Studying the Technologies of Industry 4.0 with Influence on Product Development using Factor Analysis
Editor: Ekströmer, Philip; Schütte, Simon and Ölvander, Johan
Author: Schuh, Guenther; Doelle, Christian; Mattern, Christian; Modler, Marie-Christine; Schloesser, Sebastian
Institution: RWTH Aachen University
Technological changes in the context of Industry4.0 affect industrial processes on a large scale. Whereas Industry4.0 has become a common topic in production-oriented research areas, the influence on product development has not been thoroughly analysed yet. The progressing digitisation in industrial and everyday life causes an increase of networking and of data exchange. Newly developed abilities of collection, exchange, storage and analysis of mass data open up new possibilities and lead to harsher settings in international competition at the same time. Globalisation and technological progress like the miniaturisation of hardware and software components result in more complex products. These events caused a shift from mechanical to electrical and software engineering as the main focus regarding the involved disciplines in product development. This is considered as an ongoing trend because products are continuously getting smarter and more autonomous. However, the systems and technologies currently being used for an interdisciplinary and parallel product development do not match up to the resulting challenges. New technologies from Industry4.0 are expected to meet these challenges. They operate as support systems and foster product development by enhancing data exchange and consistency. This paper offers a methodical approach to study influences from new technologies arising from the developments in the context ofIndustry4.0 on product development. At first, the required technologies are extracted from relevant related research. Since there is no standardised and generally accepted form and definition for trends and technologies that are developed in Industry4.0, they are subsequently systematised using an appropriate framework. To validate this framework and the comprised technologies, a qualitative Factor Analysis is performed in two stages. In each stage hypotheses are proposed and tested using a null hypothesis and an alternative hypothesis. The hypotheses of the first stage only address the elements of the framework. In the second stage, the assignment of each technology to a field within the framework is validated by determining the acceptance or rejection of each null hypothesis. Finally, the identified technologies are defined with generic descriptions. The knowledge about the influence of technologies on product development supports technology selection and implementation as well as spotting future technologies. With the help of the developed framework, practitioners are enabled to deduce and analyse influences of technologies on product development.