We are delighted to announce that three BIFOCAlps scientific articles are accepted for presentation at the International Conference on Engineering, Technology and Innovation. These articles are:

Organizational Robustness and Resilience as Catalyst to Boost Innovation in Smart Service Factories of the Future

Abstract: “Factory of the Future” (FoF) is an initiative of the European Commission and was firstly launched in 2008. It can be seen as umbrella term for attempts to develop technologically mature and competitive as well as clean, highly performing, environmentally friendly and social sustainable manufacturing businesses and industries in the European Union. Scientists and practitioners put major emphasize on innovation: innovation enable growth and evolution of these smart service systems toward mature and interconnected cyber-physical systems. Less emphasize is put on robustness and resilience. Robustness and resilience are essentials to withstand organizational vulnerabilities and are key to provide innovation during organizational adversity. This paper at hand presents the concepts of robustness and resilience as antecedent to boost innovation in smart service Factories of the Future. They enable to build up of strong and sturdy structures that are also flexible and agile to adapt, renew, change and cope organizational vulnerabilities. Basing on a narrative literature review and an empiric investigation (questionnaire), this paper presents frameworks to become a robust and resilient smart service Factory of the Future – a system that actively foster innovation, in good times as well as times of organizational dynamics, risks, uncertainties and crisis.

 

Adoption of Factory of the Future technologies / Concept of an impact indicator system to track the path towards the Factory of the Future

Abstract: One of the main innovation potentials to maintain the long-term competitive advantages of the manufacturing sector in high-wage countries is the  adoption and implementation of Factory of the Future technologies. Different types of existing Industry 4.0 maturity models open up opportunities of defining the company’s strategic position – an important starting point. The presented impact indicator system extends those models to support the path towards the Factory of the Future. Its starting point is a qualitative evaluation of critical success factors, which allows a company to derive measures to utilize the company’s innovation potential. Based on this strategic input, the core part of the developed approach is a strategic framework for the quantitative assessment of impacts on the operational performance of a company’s value stream and innovation potential.

 

A perspective for the implementation of a path towards the Factory of the Future: the Italian case

Abstract: This work presents a case study analysis aiming at depicting a perspective for the implementation of a path towards the Factory of the Future (FoF) and Industry 4.0 (I4.0) in organizations of the Italian manufacturing value chain. Starting from the presentation and framing of related supporting initiatives at national and regional level and a review of current literature on digitalization of manufacturing, the paper analyses and discusses good and best practices along three specific dimensions: investments in FoF/I4.0 technologies, ability in perceiving and facing the path towards FoF/I4.0, knowledge transfer. A set of business cases addressing different actors of the manufacturing supply chain (large companies and SMEs, technology providers and research and innovation players) has been selected for investigating the challenges related to the implementation of the FoF/I4.0 paradigm. The main contribution of this work relates to the identification of best practices highlighting enablers and barriers for the adoption of FoF/I4.0 technologies based on a theoretical framework on three dimensions, which have to be considered in close connection for an integrated vision of the digital transformation path.