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Industry 4.0 is considered a new industrial stage in which vertical and horizontal manufacturing processes integration and product connectivity can help companies to achieve higher industrial performance. However, little is known about how industries see the potential contribution of the Industry 4.0 related technologies for industrial performance, especially in emerging countries. Based on the use of secondary data from a large-scale survey of 27 industrial sectors representing 2225 companies of the Brazilian industry, we studied how the adoption of different Industry 4.0 technologies is associated with expected benefits for product, operations and side-effects aspects. Using regression analysis, we show that some of the Industry 4.0 technologies are seen as promising for industrial performance while some of the emerging technologies are not, which contraries the conventional wisdom. We discuss the contextual conditions of the Brazilian industry that may require a partial implementation of the Industry 4.0 concepts created in developed countries. We summarize our findings in a framework, that shows the perception of Brazilian industries of Industry 4.0 technologies and their relations with the expected benefits. Thus, this work contributes by discussing the real expectations on the future performance of the industry when implementing new technologies, providing a background to advance in the research on real benefits of the Industry 4.0.
In this paper we analyzed the perception of the Brazilian Industry about the benefits of Industry 4.0 related-technologies for three industrial performance metrics: product, operational and side-effects. Our results showed that some of these technologies are positively associated to the expected industrial benefits while others are still at a very early stage of adoption and, thus, without clear expected benefits. We discussed reasons for the lack of expectation of benefits for some of the promising technologies of the Industry 4.0 in this specific emerging industry. Our main contribution to the state-of-the-art is that we show how these technologies are used and seen in an emerging economy, since most of the studies on this matter have been conducted in developed countries. In this sense, we showed how different set of technologies are associated with different expected benefits. We showed that the Brazilian industry has not yet taken advantage from some promising technologies such as product big data analysis, cloud services for manufacturing, among other technologies for the digitalization of the factory and for the analysis of the product performance. A further contribution is that we could not find any relation between the Industry 4.0 and the expected benefits for sustainability and labor claims [SIDEEFFECTS], which represents a different pattern when comparing to developed economies. Based on prior evidences from developed countries, we argued that since side-effects tend to be at the second level of priority in the industries, after achieving operational and product performance benefits, the Brazilian industry is still not focused on this aspect, but this deserves future investigation.