Industry 4.0 as a Tool for Improvement in a Global Food-Supply-Chain : A Study on how Industry 4.0 can be Implemented in a Global Bakery Group
Abstract: Industry 4.0 is at the moment one of the most talked-about topics amongst industry companies. Management teams of discuss the area as something they want to implement, but since it is an ongoing industrial revolution it cannot be implemented straight away. This study is looking into the subject of Industry 4.0 and the identification of nine different technology drivers that a manufacturing company can use as tools in a production environment. However, what is less known is how the tools can be applied to a global company and its different cultures. Because even though Industry 4.0 is about decentralization and giving responsibility to every co-worker, they need to work with a common framework, thus standardization. A company that has started to look into Industry 4.0 is Lantmännen Unibake, who is a global bakery group. Therefore, they serve as the case company in this exploratory study where the goal is to conduct a pre-study that gives them, and the food industry, information and guidelines on how Industry 4.0 applies to their industry. Hence, what improvements it can lead to, what tools that will be suitable, and what the prerequisites for a successful Industry 4.0- transformation will be. The method to answer the research question starts with conducting a comprehensive literature study, followed by several interviews around Europe, and ending in an analysis of the current state with help from the literature framework. The analysis has ended in a conclusion that there is no single or easy answer to the questions since food industries might vary a lot from one to another. Although, in this case, the answer would be that six out of nine tools would be applicable in a global food-supply-chain, some needing more preparatory work than others. By implementing these tools, companies will see more engaged employees that are prone to take autonomous decisions, more accurate production planning, proactive rather than reactive working ways, fewer defects, and higher customer satisfaction. Regarding the prerequisites for transformation, the answer depends on what tools that are used. But what all cases have in common is that there is a need for aware and engaged employees. Everyone will have to be in on the change, understanding why and how, and what benefits that will come out of it. For future studies, it is suggested to look into how maturity models can be applied to these kinds of issues smoothly. The existing maturity models for Industry 4.0 are very complicated and difficult to apply; thus, they would need some development. Another area would be a cost model of the different tools, as well as a comparison of the tools and food regulations.
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