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Industrie 4.0 process transformation: Findings from a case study in automotive logistics

: Hermann, Mario; Bücker, I.; Otto, B.


Journal of manufacturing technology management 31 (2019), Nr.5, S.935-953
ISSN: 1741-038X
Fraunhofer ISST ()

The purpose of this paper is to explore the transformation of logistics processes to meet requirements of Industrie 4.0.
The authors follow the principles of action design research to conduct a single-case study investigating four logistics processes at a leading German car manufacturer. For the development of artifacts, the authors used Method Engineering.
The case study reveals a set of Industrie 4.0 process design principles, providing guidelines for the design and management of Industrie 4.0 compliant processes. In the second step, the authors use these process design principles for the development of a first version of a method for Industrie 4.0 process transformation.
Research limitations/implications
In the light of limited scientific knowledge about Industrie 4.0 process transformation, the paper uses a single-case study design. This is adequate considering the research goal at hand and the richness of empirical insight the authors had access to. However, a single-case design is limited regarding generalizability and demand for future qualitative and quantitative research.
Practical implications
The Industrie 4.0 process design principles support practitioners in the design and management of Industrie 4.0 compliant processes. In addition, the method developed by the authors supports enterprises in the transformation of their current processes toward Industrie 4.0.
The paper describes the first attempt – as far as the authors are aware – to derive guidelines for the design and management of Industrie 4.0 processes from the analysis of a real-world industrial setting. Likewise, the method for Industrie 4.0 process transformation presented in this paper is presumed to be the first such method developed in full accordance with the principles of Method Engineering.