Industry 4.0 as an enabler for sustainable manufacturing: An educational perspective

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Coleman, Caoimhe
Selmia, Sara Abu
Reinhardt, Ingrid Carla
Oliveira, Jorge C.
Ring, Denis T.
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University College Cork
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The chemical engineering sector faces the challenge of meeting the continuously growing demand for their products and services while at the same time ensuring that the industry fully integrates the concepts of sustainable manufacturing. Industry 4.0 provides immense opportunities for the realisation of sustainable manufacturing. Industry 4.0 is a concept that represents the adoption of techniques and processes by industry to gain competitive advantages in domestic and global markets, and Pharma 4.0 is an iteration of Industry 4.0 that relates specifically to the pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical sectors. The emerging technologies encountered in Pharma and Industry 4.0 facilitate sustainable value creation, through the implementation of agile and smart technologies leading to highly efficient automated processes driven by an integrated manufacturing control strategy. The objective of this research is to quantify the industrial opportunities for enhanced sustainable manufacturing and in parallel evaluate the status of Industry 4.0 within 3rd level chemical engineering education and training establishments such as the National Institute for Bioprocessing Research and Training (NIBRT). The research focuses on cross-linking, as well as the implementation of Industry 4.0 with curriculum development and examines critical aspects of industrial application such as production efficiencies, eco-friendly production, and end-of-life products disposal, providing new educational sustainability benchmarks. Preliminary findings indicate that students have fundamental knowledge regarding core Pharma 4.0 concepts such as Augmented Reality, Cloud Computing and Artificial Intelligence; however, the structure of the 3rd level engineering education needs to adapt, incorporating a more connected curriculum in order to ensure new graduates can successfully engage with a rapidly developing industry and related Pharma 4.0 concepts. Similarly, training institutes indicate an increasing requirement to re-train staff associated with pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical industries, to upskill 4.0 concepts among the existing workforce.
Engineering education , Employee training , Industry 4.0 , Pharma 4.0 , 4th Industrial Revolution , Survey
Coleman, C., Selmia, S. A., Reinhardt, I. C., Oliveira, Jorge C., Ring, D. T. (2021) ‘Industry 4.0 as an enabler for sustainable manufacturing: An educational perspective’, EESD2021: Proceedings of the 10th Engineering Education for Sustainable Development Conference, 'Building Flourishing Communities', University College Cork, Ireland, 14-16 June.