The LIVE4.0 project aims at improving SMEs education in the machining field promoting a better use of Industry 4.0 instruments and creating effective learning experiences for their personnel at the job shop.

Education on how to achieve a fruitful digitalization of processes to improve their flexibility, resilience and efficiency will be the learning target. LIVE4.0 will exploit the European SMEs huge improvement margin by applying new I4.0 tools to make the transition towards a more advanced and efficient way of manufacturing.

LIVE4.0 will provide the knowledge and the experience of partner Universities, it will also bring the example of a partner SME that will be active in providing the user point of view in the content creation and provision, from which the project tagline: “from the SMEs for the SMEs”. New and flexible tools as learning nuggets and learning paths will be coupled with live and hands on experience at the job shop to tailor the learning experience to the SMEs needs.

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LIVE4.0 - Survey of the SMEs’ needs and preferred topics of Industry 4.0 applied to Manufacturing

Executive Summary

This deliverable includes the analysis of the results provided by a survey launched in four different countries (Czech Republic, Germany, Italy and Spain) covering topics related to the size of the company, knowledge of Industry 4.0 solutions implementation level and use of Industry 4.0 tools, and the willingness of the companies to invest in courses related to Industry 4.0.

The survey was designed to be easy to answer and to take as little time as possible. The average time was lower than 15 minutes and consisted of 50 questions, combining yes/no questions, multiple choice questions and open questions. A total number of 67 answers were obtained combining the answers from the four countries, giving a small but heterogonous sample, which could provide interesting insights about how companies perceive Industry 4.0.

Although all the samples were analysed in depth, it is worth mentioning that around 75% of the companies answered yes to the question about receiving Industry 4.0 formation, being around 60% the ones willing to pay for these courses. This result itself just prove the general lack of knowledge with regard to Industry 4.0 and the real necessity showed by the companies about being taught in Industry 4.0.

The survey also shows that it is a very long way to go regarding the introduction of Industry 4.0 in the interviewed manufacturing companies as, for instance, CAD solutions are still prevalent in comparison to simulation or even CAM approaches. Also, another clear example is that only 25% of the companies used additive manufacturing. The experience with small batch productions, although it is quite common, is treated with a rigid system, which seems not to be the most appropriate approach. It should be also highlighted that data processing is mainly based on storage on data analysis and only 5% of the companies established automatic process monitoring. The implemented of Machine2Machine protocols is low, just close to 25%. These are some examples, among others, which justify the necessity of developing new learning approaches in order to introduce Industry4.0 in the companies.


Industry 4.0 gravitates around one core rationale: recent progress in a variety of digital technologies has created unprecedented possibilities that result in huge improvements in operational effectiveness for manufacturing industries. A necessary condition for the European productive sector to be at the global forefront of technology, ensuring job creation and sustainable growth, is to have access to innovative, entrepreneurial, highly skilled research cross-disciplinary engineers in the fields of production engineering and digital manufacturing technologies. In reply to these needs, DIGIMAN4.0 ITN will provide world excellent research training to 15 ESRs (Early Stage Researchers) in the field of digital manufacturing technologies for Industry 4.0 production.

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Machining process planning and preparation has a key role in machining, as an important part of industrial production. Process planning ensures that the machining process results in accurate, quality and productive manufacturing. So far, decisions made during planning were made mainly based on experience of skilled professionals. Now, new AI systems can contribute and support process planning to shorten the time needed and get as close to optimal results as possible.

This activity aims at increasing awareness, skills and application of these AI support systems that can assist trained employees with their machining process planning and preparation tasks. This activity will result in courses and workshops (as well as learning materials) that will train employees to use these systems and therefore increase the capability, productivity and effectiveness of the SMEs.

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Our Location

Politecnico di Milano
PoliMill Laboratory
Building B23
Via G. La Masa 1,
20156 Milano