Demistifying Industry 4.0


During 2019, RMIT researchers interviewed executives from SMEs and larger companies across Australia about their views on digital operations and I4.0. This paper draws on those interviews, and experience gained from RMIT’s ongoing engagement with its partners in the advanced manufacturing sector, to examine the specific benefits, challenges and opportunities I4.0 presents for SMEs. Our in-depth interviews identified four common I4.0 issues facing each company: 1) acquiring the most relevant data, 2) integrating systems for better-aggregated data, 3) visualising the data, and 4) extracting more value from the data. Other issues and barriers identified through RMIT’s research include: a) lack of understanding of I4.0, b) low buy-in from top management, c) limited solutions tailored to the needs of SMEs, and d) data security concerns.

In RMIT Insight Series