Understanding Industry 4.0: Definitions and insights from a cognitive map analysis

  • Guilherme Brittes Benitez Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS
  • Mateus José do Rêgo Ferreira Lima Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS
  • Laura Visintainer Lerman Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS
  • Alejandro Germán Frank Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS
Keywords: Industry 4.0 Concepts, Industry 4.0 Technologies, Semi-Structured Interviews, Cognitive Map Analysis

Abstract

Goal: The purpose of this paper is to present an analysis of Industry 4.0 concepts and technologies through the lens of practitioners and scholars with considerable expertise in this field.

Design / Methodology / Approach: A qualitative research was conducted based on seven semi-structured interviews guided by an open questionnaire, which was developed with the main goal of understanding the concept of Industry 4.0 and the technologies that compose this industrial phenomenon.

Results: Based on this methodology, a cognitive map is presented as the result and final product of this study. This cognitive map is composed of five different clusters, each one represented by different colors, which relate to each of the questions in the questionnaire. Our analysis provides a better understanding of (i) the main concepts of Industry 4.0; (ii) the implementation stages for companies; (iii) the main enabling technologies; (iv) the concept of M2M (machine-to-machine); and (v) the scenario in Brazil. Each one of the clusters enables a discussion by bringing what is in the literature on the topic.

Limitations of the investigation: The main limitations of the article are found in the subjectivity of the results and also in the scarcity in the literature related to some topics covered in the clusters.

Practical implications: This research can be potentially useful for practitioners, since it sheds light on the Industry 4.0 concept and how technologies are used to integrate processes.

Originality / Value: The clusters answers of the cognitive map allowed comparisons with the literature and a discussion about Industry 4.0, making it possible to direct and check gaps in the research.

Author Biographies

Guilherme Brittes Benitez, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS

Guilherme Brittes Benitez, Ms. Is a PhD candidate and adjunct professor in Industrial Organization at the Department of Industrial Engineering of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) – Brazil. Guilherme is member of the Organizational Engineering Group (NEO – Núcleo de Engenharia Organizacional) at UFRGS. He has master’s and bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. His main interests include operations management, innovation, industrial organization, factory layout and Industry 4.0.

Mateus José do Rêgo Ferreira Lima, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS

Mateus José do Rêgo Ferreira Lima, Ms. Is a PhD candidate and adjunct professor in Industrial Organization at the Department of Industrial Engineering of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) – Brazil. Mateus is member of the Organizational Engineering Group (NEO – Núcleo de Engenharia Organizacional) at UFRGS. He has master’s and bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. His research has been focused on the study of industrial innovation performance from large-scale surveys.

Laura Visintainer Lerman, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS

Laura Visintainer Lerman,is a master’s degree candidate at the Department of Industrial Engineering of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) – Brazil. Laura is member of the Organizational Engineering Group (NEO – Núcleo de Engenharia Organizacional) at UFRGS. She has bachelor’s degrees in Industrial Engineering and Business Administration. Her research has been focused on the study of innovation sustainability and energy policies.

Alejandro Germán Frank, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul – UFRGS

Alejandro Germán Frank, Ph.D. is a Visiting Scholar at the Industrial Performance Center of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) – United States, and an Associate Professor of Industrial Organization at the Department of Industrial Engineering of the Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul (UFRGS) - Brazil. He is the director of the Organizational Engineering Group (NEO – Núcleo de Engenharia Organizacional) at UFRGS. His main research interests include strategic and operations management, industrial organization, industrial performance, servitization and new product development.

Published
2019-05-25
How to Cite
Benitez, G., Ferreira Lima, M., Lerman, L., & Frank, A. (2019). Understanding Industry 4.0: Definitions and insights from a cognitive map analysis. Brazilian Journal of Operations & Production Management, 16(2), 192-200. https://doi.org/https://doi.org/10.14488/BJOPM.2019.v16.n2.a3
Section
Articles