industry 4.0, which is still shallow and whose association urable computing resources that can be rapidly provi-
with existing operations management concepts scarcely sioned and released with minimal management effort or
suggested [20]. Further, this research indicates practical service provider interaction [42]. This category consists
implications of Industry 4.0, since it aims at providing of technologies for remotely processing data, incorpo-
evidence to assist in better understanding the applied rating servers, big data storage systems, applications,
frameworks and how they impacted operations man- and services [35,40,41]. The fourth category, named as
agement within companies. It also makes possible the “mobile devices,” aims at portability and includes the
mitigation of the lack of procedures for implementation use of mobile terminals, i.e. smartphones, tablets, smart
Industry 4.0 [25,26,29–31]. glasses among others to access information [4,9,43,44].
Besides this introductory section, this paper is struc- The fifth category is called Internet of Things (IoT) and
tured as follows. Section 2 presents fundamental con- intends to carry out the communication and presenta-
cepts for the research, such as the main features of tion of information. It also includes the use of intelligent
Industry 4.0 and OM. The third section describes the sensors, middleware, location detection technologies,
procedure used for data collection and classification of IoT applications, wireless networks, radio frequency
the case studies analyzed, whose results are discussed in identifier (RFID), etc. [30,45,46]. “Additive manufacturing”
the fourth section. Finally, section five brings the conclu- is the sixth category and involves the utilization of 3D
sions, limitations of the study, and suggestions for future printers [17,47–49]. Various raw materials can be used
research. by different 3D printing methods, including polymers,
epoxy resins, nylon, wax, powders, oils, and nutrients,
2.  Literature review as well as titanium, sterling silver, stainless steel, leather,
sandstone, and materials that mimic human cells [50]. In
2.1.  Industry 4.0 technologies this sense, the use of additive manufacturing technolo-
Industry 4.0 encompasses devices and technologies that gies can reduce time and cost for product development
bring with them many opportunities for new products and manufacturing [48–50], and enable mass customi-
and services [32]. The use of these technologies can zation of goods on a large scale [51]. Finally, the seventh
usher in technical and organizational advantages and category, known as CPS, comprises robotization, auto-
improvements [33]. The same technologies can contrib- mation and advanced use of human–machine interface
ute in many ways to the performance of manufacturing and machine–machine interface [52], contributing to the
processes [34], through decentralization [19], vertical automation and control of processes [53]. CPS consists

of autonomous and cooperative elements that are get- 4.0, indicating that the existing models are mainly tech-
ting into connection with each other in all processes, nology-oriented. However, it is important to take into
from machines up to production and logistics networks account the fact that some sociocultural aspects, such
[54]. In manufacturing processes, CPS comprises the as Leadership and Culture are operationalized in some
machines used in manufacturing, transportation, robots, the models displayed in Table 2.
automatic guided vehicles (AGV), among others devices
[46,52]. From these categories, it was possible to iden-
2.3.  Operations management
tify the citation frequency of these technologies as part
of Industry 4.0 presented in the literature (Table 1). The Until the 1980s, operations management (OM) problems
results confirm that there is no consensus among the were traditionally addressed through a model-based
technologies that make up Industry 4.0. This diversity approach using optimization or simulation method-
and constant development of technologies contribute ologies [67]. After that, the discipline has undergone
of the complexity of the theme. The research of tech- changes in its research agenda. There has been a greater
nologies mentioned in the literature is presented in the implementation of empirical research projects, with
Table 1. particular emphasis on opinion- or perception-oriented
research in order to better understand related issues
such as manufacturing strategy, just-in-time manufac-
2.2.  Maturity models for Industry 4.0
turing, quality management. The incorporation of further
To measure the development level of an industry or research approaches motivated a revision of the study
some of its processes, maturity models are generally areas underlying OM [68]. Based on an extensive liter-
used as a supporting tool [23], which describes the ature review of 258 articles published in journals such
steps for improving a certain process from an incipient as Journal of Operations Management (JOM), Decision
to an advanced level, incorporating each level’s compo- Sciences (DS), Management Science (MS), International
nents and recommendations [61]. These components Journal of Operations & Production Management
are often composed by practices, processes, tools, and (IJOPM), International Journal of Production Research
technologies used to increase organizational efficiency (IJPR) e Production and Operations Management (POM),
[62]. Thus, maturity levels help in the assessment and Rungtusanatham et al. [69] identified five key areas for
understanding of organization’s current state, while pro- OM: (i) just-in-time manufacturing, (ii) technology man-
viding guidelines for continuous improvement within agement, (iii) operations strategy, (iv) quality manage-
the organization [63]. ment, and (v) supply chain management.
In the existing literature, there are still few proposi- Just-in-time manufacturing (JIT) is related manufac-
tions regarding maturity models for Industry 4.0 imple- turing processes of companies. Efforts in this area aims
mentation [30] (see Table 2). These models are a guide at continuous improvement of products and processes
to Industry 4.0 implementation in order to mitigate mis- [70,71]. According to Rungtusanatham et al. [69], this area
interpretations. The model developed by Schumacher is associated with performance improvement, encom-
et al. [23] presents a more holistic analysis of Industry passing changes such as organizational design based
4.0 implementation, since it considers 62 items catego- on simplification [70] and inventory levels [71,72]. The
rized in nine different dimensions and evaluated based area of technology management is broadly addressed
on a five-point Likert scale. On the other hand, PwC [39] by different authors, such as Pavitt [73], Liao [74], Erensal
suggests a maturity model comprised by six dimensions et al. [75] and Zehner [76]. For the purpose of this arti-
that classifies companies into four different develop- cle, it will be considered the characteristics proposed by
ment levels: digital novice, vertical integrator, horizon- Rungtusanatham et al. [69] for this area, which include
tal integrator e digital champion. Rockwell Automation flexible manufacturing systems, manufacturing with
[64] presents a model with a five dimensions for eval- advanced technology, robotization, and cellular manu-
uating Industry 4.0 implementation that is focused on facturing. The area of operations strategy is concerned
the adoption level of several technologies. Lanza et al. with the choice or decision patterns which encompass
[65] propose a maturity model with three dimensions the entire organizational system [77]. This area deals with
based on the advancement of CPS. Finally, the model of business strategy and correlates demand to production
Porter and Heppelmann [66] focus on the level of cus- needs, hence defining the manufacturing management
tomer-oriented technologies to products and services, process [78], and including service and manufacturing
categorizing them into the levels of monitoring, control, strategies [69]. The fourth area, quality management,
optimization, and autonomy. seeks to increase both quality and productivity, as well
Overall, it is observed that the “Technology” dimen- as to improve customer and employees satisfaction [79].
sion is the most frequently used in the maturity mod- In order to achieve that, the use of quality control and
els analyzed. This dimension aims at measuring the monitoring functions become necessary in production
advancement level of technologies related to Industry processes [80,81]. Finally, supply chain management area

considers the product and information flow from raw

et al. Lu Schaefer Saucedo-Martínez

material to the end customer delivery [82]. This area coor-

et al. [60]
dinates activities along the value chain through collabo-


rative relationships among its members, aiming to create
value for customers and increase the profitability of each
Thames tier [83]. It also comprises products, services, finances,
and information flow, and its strategies are fundamental



to define partnerships among suppliers, supplier selec-
tion, and logistics [69].
[58] [1]




2.4.  Industry 4.0 and operations management
Li et

CNI [47] da-Lobo [28] [46]



The benefits that are anticipated to come along with
Industry 4.0 seem to be manifold [6]. The implemen-


tation of automation improves product quality, while
making manufacturing processes more efficient [17,34].
Such trend is especially true when taking into account


the transformation that many industries are undergoing

as a result of Industry 4.0 [17]. According to a survey by
al. [30]
Qin et

the American Society for Quality (ASQ) undertaken in


2014, 82% of organizations that claim to have imple-

mented smart manufacturing stated that they have
et al.

experienced increased efficiency, 49% experienced fewer

product defects, and 45% achieved increased customer

satisfaction [4]. Therefore, the possibilities of different



arrangement alternatives of Industry 4.0 technologies

can result in several other benefits in the management

of the operations, such as: lower product processing time



[30], manufacturing cost reduction [5,30], improvement

Kang et

of coordination of value chains [20], increased process

al. [48]


flexibility [2], better customer service [5], higher prod-

uct customization [2,19,20,84–86], among others. These
Wan et
al. [53]

benefits can offer outputs for many areas within oper-


ations management, especially in technology manage-

ment, because many of these benefits are focused in the


automation of processes. Further, processes that become


automated can potentially improve all activities carried

Lee and

out in a company thus resulting in enhancement in all

et al. Hozdić Lee

areas of operations management.

According to the literature, the use of Industry 4.0

technologies still can transform companies core com-

petencies, and it is mentioned as a enabler of some


strategies for operations management, such as agile



manufacturing and mass customization [2,85,87].

Table 1. Technologies related to Industry 4.0.

Meanwhile, lean manufacturing is an approach widely

Zuehlke Gorecky et al.


used that aims at reducing waste and improving produc-

tivity and quality according to customer requirements
et al. [9]

[88,89]. The lean strategy use is based in a systematic


human-centered approach of various management

principles and practices [90]. Often, this strategy is men-

tioned as opposed to the result of the implementation

of Industry 4.0 technologies, which tend to lead to less
Cloud computing
Data analysis and

human interaction [21,91].

Additive manu-
Mobile devices


Several authors have also pointed out the presence of


barriers to the adoption of Industry 4.0 in manufacturing


Table 2. Dimensions assessed according to each maturity model.

Schumacher et al. Rockwell Porter and
Dimensions [23] Lanza et al. [65] PwC [39] Automation [64] Heppelmann [66]
Strategy X X X X
Leadership X
Consumers X X
Products X X X
Operations X X X X
Culture X X
People X X
Governance X
Safety X X
Technology X X X X X

companies. In general, the process of implementing from the conferences database. The information about
these technologies demands a quite intensive level of the cases investigated was deepened from information
capital expenditure, reducing its implementation attrac- collected directly on the companies website and other
tiveness [92]. The management and control of integrated publications about them.
operations in Industry 4.0 also demand skilled workers. In order to complement the survey conducted in the
This particular demand for highly skilled labor is also conferences database were also considered cases com-
mentioned as the biggest challenge to use Industry 4.0 piled and presented in the form of national reports. The
technologies specially within developing economies data about cases reported by the German Government
[92]. [94] and cases reported by the Japanese Government,
compiled by the Robot Revolution Initiative [95] were
also used. At the end of survey it was carried out for suc-
3. Method
cessful cases of Industry 4.0 implementation, 38 cases
The research method is based on a multi-case study [93] were identified (Appendix 1). This procedure resulted
on successful implementations of Industry 4.0. Each case in cases of several areas of activities and with different
analyzed had as a primary source of information the pub- results, not compromising the sampling procedure per-
lications available in the literature. This source of infor- formed. The search procedure was performed between
mation was confronted and complemented with other April 20 and 30 2017. The entire data collection was con-
sources, such as companies’ websites. This information firmed and complemented using other sources, such as
was complemented with other sources that investigated the companies websites and publications related to the
the same case. After further examination, we identified cases analyzed.
the area of OM in which the technologies of Industry 4.0
were used and the corresponding maturity level.
3.2.  Data analysis
For each successful case of Industry 4.0 identified in
3.1.  Data source
the data collection, procedure undertaken in the three
The search for successful Industry 4.0 implementation analyses were carried out: (i) about its contribution to
cases was undertaken in order to identify applications operations management area(s), (ii) the maturity level of
in most areas of industry. First, the search was carried Industry 4.0 implementation, and (iii) Industry 4.0 tech-
out in database of confererence presentations as a way nologies used in the case.
of ensuring the distribution of cases in a wide range The maturity level classification was done from using
of fields. Seven conferences were considered relevant the model proposed by Porter and Heppelmann [66].
to the area evaluated, as suggested by Liao et al. [74]. Despite the others models presented in the literature
Following this recommendation, the analyzed were pre- review of this article [23,39,64,65] presented a more
sented at the following conferences: IEEE International encompassing evaluation of Industry 4.0 implementa-
Conference on Emerging Technologies and Factory tion, the information available about the cases analyzed
Automation (ETFA), CIRP Conference on Manufacturing is it not enough to identify the maturity level of the case.
Systems (CIRP-CMS), Internet of Things World Forum, Among the proposals, the one developed by Porter and
IEEE International Conference on Industrial Informatics Heppelmann [66] is focused on the maturity level of the
(INDIN) e IFAC Symposium on Information Control technology adopted. This proposal was used to clas-
Problems in Manufacturing (INCOM). The research pro- sify the maturity level of each case analyzed because
cess was performed in the database of these conferences of sources of information available from each case
to the years of 2014, 2015, and 2016. At the end of this didn’t provide sufficient evidence to identify Industry
procedure, it was possible to identify only two cases with 4.0 maturity level using the other models identified in
the company identification and sufficient information the literature. Thus, each of the cases analyzed is clas-
for further analysis. Other six cases were also collected sified according to four maturity levels: (i) monitoring,

(ii) control, (iii) optimization, and (iv) autonomy. The level distribution is confirmed by the Chi-square test, which
(i) monitoring incorporates cases that apply technolo- indicates a presence of dependence between frequency
gies for monitoring and reporting information from the of cases and OM areas (χ² = 38.36; 4; p-value < 0.01). This
environment or the equipment in real time, creating new result reinforces the breadth of the Industry 4.0 concept,
data, and information for the process. Cases classified at which goes beyond the traditional areas of manufactur-
(ii) control level integrates applications that can control ing and technology, confirming its broader concepts that
the operation of the system through internal software refer to value added across the value chain [6].
or in the cloud. The level (iii) optimization refers to cases All the analyzed cases present application in the area
that use algorithms or data analysis capable of optimiz- of technology management. This characteristic is due
ing the operation of the system, its use and mainte- to the fact that Industry 4.0 cases observed are always
nance. Finally, cases classified at the (iv) autonomy level aimed at promoting the flexibility of manufacturing sys-
are those with the system embodies in the solution the tems (Flexible Manufacturing Systems). This is the case of
capacity to learn and adapt to the environment in order the German crane company Wolffkran that has equipped
for itself to achieve a better set-up and consequently its cranes with the industrial router that can be controlled
improve performance [66]. remotely offering greater flexibility for the production.
For the contributions of the cases analyzed accord- In addition, the company incorporates the Just-in-Time
ing to the areas within operations management, manufacturing area through the implementation of
the definition of each area and scope presented by predictive maintenance into the system. Another case
Rungtusanatham et al. [69] was used. This proposal con- reported by ThyssenKrupp presented contributions in
siders five areas in management of operations: (i) Just- both areas, technology management and Just-in-Time
in-Time manufacturing, (ii) technology management,
manufacturing. In this case, a fusion between the phys-
(iii) operations strategy, (iv) quality management, and
ical world and the data networks is identified, creating
(v) supply chain management. Each of the cases has been
classified in one or more areas of OM, depending on their a “cybernetic system” during the production of elevator
contribution and application in a company. parts. With the use of this technology, the company
The classification of each of the cases was performed reports sustainable gains in production management,
based on a consensus reached by the authors. The fre- maintenance, logistic processes, reduction of noncon-
quencies checked are analyzed according to the Chi- formities, and energy savings.
square test of independence in contingency tables. The The few cases in the area of quality management,
Chi-Square test of independence is a non-parametric we mainly identify the use of intelligent sensors and
test that determines whether there is an association technologies aimed at reducing errors in the assembly
between categorical variables. This test is used to ver- processes or product development. Among the cases
ify the hypothesis that frequencies in the contingency investigated, we can mention Volkswagen, which uses
table are independent [96]. The significant associations an augmented reality (AR) technology by means of cam-
are those with an adjusted residue value greater than era glasses integrated into the picking process, result-
|1,96|. The results obtained are presented in the follow- ing in reduced errors, improved ergonomics conditions,
ing section. and increased productivity. Although few cases present
applications directed to the area of quality management,
the expectancy is that the applications in the other areas
4. Results contribute indirectly to the quality of the products and
The frequencies reported in each of the categories ana- services offered by the companies.
lyzed do not correspond to the total of studied Industry
4.0 cases. This is a consequence of the fact that many 4.2.  Industry 4.0 maturity level and its
cases incorporate more than one area of operations man- contribution to operations management
agement and use several technologies simultaneously. In
this way, it is emphasized that the breadth of Industry 4.0 Among the cases, the results show the monitoring matu-
implementation in organizations goes beyond a specific rity level is predominant in the sample analyzed (Table 4).
application of a certain types of technology, extending This conclusion is corroborated by the significant associ-
to a holistic and integrated approach to technologies ation between frequency of the cases and their maturity
that meet all the needs of a digital production system. level (χ² = 166.56; 3; p-value < 0.01). The concentration of
cases at the monitoring level indicates that the applica-
tions are addressed to monitor and report information
4.1.  Contributions of Industry 4.0 to operations from the environment in real time, which is an incipient
management state in relation to the implementation of Industry 4.0
The analysis of Industry 4.0 cases distribution in the areas [66]. Despite the importance attributed to Industry 4.0 to
of operations management indicates a greater cases con- increase productivity in international surveys [3,39], this
centration in the technology management, followed by result reveals that the use of these technologies is still
Just-in-Time manufacturing and supply chain manage- incipient in companies. When analyzing the association
ment areas (Table 3). This difference in the frequency between OM areas and the maturity levels, no significant

Table 3. Frequency of application of Industry 4.0 technologies organizations do not consider the fourth industry revolu-
in the evaluated cases. tion in their own culture in order to detect and visualize
OM areas Frequency Percentage new opportunities of improvements [101], also justifying
Technology management 37 42.05 the low level of maturity of the cases analyzed. A case of
Just-in-time manufacturing 25 28.41
Supply chain management 10 11.36
the maturity level optimization refers to the company’s
Operations strategy 9 10.23 HBM. It provides a flexible and simplified solution that
Quality management 7 7.95 allows monitoring and control of the entire production
processes, as well as performing algorithms and critical
quality calculations that allow the worker to identify
association was found (χ² = 7.52; 12; p-value = 0.821). This and correct problems during manufacturing processes.
result is confirmed by the absence of adjusted residuals For the maturity level autonomy, only the case of the
greater than |1.96| in any of the possible combinations. Stanley Black & Decker company was identified, whose
It indicates that a greater concentration of cases with application is associated to technology management
a level of maturity in a specific OM area was not ver- and supply chain management areas. The company
ified in the analyzed sample. Although the unfolding uses IoT technologies to keep inventory level of materi-
of Industry 4.0 has been promoted with a focus on the als and components low, through detailed information
OM areas of Just-in-Time manufacturing (for produc- and greater visibility of materials status and locations. In
tion management) and technology management (for addition, the system allows customers to track the status
the promotion of FMS and robotics), a greater number of their orders and to schedule delivery.
of the uses was not observed in the sample in these
areas. The generation of real-time data enables control
4.3.  Industry 4.0 technologies and its
of the industrial systems, therefore the analysis of this
contributions to operations management
data can be applied in a vast scope in a company [97].
In addition, the concept of Industry 4.0 envisions the The results show a predominance of the use of IoT tech-
creation of smart products through smart processes, nologies, followed by CPS and mobile devices (Table 5).
with applications in several fields, like energy, logistics, This prevalent usage of one type of technology over
sustainable mobility, etc. [98]. The diversity of Industry another is confirmed by the Chi-square test (χ² = 162.27; 6;
4.0 applications in the OM areas confirms the breadth p-value < 0.001). Although the term Industry 4.0 is often
of the possibilities of Industry 4.0 adoption expressed in used to implement CPS [7,54,58], IoT technologies are
its concepts. Moreover, the effect of the Industry 4.0 can more widely used in the sample of cases analyzed. This
be more extensive, affecting beyond production areas regular utilization of IoT can be explained by the fact that
[99] and increasing performance of the companies and this type of technology contributes to communication
welfare [100]. among the systems, also aiding in the operation of CPS,
There was a low frequency of cases classified on as well as several other types of applications. Moreover,
control and optimization maturity levels, and these few the use of sensors technology incorporated into the IoT
occurrences are registered in technology management category is one of the most mentioned in the literature
and Just-in-Time manufacturing areas. Regarding the as an integral component of Industry 4.0 [1,28,60], and
level of adoption Industry 4.0 technologies, the compa- it is still necessary for the operation of CPS [7].
nies within aerospace industry are recognized as hav- Although the additive manufacturing technology is
ing the highest maturity level of Industry 4.0 [23]. This important for Industry 4.0 [28,49,59], among the cases
level of performance is explained by the experience with investigated it was not possible to identify its use. This
high embedded technology of aerospace components, characteristic maybe explained by the fact that this kind
which enables the utilization of Industry 4.0 technolo- of technology is presenting a parallel and independent
gies in manufacturing processes. A different scenario was path of development, and is even mentioned by some
observed in the cases analyzed in this research, wherein authors as a new and independent industrial revolution
few cases have a high level of maturity. Therefore, most [102,103].

Table 4. Chi-square test for the association between maturity level of cases and OM areas.
Maturity Level of
Industry 4.0 appli- Technology man- Just-in-time manu- Supply chain man- Quality manage-
cations agement facturing Operations strategy agement ment Total
Monitoring 28 (0.5) 18 (−0.5) 8 (1.1) 7 (−0.2) 4 (−1.0) 65
Control 6 (−0.6) 6 (0.6) 1 (−0.6) 2 (0.1) 2 (0.7) 17
Optimization 2 (−0.1) 2 (0.5) 0 (−0.8) 0 (−0.8) 1 (1.0) 5
Autonomy 1 (0.2) 0 (−0.9) 0 (−0.5) 1 (1.8) 0 (−0.4) 2
Total 37 26 9 10 7 89
Notes: Frequency (adjusted residuals).

Table 5. Chi-square test for the association between Industry 4.0 technologies and OM areas.
Technology Just-in-Time Operations Supply chain Quality
Technologies management manufacturing strategy management management Total
IoT 30 (0.1) 22 (0.4) 8 (−0.3) 7 (−0.8) 6 (0.5) 73
Cyber-physical systems 10 (−0.4) 10 (1.0) 3 (−0.1) 2 (−0.8) 2 (0.0) 27
Mobile devices 8 (−0.2) 5 (−0.5) 4 (1.1) 3 (0.4) 1 (−0.5) 21
Cloud computing 7 (0.3) 4 (−0.4) 2 (0.1) 3 (0.9) 0 (−1.2) 16
Data analysis and 4 (0.0) 2 (−0.6) 1 (−0.2) 2 (0.8) 1 (0.4) 10
Augmented reality 3 (0.5) 1 (−0.7) 0 (−0.9) 1 (0.4) 1 (0.9) 6
Additive manufac- 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 0 (0.0) 0
Total 62 44 18 18 11 153
Notes: Frequency (adjusted residuals).

The Chi-square test does not identify a presence of The use of CPS are prevalent in the successful cases
association between the use of the previously men- analyzed, especially when related to technology man-
tioned technologies and OM areas in the sample ana- agement and Just-in-Time manufacturing areas. One
lyzed. This result indicates that none of the technologies example is the case of the chemical company CHT, which
present a frequency lower or higher than expected in provides a human–machine network interface system
any of the OM areas. A presence of significant associa- to monitor in real time the production and to register
tion between the use of CPS technology and the Just-in- all parameters of processes. The reduction of manufac-
Time manufacturing area was expected, confirming the turing costs as well as increase safety of all processes
statements presented in the literature [7,54]. Sometimes, realized in the facility are also important consequences.
the literature mentions this kind of system analogous The analysis of the cases shows a concentration of
to Industry 4.0 [7,54], even so it does not present a sig- the use of technologies in the technology management
nificantly higher frequency in this OM area. The litera- and Just-in-Time manufacturing areas. The cases classi-
ture also suggests that the use of cloud computing can fied in the quality management area presented low use
improve the performance of supply chain management of technologies taking into consideration the fact that
[104], however, the sample analyzed did not confirm this sometimes the cases do not provide sufficient evidence
association. Only three cases of cloud computing utiliza- to identify the technologies used. In spite of the low
tion in the supply chain management were found. Again, number of technologies observed in the cases classified
this result reinforces the need to bring to light the wide- in the quality management area, it is expected that the
spread opportunities of application these technologies implementation of Industry 4.0 in automation of manu-
in the companies’ business [98]. facturing processes could increase the precision of the
Among the areas of OM, the quality management activities, resulting in general quality enhancement.
presented the low frequency of technologies use.
Sometimes, this result can be explained by the lack of
5.  Final considerations
information about the case that harms its classification.
The other technologies, as cloud computing, data pro- The purpose of this article is to identify the contribution
cessing and augmented reality, are distributed among of Industry 4.0 applications to companies in the manage-
OM areas proportionally, except additive manufacturing ment of their operations. A total of 38 success cases were
that was not verified in any of the cases analyzed. reported in conferences database in the area, as well as
German automobile company Audi is a case with government reports about Industry 4.0 implementation.
the use of IoT technologies in the areas of technology The data collection was complemented by information
management and quality management. In this case, the from companies websites and other publications about
company uses intelligent sensors to monitor the preci- the case reported. Most of the cases analyzed were clas-
sion in the assembly processes. The device proposed fol- sified at an incipient maturity level, restricted to monitor-
lows the assembly line stages and provides advices and ing the activities. Regarding the technologies most used
feedback to employees. Another example is the Fujitsu in the Industry 4.0 implementation the results shown
IT Company, whose solution is oriented to Technology IoT as more used, followed by CPS and mobile devices,
Management and Operations Strategy areas. In the respectively.
case of Fujitsu, it could be observed that projects can Two contributions of this study can be highlighted.
be tested using IoT. Further, the company also utilizes The first is to emphasize the importance of having a
other technologies such as cloud computing, cloud ser- wider range of possibilities in terms of contributions for
vice and big data to evaluate and control the environ- operations management. Although the maturity level of
mental impact of its projects. the successful cases analyzed is still in an initial stage,

abundant number of contributions were verified. This Notes on contributors

characteristic reinforces the holistic approach to Industry
4.0 and its capacity to reach a systemic increase of perfor- Diego Castro Fettermann is an associate adjunct professor at
mance in companies. Even if some conceptualizations of the Department of Production and Systems Engineering of
the UFSC, Florianópolis, Brazil. He teaches courses in Statistics
Industry 4.0 are restricted to information exchange and and New Product Development for undergraduate and grad-
self-control of manufacturing systems [21], cases incor- uate students. He has experience in the areas of new product
porating value chain view [6,22] show great adherence development, lean systems, and mass customization.
to the sample analyzed.
The second contribution is aimed at identifying the Caroline Gobbo Sá Cavalcante is a master’s student at the
Department of Production and Systems Engineering of the
possibilities that Industry 4.0 can offer to operations
UFSC, Florianópolis, Brazil. She has experience in the areas of
management, as well as the technologies used in the new product development and IoT systems.
case. Despite the fact that an implementation roadmap
for Industry 4.0 is not presented, the success cases Tatiana Domingues de Almeida is a master’s student at the
observed reinforce the knowledge about the potential Department of Production and Systems Engineering of the
of these technologies and their potential contributions UFSC, Florianópolis, Brazil. She has experience in the areas
of new product development and business models for IoT
to operations management. In addition, the identifica- environment.
tion of technologies associated with OM areas can help
to understand how Industry 4.0 can improve the perfor- Guilherme Luz Tortorella is an associate adjunct professor
mance of the operations in companies. The know-how at the Department of Production and Systems Engineering
necessary in order to harness digital technologies and of the UFSC, Florianópolis, Brazil. He teaches courses in
Operations Management for undergraduate and graduate
take advantage of all it can do to improve manufactur-
students. He has experience in the areas of lean systems and
ing processes is a way of boarding in the fourth indus- operations management.
trial revolution. This know-how can also overcome lack
of knowledge to its implementation pointed out in the
literature [25,26,30]. ORCID
Several are the limitations that can be verified
Diego Castro Fettermann
throughout this work. First, its challenging to perform
the sampling of successful cases of Industry 4.0 imple- Caroline Gobbo Sá Cavalcante
mentation. The database of the proccedings recom- 9372-9962
mended by the literature did not present enough cases Guilherme Luz Tortorella
in order to carry out the survey. Second, the information 4665
available from these cases was insufficient and needed
to be supplemented from other sources, as company’s References
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Appendix 1. Cases analyzed

Company Description Technologies OM area Maturity Level Main source

Fraunhofer IWU e iMain Smart maintenance of machines Cloud computing, IoT Just-in-time manufacturing, Technolo- Monitoring
gy management imain-en/article-fraunhofer-iwu-imain.html
Informantis Wearable intelligent for hazardous Augmented reality, IoT Technology management Monitoring
situations gente-wearables-for-identifying-danger/article-intelligente-weara-
Acs Automotive center Self-learning manufacturing process to Data analysis and Just-in-time manufacturing, Technolo- Optimization
improve productivity processing, IoT gy management tive-center-zero-mistakes/article-automotive-center.html
Wolffkran Smart cranes with self-learning IoT Just-in-time manufacturing, Technolo- Control
gy management article-insys-microelectronics.html
Bosch Packaging Modular packaging automation Cloud computing, IoT Just-in-time manufacturing, Tech- Control
nology management, Supply chain solutions-bosch/article-it-shopfloor-solutions-bosch.html
HBM Automated measurement and quality Data analysis and Just-in-time manufacturing, Quality Optimization
system processing, IoT management, Technology manage- ment-technology-for-both-development-and-production-hottinger-baldwin/
ment article-measurement-technology-for-both-development-and-production.
Volkswagen Use of augmented reality use for picking Augmented reality Just-in-time manufacturing, Tech- Monitoring
materials nology management, Supply chain volkswagen-en/article-pick-by-vision.html
Thyssenkrupp Data management of the products into Mobile devices, IoT, Cy- Just-in-time manufacturing, Technol- Control
its life cycle and including its manu- ber-physical systems ogy management, Quality manage- duction-in-ilsenburg/article-camshaft-production-in-ilsenburg.html
facturing process. ment, Supply chain management
Lenze Managing product data in its life cycle IoT Quality management, Technology man- Monitoring
agement, Just-in-time manufactur- ity-of-electronic-devices/article-traceability-of-electronic-devices.html
ing, Supply chain management
CHT Monitoring and control of the manufac- Cyber-physical systems Technology management, Just-in-time Control
turing process. manufacturing process-control/article-cht.html
Ruch NovaPlast Monitoring and control of the manufac- Cyber-physical systems Just-in-time manufacturing, Technolo- Control
turing process. gy management ing-more-efficient-mes-hydra/article-producing-more-efficient-with-mes-hy-
Bender System integrated to ERP to monitoring IoT, Cyber-physical Just-in-time manufacturing, Technolo- Monitoring
of the manufacturing process. systems gy management, Operations strategy nal-assembly-plant/bender-final-assemly-plant.html
Voith Turbo System integrated to ERP to monitoring IoT, Cyber-physical Just-in-time manufacturing, Technolo- Monitoring
of the manufacturing process. systems gy management, Operations strategy gineering-en/article-armbrutster-engineering.html
Humanitarian Logistics Monitoring of material logistic flows Mobile devices, IoT Technology management, Supply chain Monitoring
Organization (HLO) during the distribution process management manitarian-logistics-at-hlo/article-integrated-humanitarian-logistics-at-hlo.
Audi Augmented reality system for monitor- Augmented reality, IoT Quality management, Technology Monitoring
ing assembly activities management sistive-systems-integrated-directly-into-the-workplace/article-motioneap-as-
Gifu Tada Seiki Process monitoring to improve quality IoT Quality management, Technology man- Monitoring
of the product agement, Just-in-time manufacturing
Fujitsu Process and product monitoring using Cloud computing, IoT Technology management, Operations Monitoring
cloud computing strategy
Hitach Manufacturing system with use of Cyber-physical systems Technology management, Just-in-time Monitoring

robots manufacturing


Appendix. (Continued)
Company Description Technologies OM area Maturity Level Main source
Mazda Data system integrated, with informa- Data analysis and Operations strategy, Technology man- Monitoring
tion of products, design, machines processing agement, Supply chain management
and customers available and pro-
cessed in the cloud.
Paltek Security of data transmission systems Cloud computing, IoT Technology management Monitoring
among devices and machines.
NEC Sales forecasting and inventory man- Data analysis and Supply chain management, Technology Monitoring
agement processing management
IHI Monitoring and sharing of information Cloud computing, Just-in-time manufacturing, Tech- Monitoring

from manufacturing process Mobile devices, nology management, Supply chain

IoT, Cyber-physical management
Mitsubishi electric Sharing manufacturing process Cloud computing, IoT Just-in-time manufacturing, Operations Monitoring
corporation information to improve operations strategy, Technology management,
management Supply chain management
Sanyo denki Integrated system of work instructions IoT Technology management, Quality Monitoring
available on the shop floor management
JIN Augmented reality to improve worker Cloud computing, Technology management Monitoring
safety Mobile devices
Cosel Monitoring of manufacturing process to IoT, Cyber-physical Just-in-time manufacturing, Technolo- Monitoring
improve its efficiency systems gy management
Nakamura-Tome preci- Integrated monitoring of the efficiency Mobile devices, IoT Just-in-time manufacturing, Technolo- Monitoring
sion industry of manufacturing process gy management, Operations strategy
No name Monitoring of parts during the manu- IoT, Cyber-physical Just-in-time manufacturing, Technolo- Monitoring
facturing process systems gy management
Kubota An agricultural monitoring system IoT, Mobile devices Technology management, Operations Monitoring
Polibol Monitoring of shop floor environment IoT Just-in-time manufacturing, Technolo- Monitoring
conditions for worker safety gy management ing-quality-manufacturing-process/
Inblay Technology Monitoring of temperature and vibra- IoT Just-in-time manufacturing, Technolo- Monitoring m/
tion of motors gy management
Harley-Davidson A system of monitoring and control of Cyber-physical systems Just-in-time manufacturing, Technol- Control
the productive process ogy management, Quality manage- facturing%20business.pdf
ment, Operations strategy
De Walt Monitoring of equipment and batteries IoT Just-in-time manufacturing, Technolo- Monitoring
with Bluetooth communication gy management customer%20panel-best%20practices.pdf
Stanley Black & Decker Monitoramento de níveis de estoque e IoT Technology management, Supply chain Autonomy
movimentação de materiais e entre- management ed-factory/automation/stanley-black-decker.html
gas para melhorar a eficiência
Heidelberger druck- Monitoring the operation of the devices. IoT Just-in-time manufacturing, Technolo- Monitoring
maschinen ag gy management cs_en_v1b.pdf?la=en
CNH industrial n.v. Vehicle fleet monitoring IoT Just-in-time manufacturing, Technolo- Monitoring
gy management final_11-12-15.pdf?la=en
Orbotech Monitoring of manufacturing and Mobile devices, IoT Just-in-time manufacturing, Technolo- Monitoring
control processes gy management, Operations strategy