How connectivity and search for producers impact production in Industry 4.0 networks
Technological evolutions lead to changes in production processes; the Fourth Industrial Revolution has been called Industry 4.0, as it integrates Cyber-Physical Systems and the Internet of Things into supply chains. Large complex networks are the core structure of Industry 4.0: any node in a network can demand a task, which can be answered by one node or a set of them, collaboratively, when they are connected. In this paper, the aim is to verify how (i) network's connectivity (average degree) and (ii) the number of levels covered in nodes search impacts the total of production tasks completely performed in the network. To achieve the goal of this paper, two hypotheses were formulated and tested in a computer simulation environment developed based on a modeling and simulation study. Results showed that the higher the network's average degree is (their nodes are more connected), the greater are the number of tasks performed; in addition, generally, the greater are the levels defined in the search for nodes, the more tasks are completely executed. This paper's main limitations are related to the simulation process, which led to a simplification of production process. The results found can be applied in several Industry 4.0 networks, such as additive manufacturing and collaborative networks, and this paper is original due to the use of simulation to test this kind of hypotheses in an Industry 4.0 production network.
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