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Special Issue "Industry 4.0 Technologies for Global Challenges"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Management".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 August 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Tariq Masood
E-Mail Website1 Website2
Guest Editor
1. Department of Design, Manufacturing and Engineering Management, University of Strathclyde, Glasgow G1 1XJ, UK
2. Department of Engineering, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 1PZ, UK
Interests: computational modelling; design; energy systems; electrical network modeling; quantification of local and global market drivers; smart/micro grids enabled by Industry 4.0 technologies; machine learning; blockchain; smart contracts; Bayesian decision making; multidimensional data visualization; portfolio optimization
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Miying Yang
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Group of Sustainability, School of Management, Cranfield University, Cranfield MK43 0AL, UK
Interests: digital sustainability; sustainable supply chains; Industry 4.0; sustainable manufacturing
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Prof. Dr. Jie Wang
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
Center for Sustainable Development & Global Competitiveness, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
Interests: intelligent manufacturing; smart city, Industry 4.0; sustainable development; global competitiveness

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The world has been facing increasing global challenges and crises, such as flood, wildfire, and the COVID-19 pandemic. These global challenges have greatly affected the natural environment and human activities and will threaten the development of society if we continue our current production and consumption behavior. However, the evolution of Industry 4.0 technologies offers innovative opportunities for tackling such global challenges, e.g., using robotics for reconfiguring and ramping up ventilator production in the face of COVID-19 [1,2], using big data and AI for tracking pandemics, such as COVID-19, and using computer vision, artificial intelligence, and big data (sometimes combined with drones or social media technologies) to conduct preliminary damage assessments caused by earthquakes, floods, or fires.

This Special Issue aims to focus on research interfacing Industry 4.0 technologies with global challenges related, in particular, to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) [3]. The following research topics, SDGs, and Industry 4.0 technologies would be of particular interest:

  • Research topics:
    • Disaster/disruption/change management and resilience, particularly related to operations, supply chains, infrastructure, and pandemics, e.g., COVID-19 [1,2,4,5];
    • Adoption and management of Industry 4.0 technologies [6–11];
    • Design of smart and autonomous systems/vehicles and smart factories [12];
    • Digital/smart/intelligent manufacturing;
    • Digital supply chains;
    • Sustainable development;
    • Resource and energy efficiency;
    • Systems dynamics;
    • Smart cities and smart infrastructure;
    • Smart water management;
    • Sustainable manufacturing/supply chains/logistics;
    • Environmental and social sustainability.
  • SDGs:
    • SDG 9: Industry, innovation, and infrastructure;
    • SDG 11: Sustainable cities and communities;
    • SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production;
    • SDG 3: Good health and well-being;
    • SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation.
  • Examples of Industry 4.0 technologies:
    • Augmented/virtual/mixed reality [7–11];
    • Artificial intelligence;
    • Machine learning;
    • Big data [5];
    • Digital twins [1,2,9];
    • Internet of things.

In addition to original academic research articles, this Special Issue welcomes industrial and policy perspectives on these topics from practitioners in industry, government, and other business practices, as well as academic articles from scholars working across disciplines, including Industry 4.0, engineering, operations management, disaster management, supply chain resilience, information and communications technologies, and sustainable development. Submissions may also include (structured) literature reviews, industrial surveys, methodology articles, and datasets.

Dr. Tariq Masood
Dr. Miying Yang
Dr. Jie Wang
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1900 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Industry 4.0
  • Society 5.0
  • digital technologies
  • global challenges
  • disaster management
  • pandemics
  • COVID-19
  • disruption management
  • resilience
  • augmented reality
  • virtual reality
  • mixed reality
  • machine learning
  • digital twins
  • Internet of things
  • IoT
  • sustainable development
  • management of technology
  • smart cities

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Article
Enhancing Vocational Training in the Post-COVID Era through Mobile Mixed Reality
Sustainability 2021, 13(11), 6144; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13116144 - 29 May 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1210
Abstract
COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions have had a massive impact on engineering education, particularly vocational and practical aspects of training. In this study, we present a novel mixed reality (MR) tool to simulate and guide learners through a simple fault diagnosis task of [...] Read more.
COVID-19 and the resulting restrictions have had a massive impact on engineering education, particularly vocational and practical aspects of training. In this study, we present a novel mixed reality (MR) tool to simulate and guide learners through a simple fault diagnosis task of a three-phase power supply. The tool was created as a web-based application that could be accessed from budget smartphones in order to cover the majority of users. Comparisons were made between novices using MR guidance and those with more experience in the task who did not have additional guidance, finding that the novices outperformed the experts across all metrics measured. This indicates that MR could be a valuable tool to supplement traditional vocational learning methods, particularly at a time when physical access to equipment and facilities is scarce. MR has applications across the engineering industry, but the target task of a three-phase power supply was chosen as it has particular relevance to the offshore wind industry, which faces a shortage of skilled engineers and technicians in the coming years. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industry 4.0 Technologies for Global Challenges)
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Review

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Review
Supply Chain Operations Management in Pandemics: A State-of-the-Art Review Inspired by COVID-19
Sustainability 2021, 13(5), 2504; https://doi.org/10.3390/su13052504 - 25 Feb 2021
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3714
Abstract
Pandemics cause chaotic situations in supply chains (SC) around the globe, which can lead towards survivability challenges. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that has severely affected global business dynamics. Similar vulnerabilities have been caused by other outbreaks in the [...] Read more.
Pandemics cause chaotic situations in supply chains (SC) around the globe, which can lead towards survivability challenges. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is an unprecedented humanitarian crisis that has severely affected global business dynamics. Similar vulnerabilities have been caused by other outbreaks in the past. In these terms, prevention strategies against propagating disruptions require vigilant goal conceptualization and roadmaps. In this respect, there is a need to explore supply chain operation management strategies to overcome the challenges that emerge due to COVID-19-like situations. Therefore, this review is aimed at exploring such challenges and developing strategies for sustainability, and viability perspectives for SCs, through a structured literature review (SLR) approach. Moreover, this study investigated the impacts of previous epidemic outbreaks on SCs, to identify the research objectives, methodological approaches, and implications for SCs. The study also explored the impacts of epidemic outbreaks on the business environment, in terms of effective resource allocation, supply and demand disruptions, and transportation network optimization, through operations management techniques. Furthermore, this article structured a framework that emphasizes the integration of Industry 4.0 technologies, resilience strategies, and sustainability to overcome SC challenges during pandemics. Finally, future research avenues were identified by including a research agenda for experts and practitioners to develop new pathways to get out of the crisis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Industry 4.0 Technologies for Global Challenges)
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