Over the last 20 years, the growing global economy has allowed manufacturers to enter new markets to serve an increasingly global customer base while also shortening supply chains and reducing cost structures.
Inventory is often considered the most valuable category of assets on manufacturers’ books. Since it has its downsides—tying up large amounts of cash and sometimes diminishing in value—it is common practice to minimize inventory as much as possible without hurting customer service levels.
This paper compares Germany’s Industrie 4.0 with the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), both of which advance the Internet of Things. The German approach supports the country’s industrial SMEs in their future adoption of cyber-physical systems while the scope of IIC research stretches beyond manufacturing to include other sectors. The German project is part of government-funded industrial policy whereas the IIC is driven by private companies and research institutions from many countries.
Global Economy, Competitiveness, Growth & Innovation, Research & Development, Research, Innovation, Operations, Information Technology
3D printing will fundamentally alter manufacturing ecosystems in certain industries. With the potential for shorter supply chains and greater end-user involvement in product innovation, this increasingly ubiquitous technology will reshape regional manufacturing clusters and accelerate cluster-to-cluster spillover impacts.
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