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2. ENGINEERING AND TECHNOLOGY
Industry 4.0 (I4.0) brings unprecedented opportunities for Manufacturing Corporations poised to implement Digital Business models; DigitALIZAtion. Industry Standards have been developed for the core technologies of the I4.0 Digital Supply Chains. Manufacturing equipment must now be procured to integrate seamlessly at any point in these novel supply chains. The aim of this study is to determine if an I4.0 Equipment Procurement Process (I4.0-EPP) can be developed which reduces the risk of equipment integration issues. It asks; Can the form of the equipment be specified, so that it correctly fits into the I4.0 Digital Supply Chain, to facilitate the desired I4.0 Digital Business function? An Agile Development Methodology was utilized to design the I4.0-EPP techniques and tools, for use by Technical and Business Users. Significant knowledge gaps were identified during User Acceptance Testing (UAT) by Technical Practitioners, over four equipment procurement case studies. Several iterations of UAT by MEng students, highlighted the requirement for Requirements Guides and specialized workbooks. These additional tools increased the understandability of the technical topics to an acceptable level and delivered very accurate results across a wide spectrum of users. This research demonstrates that techniques and tools can be developed for an I4.0-EPP which are accurate, feasible and viable, but, as with Six Sigma, will only become desirable, when mandated by Corporate Business Leaders. Future research should focus on implementing the ALIZA Matrix with Corporate Practitioners in the Business Domain. This approach will bring the ALIZA techniques and tools, developed during this study, to the attention of Corporate Business Leaders with the authority to sponsor them.
LOUGHLIN, S. (2021) Development of a Framework for Managing the Industry 4.0 Equipment Procurement Process for the Irish Life Sciences Sector, Doctoral Thesis, Technological University Dublin. DOI:10.21427/RFPK-J040