Project

SME 4.0: Industry 4.0 for SMEs - Smart Manufacturing and Logistics for SMEs in an X-to-order and Mass Customization Environment (H2020-MSCA-RISE-2016)

Goal: Industry 4.0 refers to the fourth industrial revolution and technological evolution from embedded systems to cyber-physical
systems (CPS) in production. The main objectives of Industry 4.0 can be summarized as the introduction of intelligent
systems in production and logistics, the development of highly adaptable and modular manufacturing and logistics systems,
the integration of sustainable and advanced manufacturing technologies as well as the promotion of automation technology
and human-machine interaction. In the context of Industry 4.0 new ICT and web technologies act as booster or enabler of
smart, autonomous and self-learning factories facing the challenges of even more individualized and customized product
portfolio.
A great challenge for the future lies in the transfer of Industry 4.0 expertise and technologies in small and medium sized
enterprises (SME). SMEs represent the backbone of the economy and have an enormous importance in the development
programs of the European Union for strengthening the competitiveness of European enterprises. Although the high potential
of Industry 4.0 in SMEs, the main limit lies in a lack of concrete models for its implementation and application in small and
medium enterprises. Thus, this research project titled “Industry 4.0 for SMEs - Smart Manufacturing and Logistics for SMEs
in an X-to-order and Mass Customization Environment” aims to close and overcome this gap through the creation of an
international and interdisciplinary research network. Identifying the needs and enablers for a smart and intelligent SMEFactory,
creating adapted concepts and design solutions for production and logistics systems in SMEs and developing
suitable organisation and business models will be the three main objectives of this research network. The applicability of the
results is ensured through a close collaboration with a European small and medium sized enterprise (non-academic partner)
from mass customization industry.

Methods: Elastic Simulation, Case Studies, Expert Interviews, Expert Workshops, Field Studies

Date: 1 January 2017 - 31 July 2022

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Project log

Manuel Woschank
added an update
We are very pleased to inform that our proposal for the SME 4.0 follow-up project "SME 5.0" application has been positively assessed by the European Commission and will be funded. We look forward to working together in a global network of experts over the next four years to ride the wave towards smarter, more sustainable, and human-centric manufacturing in SMEs.
 
Hearty Congrats Team SME5.0
 
my wishes to all team members SME5.0
 
Manuel Woschank
added an update
On 20 June 2022 the Free University of Bozen–Bolzano hosted the final meeting of the EU project project "SME 4.0 - Industry 4.0 for SMEs". The event, which took place at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, allowed professors, researchers, Ph.D. students, and industrial partners to exchange fruitful research findings on topics related to the successful implementation of Industry 4.0 in small and medium-sized enterprises.
 
Manuel Woschank
added a research item
Purpose: This study aims to provide a measurement model, and the underlying constructs and items, for Logistics 4.0 in manufacturing companies. Industry 4.0 technology for logistics processes has been termed Logistics 4.0. Logistics 4.0 and its elements have seen varied conceptualizations in the literature. The literature has mainly focused on conceptual and theoretical studies, which supports the notion that Logistics 4.0 is a relatively young area of research. Refinement of constructs and building consensus perspectives and definitions is necessary for practical and theoretical advances in this area. Design/methodology/approach: Based on a detailed literature review and practitioner focus group interviews, items of Logistics 4.0 for manufacturing enterprises were further validated by using a large-scale survey with practicing experts from organizations located in Central Europe, the Northeastern United States of America and Northern Thailand. Exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were used to define a measurement model for Logistics 4.0. Findings: Based on 239 responses the exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses resulted in nine items and three factors for the final Logistics 4.0 measurement model. It combines "the leveraging of increased organizational capabilities" (factor 1) with "the rise of interconnection and material flow transparency" (factor 2) and "the setting up of autonomization in logistics processes" (factor 3). Practical implications: Practitioners can use the proposed measurement model to assess their current level of maturity regarding the implementation of Logistics 4.0 practices. They can map the current state and derive appropriate implementation plans as well as benchmark against best practices across or between industries based on these metrics. Originality/value: Logistics 4.0 is a relatively young research area, which necessitates greater development through empirical validation. To the best of the authors knowledge, an empirically validated multidimensional construct to measure Logistics 4.0 in manufacturing companies does not exist.
Manuel Woschank
added an update
On Tuesday, 22.03.2022, Benedikt Mark from the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Italy) visited the new Mini Learning Factory Center of the Chiang Mai University. Prof. Wasawat Nakkiew showed the new facilities with the Mini Learning Factory Center together with classrooms for students and equipment. This laboratory tour was interesting for both, Prof. Nakkiew and Mr. Mark since they could exchange their opinions on the use of learning factories and future equipment.
 
Manuel Woschank
added an update
On Wednesday, 16.03.2022, Benedikt Mark from the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (Italy) visited the Northern Science Park together with the lecturer Dr. Tinnakorn Phongthiya organized by Prof. Korrakot Yaibuathet from Industrial Engineering department of Chiang Mai University. It set the basis for interesting discussions together with other researchers from Chiang Mai University.
 
Manuel Woschank
added an update
On 11 April Prof Till Becker from University of Applied Sciences of Emden/Leer hold a guest lecture on Text Mining for automating Business processes in SMEs. 15 participants of the SME 4.0 project from University of Bolzano and Chiang Mai University as well as external companies ans researchers participated on site and online and discussed possibilities and potentials of AI and Machine Learning for SMEs.
 
Manuel Woschank
added an update
From 17 March to 19 April Dr. Salinee Santiteerakul, Dr. Chompoonoot Kasemset and Dr. Tinnakorn Phongthiya from Industrial Engineering department of Chiang Mai University are visiting the Free University of Bolzano. During their stay they will work with other researchers from the UNIBZ Smart Mini Factory lab on the research project SME 4.0. A highlight of the trip was also the visit of the NOI TechnPark in the South of Bolzano, a new innovation district that focuses on key emerging technologies and their transfer to industry.
 
Manuel Woschank
added 5 research items
Due to the fourth industrial revolution, the so-called Industry 4.0, which is changing industries worldwide, the requirements for education systems are changing. Employees that are working in an Industry 4.0 environment need a certain set of competencies from different categories. Including technical, methodological, social, and personal competencies. Engineering Education 4.0 aims to create a new educational paradigm that prepares tomorrow's workforce for these challenges of Industry 4.0. This is also achieved through the introduction of new didactic concepts such as blended learning, which combines the advantages of face-to-face and distance learning as well through the utilization of digital education tools that can help to develop those competencies. The current Covid-19 pandemic has led to a huge and rapid increase in users of digital tools in education, resulting in the need for guidelines for their implementation. Thus, this work aims to develop a reference architecture for an integrated and efficient use of such digital tools in education 4.0. The proposed reference architecture enables instructors and managers of engineering education institutions to take advantage of an integrated and synergetic use of such digital tools in a post-pandemic new normal. Further top barriers for the introduction of education 4.0 have been identified and described. Abstract Due to the fourth industrial revolution, the so-called Industry 4.0, which is changing industries worldwide, the requirements for education systems are changing. Employees that are working in an Industry 4.0 environment need a certain set of competencies from different categories. Including technical, methodological, social, and personal competencies. Engineering Education 4.0 aims to create a new educational paradigm that prepares tomorrow's workforce for these challenges of Industry 4.0. This is also achieved through the introduction of new didactic concepts such as blended learning, which combines the advantages of face-to-face and distance learning as well through the utilization of digital education tools that can help to develop those competencies. The current Covid-19 pandemic has led to a huge and rapid increase in users of digital tools in education, resulting in the need for guidelines for their implementation. Thus, this work aims to develop a reference architecture for an integrated and efficient use of such digital tools in education 4.0. The proposed reference architecture enables instructors and managers of engineering education institutions to take advantage of an integrated and synergetic use of such digital tools in a post-pandemic new normal. Further top barriers for the introduction of education 4.0 have been identified and described.
In recent years, the systematic development of competencies based on the concept of Industry 4.0 can be considered as the main opportunity to strengthen the competitiveness of both small-and medium-sized enterprises and larger corporations. However, especially within the engineering disciplines, there still seems to be a lack of understanding in terms of building, respectively reshaping, application-orientated competence profiles according to the requirements and needs of industry and society. This paper designs an exemplary competence profile for industry logistics engineering education by referring to the recent literature on competence development. As a result, professional and transversal competences are discussed in the areas of inbound, production, and outbound logistics. The results can be used as a reference for the systematic development of transdisciplinary competence development within industrial engineering education initiatives.
The integration of smart systems in industrial logistics can be seen as a major opportunity to strengthen the productivity and international competitiveness of macro-and micro-economic entities within the European Union and on a global scale, as well. Thereby, a smart system can be understood as a system that uses a combination of human-based processes supported by real-time data from actors and sensors by applying an embedded approach. After reflecting on the term smart system, this paper discusses the potential of smart systems integration by focusing on the research area of industrial logistics in manufacturing enterprises. Moreover, the authors present a framework for the usage of smart logistics in manufacturing enterprises. Therefore, based on a literature review and multiple case studies, the authors outline a set of exemplary research initiatives in the field of smart systems integration and discuss preliminary research findings. Finally, future perspectives for both research and practical applications are presented.
Manuel Woschank
added a research item
In the COVID-19 pandemic, temperature screening before a person enters a workplace can help to evaluate the patient and limit further spread of the virus. There are two types of temperature screening methods typically used in Thailand: (1) standing infrared thermometer and (2) infrared thermometer gun. This research aimed to use the Fuzzy TOPSIS technique to select the suitable temperature screening methods for 8 screening stations at the case study. Five criteria for the selection of the suitable methods were identified by experts, including cost, accuracy, process waiting time, convenience to use of the tool, and customer satisfaction. These criteria were evaluated the important rank by staff working at each screening station. Data related to these criteria were collected and then input in the Fuzzy TOPSIS technique process. The results showed that the stations that considered the accuracy, process waiting time, and convenience to use of the tool as crucial criteria were suggested to use the standing infrared thermometer. While the remaining stations were suggested to use the infrared thermometer gun. This research can contribute to academic literature as it presents the application of Fuzzy TOPSIS in the consideration of activities related to COVID-19 which is currently limited in existing studies.
Manuel Woschank
added a research item
While the fourth industrial revolution continues to change manufacturing enterprises all over the world, not all enabling key technologies are taught sufficiently at universities. For this purpose, a new lecture at the Montanuniversität Leoben was designed, teaching students of miscellaneous engineering disciplines, the fundamentals of digitalization and digital transformation, tailored to the requirements of the industry. To elevate the necessary data from these segments, a representative part of the Austrian metal forming companies was analyzed by conducting a large-scale survey. For the sake of teaching efficiency, a survey revealing students' knowledge regarding digitalization and digital transformation and preferred learning methods were also carried out. As a result, a stakeholder-oriented lecture was developed. Furthermore, a general framework on how innovative transdisciplinary academic lectures in engineering can be developed in an efficient, effective, and practical way was derived, which aims to close the gap between modern engineering education and required practical skills.
Poti Chaopaisarn
added a research item
Purpose-The purpose of the study is to investigate the impact of technological pillars of Industry 4.0 based on knowledge to adopt the supply chain performance of Thai small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) 4.0. In addition, to increase knowledge and understanding of how to apply knowledge in technology 4.0 to improve the efficiency of supply chains and organizations. Design/methodology/approach-An integrated model was developed from applying knowledge in five technological pillars of Industry 4.0 such as Internet of things (IoTs), cloud computing, big data and analytics, additive manufacturing and cyber-security. The bibliometric analysis was used to find the relationship between the technological pillars of Industry 4.0 and the literature review. The survey questionnaires were sent to Thai SME 4.0 (manufacturing aspect). Of these, 240 useable responses were received, resulting in a response rate of 65.84%, after then, the exploratory factor analysis (EFA), confirmatory factor analysis (CFA), structural equation modeling (SEM) and validity were used to evaluate the model through IBM SPSS 21 and AMOS 22. Findings-EFA showed the four groups of the technological pillars of Industry 4.0, such as support human, automation, real-time and security. These groups positively impact supply chain performance (increase delivery reliability, increase resource efficiency, decrease costs in the supply chain and reduce delivery time). Another important finding is that supply chain performance positively impacts organizational performance in profitability, return on investment (ROI) and sale growth. Originality/value-This study is a model development to support the supply chain performance and increase understanding related to applying knowledge in technology 4.0 that remains unclear for SME 4.0.
Manuel Woschank
added an update
On Monday (November 8, 2021) at 8 am DI Philipp Miklautsch and DI Alexander Kaiblinger will give a presentation on "Digital Twin: The Development and The Deployment in Industrial Logistics". The lecture will be held in the course of Mr. Miklautsch's secondment at Chiang Mai University in Thailand as part of the H2020 project "SME 4.0". Participation was free of charge.
To view the recording of the lecture (English language) feel free to visit https://industrielogistik.unileoben.ac.at/forschung-projekte/projekte/sme-40#speciallectureondt
 
Manuel Woschank
added an update
In the context of the project SME 4.0, on the 11thof November, the Smart Mini Factory team organized a bilateral and international workshop with the guests of the Chiang Mai University. This was a good opportunity to understand the research topics of each group and to discuss common interests and collaborations.
 
Manuel Woschank
added an update
On Monday (November 8, 2021) at 8 am DI Philipp Miklautsch and DI Alexander Kaiblinger will give a presentation on "Digital Twin: The Development and The Deployment in Industrial Logistics". The lecture will be held in the course of Mr. Miklautsch's secondment at Chiang Mai University in Thailand as part of the H2020 project "SME 4.0". Participation is free of charge using the following link: https://zoom.us/j/95128355366
 
Manuel Woschank
added an update
On Monday, 25.10.2021, DI Philipp Miklautsch from Montanuniversitaet Leoben (Austria) met Assoc.Prof. Sakgasem Ramingwong to discuss further research activities within WP7 at Chiang Mai University (Thailand). During his secondment, Mr. Miklautsch is working on decision-support systems to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions in freight transport processes.
 
Manuel Woschank
added a research item
Das Forschungsprojekt „MUL 4.0“ beschäftigt sichmit der Anwendung von Industrie 4.0 Technologien zur Digitalisierung respektive zur digitalen Transformation einer gesamten Wertschöpfungskette vom Rohmaterial bis hin zum Recycling. Der Fokus liegt hierbei auf der Erstellung von digitalen Zwillingen sowohl aus werkstoffwissenschaftlicher als auch aus produktions-technischer Perspektive. Im Rahmen der Entwicklung einer neuartigen Lernfabrik können so in realistischen Anwendungsszenarien zukunftsweisende Technologien entwickelt, getestet und verbessert werden. Zusätzlich legen neue Lehr- und Lernkonzepte den Grundstein zur nachhaltigen Entwicklung der notwendigen Schlüsselkompetenzen im Umfeld der digitalen (Lern-)Fabrik sowie zur Professionalisierung der Ingenieursausbildung der Zukunft.
Manuel Woschank
added an update
On Monday September 20th 2021 Dr. Erwin Rauch presented the SME 4.0 project during a project meeting in Romania in the Erasmus+ project “ICARUS - An Innovative Higher Education Institution Training Toolbox to EffeCtively AddRess the EUropean InduStry4.0 Skills Gap and Mismatches”. The project ETAT aims to establish teaching laboratories for Automation 4.0 in six Thai universities around Bangkok and to organize training events and material for teacher and students in Thailand. The project SME 4.0 is analyzingrequirements and solutions for introducing Industry 4.0 in small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). The discussion brought lot of ideas for synergies between the projects and a joint dissemination event will be planned in Bolzano for 2022.
 
Manuel Woschank
added a research item
Within the rise of the fourth industrial revolution, the role of Big Data became increasingly important for a successful digital transformation in the manufacturing environment. The acquisition, analysis, and utilization of this key technology can be defined as a driver for decision-making support, process and operation optimization, and therefore increase the efficiency and effectiveness of a complete manufacturing site. Furthermore, if corresponding interfaces within the supply chain can be connected within a reasonable effort, this technology can boost the competitive advantage of all stakeholders involved. These developments face some barriers: especially SMEs have to be able to be connected to typically more evolved IT systems of their bigger counterparts. To support SMEs with the development of such a system, this paper provides an innovative approach for the digitalization of the value chain of an aluminum component, from casting to the end-of-life recycling, by especially taking into account the RAMI 4.0 model as fundament for a standardized development to ensure compatibility within the complete production value chain. Furthermore, the key role of Big Data within digitalized value chains consisting of SMEs is analytically highlighted, demonstrating the importance of associated technologies in the future of metal processing and in general, manufacturing.
Manuel Woschank
added an update
Dr. Poti Chaopaisarn (Chiang Mai University – Thailand) was invited to give a panel speech at the 4th European Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management hosted by the Faculty of Civil and Industrial Engineering of Sapienza, University of Rome on 4th of August, 2021. The topic that was presented was “Requirement Analysis for SMART Supply Chain Management for SMEs” by Poti Chaopaisarn and Manuel Woschank. The presented topic was ongoing research in operationalizing the conceptual model of SMART Supply Chain into measurable items used for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). Key benefits of the conceptual model have been highlighted which offers new opportunities for SMEs to compete in the global market.
 
Manuel Woschank
added an update
Technical University of Kosice organized an Online Workshop to transfer the most significant research findings regarding the potential usage of technologies and technological concepts in Smart Manufacturing, Smart Logistics, and Smart Organization Models to the local SMEs. The workshop was held on May 20, 2021. The workshop was divided into two main parts. The first part of the workshop was oriented on a brief description of the project and description of developed/applied tools of Industry 4.0 within the mentioned project. Second part of the workshop was interactive, where the participants were asked to assess the potential as well as the effort of every technology/concept. Moreover, the participants had the opportunity to rank the most important implementation barriers of Industry 4.0 in SMEs. The workshop has been prepared and organized by Prof. Modrak and Dr. Soltysova in collaboration with colleagues from Free University of Bolzano and Montanuniversitaet Leoben.
 
Manuel Woschank
added a research item
The integrated planning and control of logistics processes can be seen as one of the basic prerequisites for the successful implementation of smart production systems and smart and lean supply chains, as well. Therefore, modern Industry 4.0 approaches are mainly focusing on (1) the principles of decentralization and (2) the usage of real-time data to improve the overall logistics performance in terms of promised delivery dates, work in progress, capacity utilization, and lead-times. In this context, this chapter systematically evaluates the application of decentralized production planning and control strategies, e.g., KANBAN and CONWIP, in comparison with traditional approaches, like MRP. Moreover, the impact of real-time data usage in production planning and control systems on lead-times and work in progress is investigated using a discrete event simulation based on primary data from a make to order manufacturer. The results of this industrial case study research confirm the significant potential that lies in smart production systems and smart and lean supply chains and, therefore, in the introduction of Industry 4.0 technologies and technological concepts in production and logistics systems.
Manuel Woschank
added an update
On May 14, 2021, the Montanuniversitaet Leoben conducted an Online Workshop to transfer the most significant research findings regarding the potential usage of technologies and technological concepts in Smart Manufacturing, Smart Logistics, and Smart Organization Models to the local SMEs. During the interactive workshop, the participants were asked to assess the potential as well as the effort of every technology/concept. Moreover, the participants had the opportunity to rank the most important implementation barriers of Industry 4.0 in SMEs. The workshop has been prepared and organized by Prof. Zsifkovits, Dr. Woschank, DI Kaiblinger, DI Miklautsch, and DI Raith in collaboration with colleagues from Free University of Bolzano and Technical University of Kosice.
 
Manuel Woschank
added an update
We are glad to present the recently published book "Implementing Industry 4.0 in SMEs: Concepts, Examples and Applications".
In this second book of our SME4.0 project (https://www.sme40.eu/), we present key results of our research, which will not only be helpful for practitioners in SMEs but should also encourage other researchers to conduct further research in this area.
 
Manuel Woschank
added an update
On April 30, 2021 the Free University of Bolzano organized an Online Workshop for SMEs to transfer some of the results of the project in form of a toolbox of the most potential technologies and concepts in Manufacturing, Logistics and Smart Organization. During the interactive workshop the participants had the possibility to assess the potential as well as the effort for each single technology/concept. Further the participants assessed also interactively the most important implementation barriers of Industry 4.0 in SMEs where a missing qualification of employees resulted to be the main barrier. The workshop has been prepared and organized by Prof. Dominik Matt, Dr. Erwin Rauch and Dr. Patrick Dallasega in collaboration with colleagues from Montanuniversität Leoben and Technical University of Kosice.
 
Poti Chaopaisarn
added a research item
The objective of this study is to propose and operationalise a maturity model assessment of SMART logistics for SMEs. Under the current substantial changes in business practices, the concept of Industry 4.0 (I4.0) has amplified the complexity of the business ecosystem , especially for SMEs. Several SMEs have attempted to cultivate the benefits of the technological advancement under the I4.0 concept; however, due to the increasing complexity of technological capabilities and development of adequate strategies, a rising concern of uncertainty hinders the adaptation of new management practices such as SMART logistics. The current paper intends to contribute to fill the scientific 'gap' with the question on how SMEs may assess their readiness in adapting the I4.0 and how they could plan their activities and operations to heighten firms' competitive advantage through SMART logistics in the current business environment. Overall, the authors have identified six dimensions and assigned 18 items for assessing the maturity of I4.0 for SMEs. The model has been transformed into a practical tool that can be used to test the readiness of firms in a real business environment.
Manuel Woschank
added an update
Dr. Erwin Rauch (Free University of Bolzano – Bozen) and Dr. Manuel Woschank were invited to give a Panel Speech at the Global Engineering Education Panel of the 11th Annual Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management (IEOM) in Singapore. Thereby, the following topics were presented:
  1. Rauch: The role of learning factory labs for teaching Industry 4.0
  2. Woschank: The Systematic Realignment of Teaching and Learning Processes in Industrial Engineering Education
 
Manuel Woschank
added an update
In the course of the SME4.0 projects researchers from the Montanuniversitaet Leoben and the Free University of Bolzano – Bozen submitted the following papers for the 11th Annual Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management (IEOM) in Singapore:
  1. Kompatscher, Pacher, Woschank: The LogiLegoLab: A Problem-based Learning Approach for Higher Education Institutions
  2. Woschank, Kaiblinger, Miklautsch: Digitalization in Industrial Logistics: Contemporary Evidence and Future Directions
  3. Raith, Woschank, Zsifkovits: Metamodeling in Manufacturing Systems: Literature Review and Trends
  4. Garcia, Rauch, Salvalai, Matt: AI-Based Human-Robot Cooperation for Flexible Multi-Variant Manufacturing
  5. Rauch, De Marchi, Jitngernmadan, Martin: A Descriptive Analysis for Education and Training on Automation 4.0 in Thailand
 
Chompoonoot Kasemset
added a research item
Resource planning in service industries is a difficult task and quite different from resource planning in manufacturing. Revenue management is one concept used in service industries when capacity and inventory are challenging to identify. In this study, the company case study provides chilled storage areas for customers. Different products are served and service charging is calculated based on the product's weight and storing time. Currently, the target revenue cannot be achieved. This study presents the application of revenue management in chilled storage area allocation. From a previous study, there were four classes of products based on their importance level as A, B, C and D. Among all classes, the cost of under and overestimating demand was calculated for setting up the area allocation by following the concept of revenue management. Monte Carlo simulation was applied to simulate the existing and improved systems. The simulation results indicated that the average daily revenue could be improved when the storage area allocated to the lowest priority class (class D) was limited to be equal to the average daily demand of class D. Applying the proposed policy can help in increasing yearly revenue by approximately 73,638.75 Thai Baht. Finally, the implementation of the proposed procedure was discussed under the concept of Logistics 4.0.
Manuel Woschank
added 9 research items
Industrial logistics is mainly concerned with the analysis, design, and ongoing optimization of material and information flows in industrial enterprises. In recent years, the digitalization movement has created a multitude of new opportunities to ensure long-term competitive advantages through the systematic improvement of logistics performance and/or a stepwise reduction of logistics costs. In this paper, the authors analyze the current literature on digitization in the field of industrial logistics with a particular focus on action-oriented research findings. Thereby, the authors systematically investigate recent studies on 1) technologies and technological concepts of digitalization in industrial logistics, 2) enablers of digitalization in industrial logistics, 3) risks of digitalization in industrial logistics, and 4) opportunities for digitalization in industrial logistics. Moreover, based on the secondary-data-based content analysis, the authors identify promising areas of action for future research initiatives.
Manuel Woschank
added an update
We are pleased to announce that, after an ongoing evaluation, the SME4.0 project will be extended until 31.12.2021. This gives us an additional year for further secondments, presentations, company workshops, and scientific publications.
 
Manuel Woschank
added an update
Dr. Manuel Woschank, MSc (Chair of Industrial Logistics, Montanuniversitaet Leoben) received the Best Track Paper Award for the publication "Competencies in the Digitalized Working Environment: A Concept for Engineering Education in Higher Education Institutions" which was written in cooperation with Ms. Corina Pacher, B.A. MA MA (Resources Innovation Center, Montanuniversitaet Leoben). Congratulations!
 
Manuel Woschank
added an update
From December 7 to December 10, 2020 Dr. Manuel Woschank is attending the 2nd African International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management in Harare. Thereby, the following publications will be presented as an outcome of the SME4.0 project: 1) Ralph, B.J., Pacher, C. and Woschank, M., Conceptualization of the Lecture ‘Digitalization and Digital Transformation in Metal Forming’ based on Implications from Contemporary Teaching and Learning Theories and 2) Pacher, C. and Woschank, M., Competencies in the Digitalized Working Environment: A Concept for Engineering Education in Higher Education Institutions.
 
Manuel Woschank
added 4 research items
Industry 4.0 approaches have gained increasing relevance to ensure sustainable growth and long-term competitiveness. Thereby, both logistics research and practical applications often neglect the importance of human skills development by primarily focusing on emerging technologies. Nevertheless, the structured development of employees’ competences is one of the most important requirements for a successful implementation of Industry 4.0 strategies. This paper systematically evaluates a variety of conventional as well as modern teaching and learning methods for industrial logistics engineering education in the context of Industry 4.0. As such, a comparison of methods is presented and validated by using a systematic literature review as a research methodology. The identified methods are used to guarantee and/or extend quality assurance and, individual as well as collective, professional development in industrial logistics engineering education. Moreover, the authors have conducted a laboratory experiment for industrial logistics engineering education to evaluate the learning outcomes of lectures and a form of group work as two exemplary teaching and learning methods.
The successful implementation of Industry 4.0 initiatives can only be established by focusing on a multitude of complex and partially interdepending requirements and enabling factors. Thereby, the education and further training of employees can be seen as one of the major prerequisites to understand, handle, and further develop existing Industry 4.0 concepts and technologies. This paper reviews the current state of the art regarding the usage of learning labs, as modern teaching and learning methods, for industrial logistics engineering education from a holistic perspective. Moreover, the authors discuss learning within the framework of action-based learning approaches as a reflected form of meaningful social interaction and introduce an exemplary system-theoretical and constructivist approach based on the LOGILAB at the Montanuniversitaet Leoben.
The training and further qualification of employees in terms of collaboration, digitalization, automation, sustainability, circular economy, and emerging technologies are seen as one of the most important requirements for the successful implementation of Industry 4.0 strategies. In this context, the systematic planning of educational initiatives can be used to guarantee a continuous professionalization and, therefore, a targeted individual as well as collective competence development. This paper reviews state of the art approaches for successful program planning in the context of industrial logistics engineering education. Moreover, the authors introduce a concept for the development of educational services for ILEE and preliminary validate a toolkit, respectively a scale, for the measurement of program planning success factors by conducting an exploratory factor analysis based on survey data.
Manuel Woschank
added 4 research items
In the contemporary working environment, Industry 4.0 concepts and technologies offer a multitude of possibilities to increase productivity and, therefore, the long-term success of industrial companies and small and medium-sized enterprises, as well. In this context, the systematic development of digital competencies is a major success factor of modern industrial engineering education in higher education institutions. Therefore, this paper reflects the theoretical concept of competencies within modern educational approaches, e.g., ‘Education 4.0’ in Europe, with a special emphasis on digital competencies. Moreover, the authors present the design of the course ‘logistics system engineering and material flow management’ to illustrate the implementation and application of digital technologies in university teaching. The module-based concept should further be used as a reference for the realignment of engineering lectures in higher education institutions to contribute to the professionalization of industrial engineering education.
In the modern world, the economy and society are affected by ongoing changes triggered by a multitude of influencing factors, e.g., digitalization, (g)localization, and global pandemics. Therefore, industrial engineering education needs to focus on the ongoing evaluation and the continuous development of new, respectively adapted, teaching and learning approaches to contribute to the continuous development of abilities, skills, and competences of the human workforce. Based on the implications of current teaching and learning theories, this paper focuses on the conceptualization of the lecture ‘digitalization and digital transformation in metal forming’. As a result, the authors present a module-based structure that includes theoretical lectures, practical demonstrations, group discussions, and industrial case studies. The developed teaching and learning concept can be used as a reference guideline to contribute to professionalization and lifelong learning for the industrial engineering profession.
In the contemporary working environment, Industry 4.0 concepts and technologies offer a multitude of possibilities to increase productivity and, therefore, the long-term success of industrial companies and small and medium-sized enterprises, as well. In this context, the systematic development of digital competencies is a major success factor of modern industrial engineering education in higher education institutions. Therefore, this paper reflects the theoretical concept of competencies within modern educational approaches, e.g., ‘Education 4.0’ in Europe, with a special emphasis on digital competencies. Moreover, the authors present the design of the course ‘logistics system engineering and material flow management’ to illustrate the implementation and application of digital technologies in university teaching. The module-based concept should further be used as a reference for the realignment of engineering lectures in higher education institutions to contribute to the professionalization of industrial engineering education.
Manuel Woschank
added an update
On 22 September Prof. Christopher Brown hold a key note speech on “Design Theory and Sustainability” during the first day of the Summer School Doc+ organized by the Chair for Industrial Logistics of the Montanuniversitaet Leoben. In his talk Prof. Brown gave a valuable insight how design theory can be used to design Industry 4.0 problems and Cyber-Physical Production Systems based on ethics and principles of sustainability. The key note speech is combined with a workshop on Axiomatic Design, where students will practice what they have learnt working on case studies in groups.
 
Manuel Woschank
added an update
22 MSCA projects will take part in ESOF2020
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Cybersecurity
Healthy food solutions
Industry 4.0
Nanomedicine for cancer treatment
Innovative healthcare solutions
 
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Finally, the book Industry 4.0 for SMEs - Smart Manufacturing and Logistics for SMEs, edited by Dr. Erwin Rauch and Dr. Manuel Woschank, got published by MDPI.
#H2020 #SME40
 
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In recent years, the industrial environment has been changing radically due to the introduction of concepts and technologies based on the fourth industrial revolution (also known as Industry4.0). The fourth industrial revolution should extend to the whole production and supply chain and not only, like in the past revolutions, to the mechanical manufacturing process of products and the associated process organization. Production based on the principles of Industry 4.0creates the conditions necessary to replace traditional structures, which are based on centralized decision-making mechanisms and rigid organizational forms. These structures are replaced by flexible reconfigurable manufacturing and logistics systems, decentralized and collaborative decision-making mechanisms, as well as digitally supported processes. Additionally, SMEs have moved into the focus of many economies. Due to their flexibility, entrepreneurial spirit, and innovation capabilities, SMEs have proved to be more robust than large and multi-national enterprises. Small organizations are increasingly proactive in improving their operational processes, which is a good starting point for introducing the new concepts of Industry4.0. The successful implementation of an industrial revolution like Industry 4.0 has to take place not only in large enterprises, but must also show a high potential, especially in SMEs. The readiness of SME-adapted Industry 4.0 concepts and the organizational capability of SMEs to meet this challenge exist only in some areas. This reveals the need for further research and action plans for preparing SMEs in a technical and organizational direction. Therefore, special research and investigations are needed for the implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies and concepts in SMEs. SMEs will only achieve Industry 4.0 by following SME-customized implementation strategies and approaches and realizing SME-adapted concepts and technological solutions. Thus, this Special Issue represents a collection of theoretical models as well as practical case studies related to the introduction of Industry 4.0 concepts in small- and medium-sized enterprises
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Corina Pacher, MA MA (Resources Innovation Center Leoben, Montanuniversitaet Leoben) and Dr. Manuel Woschank (Chair of Industrial Logistics, Montanuniversitaet Leoben) received the best track paper award for the contribution “Fostering Transformative Learning Processes in Industrial Engineering Education” at the 5th North American International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management (IEOM) in Detroit. The paper was selected among 500+ accepted papers from more than 50 countries. Congratulations!
 
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Dr. Manuel Woschank (Chair of Industrial Logistics, Montanuniversitaet Leoben) received the “Curriculum Innovation Award” at the 5th North American International Conference on Industrial Engineering and Operations Management (IEOM) in Detroit in recognition and appreciation of his contributions, dedication, and lifelong achievement in the industrial engineering and operations management profession. The conference included 500+ technical presentations from more than 50 countries. Congratulations!
 
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From August 10 to August 14, 2020, Dr.-Ing. Patrick Dallasega and Dr. Manuel Woschank are attending the 5th North American IEOM Society Conference in Detroit (USA). The following publication will be presented as part of the SME 4.0 project: 1) Woschank, M., Del Rio, E., Zsifkovits, H., & Dallasega, P. (2020). Comparison of Industry 4.0 Requirements between Central-European and South-East-Asian Enterprises and 2) Woschank, M., & Pacher, C. (2020). Fostering Transformative Learning Processes in Industrial Engineering Education.
 
Manuel Woschank
added 2 research items
The educational requirements of industry and society are constantly changing and, therefore, need to be realigned to the current situation where the usage of e-learning tools has constantly increased in all levels of education within the European Union and from an international perspective as well. Therefore, this paper explores new ways of teaching and learning in the context of industrial engineering by exemplary reshaping a lecture for industrial logistics engineering education. These adaptations contribute to the transformation of teaching and learning processes and offer new opportunities of learning to the students in a world characterized by ongoing trends like digitalization, autonomization, ‘glocalization’, pandemics, and environmental disasters. Therefore, the authors discuss new learning platforms by incorporating the latest teaching and learning methods for students to create an opportunity for bridging the gap between traditional teaching methods and the digital generation.
Manuel Woschank
added 2 research items
The educational requirements of industry and society are constantly changing and, therefore, need to be realigned to the current situation where the usage of e-learning tools has constantly increased in all levels of education within the European Union and from an international perspective as well. Therefore, this paper explores new ways of teaching and learning in the context of industrial engineering by exemplary reshaping a lecture for industrial logistics engineering education. These adaptations contribute to the transformation of teaching and learning processes and offer new opportunities of learning to the students in a world characterized by ongoing trends like digitalization, autonomization, ‘glocalization’, pandemics, and environmental disasters. Therefore, the authors discuss new learning platforms by incorporating the latest teaching and learning methods for students to create an opportunity for bridging the gap between traditional teaching methods and the digital generation.
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3 September at 11:50 (CET) - Virtual Room
Speakers: - Erwin Rauch, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano - Simona Losmanova Research Executive Agency European Commission - Anne-Laure Mention, RMIT University - Giuseppe Biffi, Siemens SpA - Lisa De Propris, University of Birmingham
Organiser: Free University of Bozen-Bolzano.
Join us!
More information and registration: https://lnkd.in/da_6t2Z
 
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On Thursday, 18th June 2020, Mrs. Sunida Tiwong from Chiang Mai University (Thailand) met Prof. Dr. Helmut Zsifkovits and Dr. Manuel Woschank to discuss further research activities within WP7 at the Montanuniversitaet Leoben. During her Secondment Mrs. Sunida Tiwong is working on a model for lifecycle management to improve logistics services.
 
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The Marie Sklodowska-Curie Action (MSCA) units of the Research Executive Agency (REA) joined forces and organized a cluster event dedicated to Artificial Intelligence (AI). On December 10th and 11th, more than 50 MSCA researchers, 40 European Commission policy makers and 50 REA representatives gathered to discuss the latest AI developments in the digital, health and environment sectors. The event aimed at: showcasing the contribution of MSCA projects to the relevant sub-domains of AI, enhancing synergies among projects and create/reinforce networking opportunities, particularly for MSCA fellows and promoting discussion and collect information to provide coordinated input to the relevant EU policy-making level. Out from 57 AI projects in MSCA RISE (2014-2018) also SME 4.0 has been invited to present the project results at the cluster event. The report of the cluster event can be found at https://ec.europa.eu/info/horizon-2020-msca-cluster-event-artificial-intelligence_en
 
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Industry 4.0 concepts and technologies ensure the ongoing development of micro-and macroeconomic entities by focusing on the principles of interconnectivity, digitalization, and automation. In this context, artificial intelligence is seen as one of the major enablers for Smart Logistics and Smart Production initiatives. This paper systematically analyzes the scientific literature on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and deep learning in the context of Smart Logistics management in industrial enterprises. Furthermore, based on the results of the systematic literature review, the authors present a conceptual framework, which provides fruitful implications based on recent research findings and insights to be used for directing and starting future research initiatives in the field of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and deep learning (DL) in Smart Logistics.
Manuel Woschank
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Industry 4.0 has attracted the attention of manufacturing companies over the past ten years. Despite efforts in research and knowledge transfer from research to practice, the introduction of Industry 4.0 concepts and technologies is still a major challenge for many companies, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Many of these SMEs have no overview of existing Industry 4.0 concepts and technologies, how they are implemented in their own companies, and which concepts and technologies should primarily be focused on future Industry 4.0 implementation measures. The aim of this research was to develop an assessment model for SMEs that is easy to apply, provides a clear overview of existing Industry 4.0 concepts, and supports SMEs in defining their individual strategy to introduce Industry 4.0 in their firm. The maturity level-based assessment tool presented in this work includes a catalog of 42 Industry 4.0 concepts and a norm strategy based on the results of the assessment to support SMEs in introducing the most promising concepts. For testing and validation purposes, the assessment model has been applied in a field study with 17 industrial companies.
Manuel Woschank
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Industry 4.0 (I4.0) approaches, frameworks, and technologies have gained an increasing relevance in order to gain sustainable and competitive advantages for industrial enterprises and for small and medium enterprises (SMEs), as well. Contrary to previous studies, which are mainly focused on companies, we conducted a questionnaire-based survey on inhabitants, in an attempt to examine general awareness about I4.0 concepts, in the region of South India. Our findings revealed a rather poor informational level of I4.0 concept and its components, which consequently leads to inadequate future actions and expectations. Moreover, respondents with prior information about I4.0 framework tend to have rather positive opinions and expectations of possible future trends. We emphasize that insufficient knowledge of the potential workforce regarding I4.0 concepts, especially in a region with ascending demographic development, can be considered as one of the main barriers for a successful and sustainable future development towards the 4th industrial revolution.
Manuel Woschank
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The world is currently trapped by an invisible and not tangible danger named COVID-19. Meanwhile, the coronavirus has brought the world to a standstill on a global scale. This also has an impact on our project and we have suspended all secondments for the time being for the safety of all. We wish all project participants much strength and health in these difficult times. Let us all stay at home together to give the virus no chance. Only in this way we will meet and see each other again soon. #togetherathome
 
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On Monday 16th March 2020, Prof. Helmut Zsifkovits from Montanuniversitaet Leoben, as the representative of the European SME4.0 project, joined the opening ceremony and the seminar of the project "SME Regular Level - Northern Thailand", funded by the Office of Small and Medium Enterprise Promotion (OSMEP). The project has been conducted by the SME4.0 team of the CMU. During the project, 300 SMEs will be trained on topics, e.g., productivity improvement, cost-saving, standardization, etc.. Furthermore, 50 SMEs will be selected for further in-depth consulting regarding a multitude of topics related to the areas of smart and lean production, logistics and process standardization. (Credit Pictures and News from www.chiangmainews.co.th).
 
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On Wednesday 26th February 2020, Prof. Helmut Zsifkovits from Montanuniversitaet Leoben visited Green Bus, the largest passenger truck network in Northern Thailand. Prof. Zsifkovits inspected the cargo and truck maintenance operations. Green Bus introduced a parcel express service, using the existing fleet of passenger buses. Also, the discussion included the development of a mobile application using concepts of Industry 4.0 to increase visibility and customer satisfaction.
 
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On Thursday 20th February 2020, Prof.Helmut Zsifkovits from University of Leoben and Ms.Illaria Palomba from Free University of Bozen-Bolzanp (UNIBZ) have visit Nim See Seng Transport 1988 co.,ltd. The site visit includes truck inbound and outbound operations, parcel tracking system and truck monitoring system. The visit was hosted by Mr. Chavalit Suwitsakdanon, a Managing Director of the company.
 
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On Wednesday 22nd January 2020 morning, visiting scholars Dr. Leos Safar, Dr.Jakub Sopko and Ms.Darya Dancakova from Technical University of Kosice Slovakia (TUKE) and Ms.Damiana Salvalai from Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (UNIBZ) have visited ME-SMART Laboratories at the Faculty of Engineering, Chiang Mai University. This ME-SMART Laboratories include Biomechanoics and Biomedical Lab, Autonomous System Lab, Motion and Control Lab, Smart Energy and Environmental Lab, Robot Showroom, Energy Education Development Project, Engineering for Communities and Computational Turbulence and Aerodynamics Research Lab.
 
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From 19-20 February 2020 the Technical University in Kosice (Slovakia) hosted the 4th Annual Meeting of the EU project "SME 4.0 - Industry 4.0 for SMEs". The event, which took place at the Technicom University Science Park in Kosice, gave professors, researchers, PhD students and industrial partners the opportunity to exchange ideas on topics related to the introduction of Industry 4.0 in small and medium-sized enterprises. For two days technologies, methods and strategies were discussed on how to implement Industry 4.0 in an effective and sustainable way in SMEs. The meeting, excellently organized by Prof. Vladimir Modrak and his team, gave the participants not only the opportunity to discuss important scientific topics, but also to get to know Kosice and Slovakia and was thus a cultural enrichment for the whole project team.
 
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On Tuesday 18 February Prof. Vladimir Modrak from Technical University organized an Axiomatic Design Tutorial for PhD students,  industry partners and project partners of the SME 4.0 project. At the Tutorial participated 17 persons learning the principles of Axiomatic Design as well as practicing this design theory in a case study session. The lectures have been hold by Prof. Christopher Brown from Worcester Polytechnic Institute in USA while the case study part has been moderated by Dr. Erwin Rauch from the Free University of Bolzano in Italy. All participants had to work out design guidelines on how to improve the patient flows in a typical emergency department.
 
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On the 17th of February 2020 Dr. Manuel Woschank from Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Austria, Dr. Erwin Rauch, Dr. Patrick Dallasega and Luca Gualtieri from Free University of Bolzano – Bozen, Italy, as well as Prof. Nakorn Tippayawong, and Ass.-Prof. Korrakot Y. Tippayawong visited the laboratory of Industry 4.0 from Technical University of Kosice Slovakia (TUKE) in Presov. Ing. Jozef Husar, PhD. guided the group throughout the laboratory.
 
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On 10th February 2020 Dr. Patrick Dallasega from Free University of Bolzano – Bozen (Italy) and Dr. Manuel Woschank from Montanuniversitaet Leoben (Austria) met CEO Ing. Miroslav Karaffa and CFO Ing. Radko Lapoš, MBA from ELCOM in Slovakia to present the novel production planning and control concept. In particular, the two researchers presented the outcomes of a simulation model showing the potential of MRP, KANBAN and CONWIP approaches and the influence of using real-time data in planning and control. Finally, the implementation of test results in real production was discussed with the company.
 
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On Wednesday, January 22, 2020 Damiana Salvalai, a visiting fellow from the Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano has given a special lecture "Application of Machine Learning for prediction of operator intensions in collaborative assembly tasks" to a class of master and Ph.D. students at the Faculty of Industrial Engineering, Chiang Mai University.
 
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On the 28th of December 2019, Dr. Leos Safar, Dr. Jakub Sopko and a Ph.D. candidate Darya Dancakova from the Faculty of Economics, Technical University of Kosice Slovakia (TUKE) started their secondment at the Chiang Mai University (CMU). M.Sc. Damiana Salvalai from Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (UNIBZ) joined them from 9th January 2020, and together they presented their institutions and research on RISE project meeting at Department of Industrial Engineering. Further they discussed preparations for annual meeting, planned industry visits and ongoing research at CMU within the SME4.0.
 
Manuel Woschank
added 3 research items
Based on expert interviews and case studies, the authors investigate requirements for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to support logistics management with Industry 4.0 concepts, in the context of mass customization and global supply chain challenges. In an exploratory field study, specific requirements of SMEs from Europe, the United States of America, and Thailand to use Industry 4.0 concepts in their logistics management are analyzed. By using Axiomatic Design, customer needs for the design of smart and intelligent logistic systems can be translated into a hierarchy of functional requirements and corresponding physical solutions while maintaining functional independence and minimizing information content. The determined functional requirements are used as a basis to define design guidelines for suitable Industry 4.0 concepts to support the logistics management process.
Industry 4.0 technologies enable the automation of information and material flow processes in logistics systems. Automation strategies can be used to increase the efficiency of internal transport, transition, and storage processes, and, moreover, improve service levels and thus strengthen competitiveness. Besides the material flow processes, automation based on state-of-the-art technologies, e.g., cyber-physical system (CPS), Internet of Things (IoT), and physical internet (PI), serves to optimize information flow in logistics processes. This chapter analyzes the importance and potential of effective and efficient logistics operations and outlines enabling technologies for automation in logistics systems. Based on a literature review, the authors discuss both technologies that have already reached market maturity and technologies which have high potential but still require future research and development.
Automation and digitalization of processes requires an extensive redesign of all interrelated material flow and information flow processes. A major obstacle to effective logistics management is the problem of inconsistent identification and therefore limited traceability. Derived from a steel industry case study and based on a systematic literature review, the authors will investigate potential identification of technologies for consistent identification and traceability of products along the supply chain. This includes an analysis of existing information and communication technology (ICT) approaches to identification in logistics flows, and the discussion of evaluation criteria related to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SME), development of an evaluation methodology, and finally assessment of their major potentials and suitability in SME logistics.
Manuel Woschank
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The introduction of Industry 4.0 in small and medium-sized enterprises is the topic of the EU MSCA RISE project SME 4.0 (Industry 4.0 for SMEs). The results of the first phase of the project from 2017-2018 have now been published in the form of a book with 13 chapters and over 400 pages. The book entitled "Industry 4.0 for SMEs - Challenges, Opportunities and Requirements" was published in January 2020 by Palgrave Macmillan. The editors of the book are the scientific coordinators of the project Prof. Dominik Matt (Free University of Bozen/Bolzano), Matt, Prof. Vladimír Modrák (Technical University Kosice) and Prof. Helmut Zsifkovits (Montanuniversitaet Leoben). The book with ISBN 978-3-030-25425-4 has been published as an Open Access book and can be downloaded under the following link: https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007%2F978-3-030-25425-4#toc
 
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Erwin Rauch from the Free University of Bolzano (unibz) receives the Research Award of the province of South Tyrol for young scientists. What new opportunities arise for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) from robotics, digitalization, the linkage of man and machine and artificial intelligence? Erwin Rauch from the Faculty of Science and Technology at unibz focused his research in Industry 4.0 for SMEs. His services to knowledge transfer in the field of Industry 4.0 have now earned him - in addition to numerous scientific publications on an international level - the South Tyrolean Research Prize for Young Scientists 2019. The prize money associated with this award amounts to 40,000 Euros. Rauch intends to use this money to "investigate in which sectors industry can take over biological processes from nature in order to improve production in an intelligent and sustainable way. #MSCA #RISE #H2020 #EC
 
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On invitation of the Research Executive Agency (REA) Dr. Erwin Rauch presented the MSCA RISE project SME 4.0 at the first cluster event in the MSC program of the European Commission. The event was organized from December 10-11 2019 in Brussels to bring together specialists in the field of Artificial Intelligence to discuss results and the progress in current MSCA projects as well as to underline the importance of AI in future calls of the program.
 
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On Monday, December 2, 2019 Dr. Rafael Angel Rojas Cordova, a visiting fellow from Faculty of Science and Technology, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano has given a  special lecture "Simulation with FlexSim: Industrial and Health Care applications" to the faculties and students of Faculty of Engineering, Chiang Mai University.
 
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Bangkok November 21, 2019: The members of the UNIBZ team Luca Gualtieri and Dr. Rafael Rojas meet the researchers and the director of the "Design and Engineering" unit, Dr. Nirut Naksuk, at the MTEC national research centre in Thailand (www.mtec.or.th). The unit is an important hub for local technology transfer, linking the world of research to the needs of industries. The purpose of the visit was to discuss the issues related to applied research in industrial robotics, discussing possible future collaborations.
 
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On the 3rd of September Benedikt Mark, a Ph.D. student at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano started his secondment at the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Worcester, Massachusetts. Until the 31st of October he worked together with Prof. Christopher A. Brown on Axiomatic Design (AD). Axiomatic Design is a methodology that was founded by Dr. Nam Pyo Suh at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). It consists of a systematical design approach to translate customer needs into functional requirements and design solutions. During his secondment he took part at the WPI Robotics Engineering 10-Year Anniversary Research Symposium with keynote talks by some of the most distinguished robotics researchers from Europe, US, and Asia, as well as representatives of robotics industry.
 
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During Mr. Giovanni Carabin´s secondment at the Chiang Mai University (CMU), Mr, Carabin has joined a series of industry visits with CMU researchers and postgrad-students. Thereby, he has visited the following companies:
1. September 20, 2019: Nim See Seng Transport 1998 Co. ltd. and NIM Cold Storage, the largest transportation company and cold chain warehouse in Northern Thailand.
2. September 23, 2019: Green Corp, the largest passenger bus company in Northern Thailand.
3. September 27, 2019: CP-ALL RDC Lamphun, a regional distribution of 1.100 7-eleven convenient stores in Northern Thailand.
 
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On Monday 9 September 2019, Dr.Lorenzo Scalera, a research fellow from the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy, has given a special lecture "Introduction to Industrial Robot" to a class of Logistics and Supply Chain Engineering Master students at Chiang Mai University, Thailand.
 
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During the secondment at ELCOM, Dr. Patrick Dallasega and Dr. Manuel Woschank visited Prof. Vladimír Modrák and Dr. Zuzana Soltysova from the Technical University of Kosice (TUKE) to discuss the ongoing research done in collaboration with ELCOM.
 
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Following the invitation of Prof. Sarkis and Prof. Zhu from the Foisie Business School of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI), Dr. Erwin Rauch from the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano gave a lecture at the PhD Seminar on “Industry 4.0 and the way towards smart and digital factories of the future”. In addition to a general introduction to Industry 4.0, it was shown which technologies this term includes and how Industry 4.0, in symbiosis with economic, ecological and social sustainability, can also be introduced in small and medium-sized enterprises. PhD students from different engineering disciplines in Entrepreneurship, Operations and Supply Chain Management as well as Information Technology participated to this event in Washburn Shops on September 4th 2019.
 
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On 2nd September 2019 Dr. Patrick Dallasega from Free University of Bolzano – Bozen (Italy) and Dr. Manuel Woschank from Montanuniversitaet Leoben (Austria) started their Secondment at ELCOM in Presov. The purpose of the visit is to evaluate and propose some improvement actions for the production planning and control process of the company. Based on the initial evaluation, the researchers will extensively review how information in real-time could be useful for production planning and control concepts based on Smart Logistics approaches in order to improve inventory levels and lead times.
 
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On Thursday, 08.08.2019, Dr. Manuel Woschank was invited to give a guest lecture at the Chiang Mai University – Department Industrial Engineering. Thereby, Dr. Woschank explained the concept of Smart Logistics by focusing on requirements, components, enabling technologies, potential benefits, and current developments within the Smart Logistics Framework.
 
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From 23-25 July the first International Summer School in Axiomatic Design with focus on complex systems in industry 4.0 took place at the renowned Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts, USA. Around 60 students and researchers from 4 continents participated to lectures and exercises on Industry 4.0 and Axiomatic Design on site and via live broadcast and E-Learning technologies. Participants from the USA, Italy, Austria, Colombia, Mexico and Australia learned in eight hours of frontal teaching and twelve hours of case study work how the Axiomatic Design method can be used to design complex systems and processes for Industry 4.0. The Summer School was coordinated by Dr. Erwin Rauch from the Free University of Bolzano in Italy and Prof. Christopher Brown, renown expert in Axiomatic Design and Full Professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute in USA. They were supported by local tutors who accompanied the participants in the case study elaboration.
 
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During his secondment at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano (unibz) inner the WP6, visiting researcher Prof. Theeraphong Wongratanaphisan from the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Chiang Mai University (CMU - Chiang Mai, Thailand) presented the recent results and research activities of his lab, the Motion and Control laboratory, on July 2, 2019, to the researchers of the Smart Mini Factory laboratory and the research group of prof. Vidoni. He was then invited to give a speech inner the Series of Lectures program of the Faculty of Science and technology; the lecture, titled “Design considerations of large workspace parallel robots”, was held on July 9, 2019. After that, next activities and possible cooperations inner the WP6 of the project have been discussed an planned with the researchers that will visit his lab and have secondments at CMU in the next future.
 
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On June 26th Dr. Guido Orzes and Dr. Patrick Dallasega organized a workshop on Industry 4.0 at Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. During the workshop different PhD students, including Benedikt Mark, Mirjam Beltrami, and Dollaya Buakum of the project SME 4.0, presented their research and received some comments from Prof. Joseph Sarkis (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) and the other participants. This initiative allowed a significant knowledge sharing among the different partners of the SME 4.0 project.
 
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Six professors and scientists of Chiang Mai University from Thailand and Professor Joseph Sarkis of Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) from USA are currently at the Free University of Bozen/Bolzano to work with local scientists in the EU project "SME 4.0 - Industry 4.0 for SMEs". During the stays, the visiting scientists will pass on their know-how to scientists, companies, and students in the form of guest lectures, workshops, series of lectures and their research work. In addition, local scientists are supporting Chiang Mai University in setting up an industry 4.0 learning factory laboratory giving inputs based on the Smart Mini Factory Laboratory. Vice Dean Prof. Matthias Gauly from the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano welcomed the international scientists in a meeting and underlined the importance of international collaborations in the field of research.
 
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On the 21st of June 2019 Prof. Joseph Sarkis from Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in USA, gave a speech within the seminar and workshop entitled “Industry 4.0 and sustainability: influences and relationships”, while doing his secondment within the project SME4.0 at the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. The event was organized by Dr. Patrick Dallasega and Dr. Guido Orzes.
 
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On 21 June, a delegation from Chiang Mai University and Bangkok Science Park Thailand visited the Smart Mini Factory and NOI Tech Park in Bolzano. In the NOI TechPark, Prof. Dominik Matt presented the Fraunhofer Italia Research to the participants as the first and only Fraunhofer Institute in Italy. Sepp Walder introduced the participants to the Noi TechPark in Bolzano and led them through various laboratories of the newly opened technology park. Dr. Erwin Rauch guided the participants through the Smart Mini Factory Laboratory for Industry 4.0 of the Free University of Bozen-Bolzano. At the visit following persons took part: Dr. Nirut Naksuk, Manager at MTEC - National Metal and Materials Technology Center at the Science Park Bangkok, Prof. Wasawat Nakkiew, Head of the Department of Industrial Engineering at Chiang Mai University, Dr. Warisa Wisittipanich, phd-student Adirek Baisukhan and phd-student Dollaya Buakum.
 
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Content:
· Introduction to Axiomatic Design for the Design of Complex Systems (Online Lectures resp. on-site conducted Case Studies)
Lecturers and Local Experts:
· Prof. Christopher Brown (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)
· Asst. Prof. Erwin Rauch (Free University of Bolzano)
· Prof. Helmut Zsifkovits (Montanuniversitaet Leoben)
· Ing. Luca Gualtieri (Free University of Bolzano)
· Dr. Carlos Meisel (Universidad de Ibagué)
Registration:
 
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The Free University of Bolzano started a collaboration for radio lectures with the radio channel RAI Sender Bozen. Three of this radio lectures are dedicated to the topic “Industry 4.0 for SMEs” reporting about the results of the EU project SME 4.0 and about further efforts to support the digital transformation of small and medium-sized companies. The radio lectures were held by Dr. Erwin Rauch who explained in the first radio lecture the history of Industry 4.0 and what were the main developments over the last years. In the second lecture he talked about the main results of the first phase of the project reporting about the specific requirements that SMEs are facing when introducing Industry 4.0 in their own company. The third lecture introduces the Smart Mini Factory laboratory, which is a learning factory lab for qualifying students and professionals from SME companies and therefore supports them in the introduction of Industry 4.0 technologies in practice.
All broadcasts can be listened to under the following link: http://www.raibz.rai.it/feed.php?id=83
 
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On Thursday (June 13th 2019), Prof. Nakorn Tippayawong, Ass.-Prof. Korrakot Y. Tippayawong and Dr. Manuel Woschank conducted several company visits in Chiang Mai and Lampang. Thereby, a special focus was placed on the process improvement of SMEs in the food industry (i.e., pork skin producers).
 
Manuel Woschank