Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE credits
Innovations such as combustion engines, electricity and assembly lines have all had a significant role in manufacturing, where the past three industrial revolutions have changed the way manufacturing is performed. The technical progress within the manufacturing industry continues at a high rate and today's progress can be seen as a part of the fourth industrial revolution. The progress can be exemplified by ”Industrie 4.0”; the German government's vision of future manufacturing. Previous studies have been conducted with the aim of investigating the benefits, progress and relevance of Industry 4.0-technologies. Little emphasis in these studies has been put on differences in implementation and relevance of Industry 4.0-technologies across and within industries. This thesis aims to investigate the adoption of Industry 4.0-technologies among and within selected industries and what types of patterns that exists among them. Using a qualitative multiple case study consisting of firms from Aerospace, Heavy equipment, Automation, Electronics and Motor Vehicle Industry, we gain insight into how leading firms are implementing the technologies. In order to identify the factors determining how Industry 4.0-technologies are implemented and what common themes can be found, we introduce the concept production logic,
which is built upon the connection between competitive priorities; quality, flexibility, delivery time, cost efficiency and ergonomics. This thesis has two contributions. In our first contribution, we have categorized technologies within Industry 4.0 into two bundles; the Human-Machine-Interface (HMI) and the connectivity bundle. The HMI bundle includes devices for assisting operators in manufacturing activities, such
as touchscreens, augmented reality and collaborative robots. The connectivity-bundle includes systems for connecting devices, collecting and analyzing data from the digitalized factory. The result of this master thesis indicates that depending on a firm’s or industry’s logic of production, the adoption of elements from the technology bundles differ. Firms where flexibility is dominant tend to implement elements from the HMI-bundle to a larger degree. In the other end, firms with few product variations where quality and efficiency dominates the production logic tends to implement elements from the connectivity bundle in order to tightly monitor and improve quality
in their assembly. Regardless of production logic, firms are implementing elements from both bundles, but with different composition and applications.
The second contribution is within the literature of technological transitions. In this contribution, we have studied the rise and development of the HMI-bundle in the light of Geels (2002) Multi-Level Perspective (MLP). It can be concluded that an increased pressure on the landscape-level in the form of changes in the consumer-market and the attitudes within the labor force has created a gradual spread of the HMI-bundle within industries. The bundles have also been studied through Rogers (1995) five attributes of innovation, where the lack of testability and observability prevents increased application of M2M-interfaces. Concerning Big Data and analytics, the high complexity prevents the technology from being further applied. As the HMI-bundle involves a number of technologies with large differences in properties, it is hard draw any conclusion using the attributes of innovation about what limits their application.
2016. , 79 p.
Industry 4.0, Diffusion of Innovation, MLP, Big data, Internet of Things, Logics of