Innovation landscape and challenges of smart technologies and systems - a European perspective

2019-11-04T13:45:15Z (GMT) by Simon Micheler Yee Goh Niels Lohse
Latest developments in smart sensor and actuator technologies are expected to lead to a revolution in future manufacturing systems’ abilities and efficiency, often referred to as Industry 4.0. Smart technologies with higher degrees of autonomy will be essential to achieve the next breakthrough in both agility and productivity. However, the technologies will also bring substantial design and integration challenges and novelty risks to manufacturing businesses. The aim of this paper is to analyse the current landscape and to identify the challenges for introducing smart technologies into manufacturing systems in Europe. Expert knowledge from both industrial and academic practitioners in the field was extracted using an online survey. Feedback from a workshop was used to triangulate and extend the survey results. The findings indicate three main challenges for the ubiquitous implementation of smart technologies in manufacturing are: i) the perceived risk of novel technologies, ii) the complexity of integration, and iii) the consideration of human factors. Recommendations are made based on these findings to transform the landscape for smart manufacturing.