Industry 4.0 could help improve competitiveness of the U.S. woodworking industry. Digitization is increasing in both large and small wood products operations, but many companies lack a long-term plan or vision on how to integrate Industry 4.0 technology into their businesses. Adoption of the principles of Industry 4.0, a term used to describe the ongoing digitization and rapid technological advancement in industry and society, will challenge the woodworking industry, due in part to the relatively small size and scale of many firms in the industry. A study was conducted in late 2019 to assess the perceptions and experiences of secondary wood manufacturers concerning Industry 4.0, or more broadly the digitization/computerization of their manufacturing operations. The study was a joint effort by Virginia Tech, the USDA Forest Service, and Woodworking Network/FDMC.
Buehlmann, Urs; Bumgardner, Matt; Forth, Karl D. 2020. Lack of a plan limits Industry 4.0 development for many companies. FDMC Magazine. May: 28-30.