SUNConferences, 29th Annual Conference of SAIIE

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Mncedisi Trinity Dewa, Tinashe Tendayi, Mlondolozi Gxamza, Lilian Ganduri, Lungile Nyanga, Dennit Adams

Last modified: 2018-10-09


There has been much discussion on the subject of the fourth industrial revolution, also known as Industry 4.0, over the past decade in academia, industry and media. It is generally agreed and documented that the shift towards Industry 4.0 started in Germany and rapidly spread to the rest of the developed economies such as the United States and Japan. What has received little attention or documentation, is the use of Industry 4.0 in developing economies such as South Africa. This paper attempts to shed more light on the state of preparedness of South African companies to embrace and implement Industry 4.0. A comprehensive literature study is conducted, from which the critical technological framework for Industry 4.0 is outlined. From this information, an empirical study is then performed through a survey of carefully selected companies in South Africa. From this survey, the preparedness of the investigated firms with regards to awareness and implementation of Industry 4.0 is identified. The paper then concludes with recommendations on the way forward if South African companies are to ensure that they don’t get ‘left behind the train’ of Industry 4.0.

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