Title: The impact of intelligent automation in internal supply chains

Authors: Tiago Coito; Joaquim L. Viegas; Miguel S.E. Martins; Bernardo Firme; João Figueiredo; Susana M. Vieira; João Miguel Da Costa Sousa

Addresses: IDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal ' IDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal ' IDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal ' IDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal ' IDMEC, Universidade de Évora, Évora, Portugal ' IDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal ' IDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal

Abstract: Nowadays, industry is being forced to produce smaller and more diverse batches, increasing the complexity of internal supply chains. Data has become a valuable asset, supporting the development of intelligent automation solutions. Decision support systems, which leverage data, require the automation pyramid to be more flexible, as information needs to be exchanged simultaneously and in real-time with all automation layers. This paper proposes a framework for intelligent automation to deal with current challenges in acquisition and management of data in industrial settings, towards feeding decision support systems. It frames the topic within the scope of internal supply chains, addressing the framework impact on work practices within the organisation. Two real industrial implementation cases are examined, in the wood and chemical industries. Results help practitioners address the most impactful challenges affecting the performance of internal supply chains, by developing systems which are faster, more flexible, efficient and with improved quality.

Keywords: intelligent automation; SCADA; manufacturing execution systems; MES; internal supply chain; Industry 4.0.

DOI: 10.1504/IJISM.2021.10032559

International Journal of Integrated Supply Management, 2021 Vol.14 No.1, pp.1 - 27

Received: 31 Jan 2020
Accepted: 28 Apr 2020

Published online: 11 Mar 2021 *

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