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Industry 4.0 in production companies in Europe and the United States of America : a cross case-examination.

Gugler, Joël Benjamin (2017) Industry 4.0 in production companies in Europe and the United States of America : a cross case-examination.

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Abstract:This paper contains the research about Industry 4.0 in the context of purchasing, comparing the USA with Europe. Several American and European production companies were interviewed to examine the current state of fIndustry 4.0. Intending to gather information about their use of Industry 4.0, plans, and visions. The interviews from the companies that were using Industry 4.0 were used to write cases containing individual Industry 4.0 applications, visions and a special section about purchasing. Three firms used Industry 4.0. Further examining and comparing the applications and businesses led to more insight into the current state of Industry 4.0. Different companies have different reasons for implementing Industry 4.0: Optimize workforce, replace aging workers or decrease downtime. With company size having a positive effect on possibly implementing Industry 4.0, and the USA having more prominent companies in the food production sector, they appear to have an advantage. Companies are frequently unknowing, and thus incapable, in implementing full connectivity well. A difference in mentality is noticeable, as the European companies showed more long-term thinking, leading to them buying and developing Industry 4.0 solutions with the future in thought. A future where more machines are hooked to a system that connects everything. Thus encouraging themselves and others to pay more upfront for future connectivity. American companies mostly developed Industry 4.0 that served only their designed function; having management to approve everything, thinking short term. A further problem is availability and reliability of support personnel, them possibly being far away. The construction industry in the USA is on the brink of a revolution driven by Industry 4.0 due to a decrease in workforce and increased digital infrastructure, yet needs high investments and needs other companies to follow along. Industry 4.0 in purchasing was not a priority for most businesses.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:85 business administration, organizational science
Programme:International Business Administration BSc (50952)
Link to this item:http://purl.utwente.nl/essays/74170
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