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Challenges and barriers to connecting World Class Manufacturing and continuous improvement processes to Industry 4.0 paradigms

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This paper exposes the difficulties in integrating “Industry 4.0 Practices” and “World- Class Manufacturing” due to the rapid expansion of production systems and the increasingly complex data monitoring. The applied methodology was to study multiple cases with the aid of a semi-structured questionnaire. The analysis comprised responses of 15 large companies with different expertise from five countries and three continents. The results show that when a company’s strategy is linked to Industry 4.0 practices and the World-Class Manufacturing method, they boost productivity by monitoring the shop floor, applying analytical tools, and spreading the organisational culture aimed at improving processes. The results also indicate that human resources are essential in this integration. The conclusion indicates robust barriers to the increasing progress of these procedures, such as the costs associated with the use of technologies, the lack of knowledge of the applied methods and tools, the lack of trained and qualified human resources, and the resistance of people to the use and application of the newly adopted practices. The continuous improvement practices do not keep up with the speed of development that the Industry 4.0 practices propose, requiring studies directed to “World-Class Manufacturing” and “Industry 4.0 practices”. Although there is a coexistence of improvement and innovation in world-class manufacturers, the literature has not yet provided a complete understanding of how this coexistence can be achieved at the manufacturing level. Therefore, the paper presents the main actions to overcome these barriers.
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Bibliogr. 36 poz., tab., wykr.
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  • Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
  • Escola Politécnica da Universidade de São Paulo, Brazil
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