A few years ago, the “Industry 4.0” programs have been launched in several European countries and USA to support the development and the innovation of SMEs. The common goal of these programs is to innovate SMEs in terms of automation (of machines), integration (of lines), and interconnection (of the production system with its management). For SMEs, it would be a great opportunity. However, SME managers (who usually are at the same time, owners, operations managers, and technicians) face great difficulties in accessing funding from an “Industry 4.0” plan, due to lack of information and limits on their knowledge of new information technologies. This chapter aims at guiding a manager/technician toward the opportunities offered by “Industry 4.0” by presenting some formal models on which managers can base their decisions of innovating their SMEs.
Part of the book: Mass Production Processes