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.
In the networked enterprise, the interoperability is seen as a requirement for ensuring the collaboration among partners. Therefore, an assessment for identifying the enterprise’s strengths and weakness regarding interoperability is paramount. It involves determining the gaps between where enterprises envision themselves in the future and the enterprises’ current states. Indeed, a variety of approaches were proposed in the literature. However, based on surveys, existing methods are assessing specific aspects of interoperability and focusing only on one kind of measurement. The objective of this work is, therefore, to propose a holistic assessment approach to support the interoperability development. To do so, the criteria regarding the interoperability aspects and measurements were identified and are being formalised. The enterprise systems associated with the criteria are being modelled based on Enterprise Architecture techniques. This modelling supports the identification of existing interdependencies between criteria. Finally, case studies will be used to validate the proposed approach.