March 22, 2018

As a follow-up to the workshop on 22 September 2017, in which the requirements of SMEs regarding Industry 4.0 concepts were discussed, a second workshop on "Axiomatic Supply Chain design for Industry 4.0" took place at WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute) in Worcester, MA. The meeting was hosted by Prof. Chris Brown (WPI) and Visiting Researcher Prof. Helmut Zsifkovits (Montanuniversitaet Leoben, Austria). Based on the results from the September workshop, concepts and methods from supply chain design and axiomatic design were brought together in order to develop supply chains in a structured and systematic way. A total of 11 people from small and medium sized enterprises and some graduate students participated in this workshop in the Sports & Recreation Center at WPI. After introductory presentations given by the hosts, participants worked interactively on a decomposition of required functions and physical solutions. This rather novel approach produced good results and seems to offer much potential. Follow-up activities and joint publications are planned.