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New production patterns and the future of manufacturing relocation trend in the 4.0 era: The perspective of consumers


The significance of Industry 4.0 for the future of the global economy is beyond any question, therefore the discussion of business practitioners, politicians and academics about the conditions and potential consequences of implementing this concept is becoming more and more turbulent. The actual value of technologies 4.0 does not result only from the opportunities that they offer, but rather from the integration of huge amounts of data, automation, robotics and production systems in a way that provides companies with a competitive advantage. Innovative business models and the digitization of the value chain aim, among others, to improve customer experience, increase the speed of response to market needs and reduce costs. While some studies provide evidence for the existence of benefits resulting from the implementation of the concept 4.0 from the perspective of enterprises, the attitude from a demand-side perspective both to the technological transformation itself and its potential effects is analyzed to a very limited extent. The article explains the complexity of the 4.0 concept and indicates the selected levels of its use in the economy. In addition, based on the results of questionnaire survey, the general attitude of consumers to the trend of automation and robotization of production as well as their relation to the reshoring of production was presented. The results of the survey showed that while consumers are aware of the need to implement technology 4.0 and some of the benefits associated with it, they also have a relatively low level of confidence in the new trend. Consumers also expect a gradual relocation of production to Poland, but at the same time a relatively low degree of acceptance of potential negative consequences of this phenomenon is noticeable.


industry 4.0, reshoring, offshoring, business model, automation, robotization, 3D printing



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