Decision-based framework for retrofitting SMEs legacy manufacturing systems in the context of Industry 4.0

ABSTRACT

Companies are currently seeking ways of becoming and remaining competitive in their respective industries. Manufacturing companies stand facing the challenge of making their production lines and supply chains Industry 4.0 conform.

Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are among those firms that recognise the need to adopt Industry 4.0 concept. This means, they need to realise the transition from the era of Industry 3.0 to the current era of the 4th industrial revolution, which is based mainly on vertically and horizontally integration. Retrofitting legacy machines with IoT components is essential to empower the machines toward Industry 4.0. Although retrofitting considers as an attractive solution, several companies struggle to make a direction on retrofitting.

The focus in this research is on designing and building a decision-based framework (DBF) that facilitates Small-and-Medium-sized-Enterprises (SMEs) to support the decision to retrofit their legacy systems. The DBF can help SMEs comprehend the requirements for retrofitting and identifying satisfactory Industrial 4.0 solutions (cost or/and quality or/and time) to address their legacy equipment situation.

BIOGRAPHY

Abdulrahman Alqoud

Abdulrahman Alqoud is an experienced engineer in production and manufacturing systems since 2011. Worked as a production engineer for many years before obtaining a Master's degree in Management from Ulster University, UK, then went back to work on improving production and manufacturing systems. Recently, he found the opportunity to pursue his study for a Ph.D. in the same field of interest Manufacturing Systems at University of Liverpool.