Industry 4.0 paradigm: The viewpoint of the small and medium enterprises
The pervasive diffusion of Information and Communication technologies (ICT) and automation technologies are the prerequisite for the preconized fourth industrial revolution: the Industry 4.0 (I4.0). Despite the economical efforts of several governments all over the world, still there are few companies, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs), that adopt or intend to adopt in the near future I4.0 solutions. This work focus on key issues for implementing the I4.0 solutions in SMEs by using a specific case example as a test bench of an Italian small manufacturing company. Requirements and constraints derived from the field experience are generalised to provide a clear view of the profound potentialities and difficulties of the first industrial revolution announced instead of being historically recognised. A preliminary classification is then provided in view to start conceiving a library of Industry 4.0 formal patterns to identify the maturity of a SME for deploying Industry 4.0 concepts and technologies.