Investigation into the Economic Viability of Industry 4.0 Practices in a Small Start-Up Setting: A Case Study

Joseph Neil Starmer Lindley, University of Texas at El Paso


Industry 4.0 has been a hot button topic since the first rumouring’s of a fourth industrial revolution taking place in the early 2010s. Since that time many companies have attempted to transform their process, procedures, and systems to become streamlined, efficient, and overall, more profitable. An example of this can be seen in companies such as Microsoft and IBM, Mitsubishi and Siemens who have gained a stronger foothold in their respective markets by their efficient implementation of Industry 4.0. Before we can address how small start-up companies can begin to compete with these behemoths, we must address the question; what is Industry 4.0? What is it made up of? Once these questions are answered one can investigate how it has been implemented into industry and manufacturing. Herein is described the review of the relevant concepts that Industry 4.0 is comprised of their respective uses in industry and how they can benefit manufacturing and production shall also be discussed. An analytical case study of a start-up company will be performed thereby allowing practical examples to be addressed to determine whether implementation is affordable, feasible, and most importantly for stakeholders, profitable. The outcomes of this study would benefit the company on which the data was collected, by providing them real solutions to issues addressed which are economically viable. It would also benefit other similar companies by providing a framework within which to work in order to either apply directly the methods discussed here or adapt the methodologies used by using a similar method of addressing issues and potential resolutions to them. This work will also benefit the Industry 4.0 and Smart Manufacturing research world by addressing the where implementation has occurred and areas for improvement in the manufacturing world. Furthermore, the current gaps problem areas regarding this implementation are addressed and solutions posited as part of the framework. Areas of further interest and future work is also discussed.

Subject Area

Industrial engineering

Recommended Citation

Lindley, Joseph Neil Starmer, "Investigation into the Economic Viability of Industry 4.0 Practices in a Small Start-Up Setting: A Case Study" (2022). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI30242101.