Evaluation of Industry 4.0 on sustainable supply chain of manufacturing companies: a thematic literature review

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Purpose of this paper:
As past industrial revolutions gave way to the technological era known as Industry 4.0, increased desire for horizontal, vertical, and end-to-end digital integration became prevalent. Adopting Industry 4.0 has significant impact on supply chain network sustainability, according to previous research. However, very little study has been done on how to use Industry 4.0 technology to successfully manage supply chain network sustainability. The goal of this paper is to provide a thematic analysis of existing research on Industry 4.0's impact on manufacturing supply chain sustainability.

The various themes emerging from existing literature were identified and discussed using distinct keywords linked to the research topic, with the goal of providing a deeper knowledge of such themes and any gaps in literature to indicate topics for further research. For the literature review, a combination of keywords related to the issue were utilised to find relevant material. ProQuest, Science Direct, IEEE Explore, Scopus, Wiley Online Library (WOL), Google Scholar, and Web of Science were used to choose peer-reviewed journal papers after a thorough screening process. The screening process included applying inclusion and exclusion criteria, removing duplicate articles, evaluating journal abstracts and titles, and reading complete texts. A total of 63 journal articles were found relevant and appropriate for the review of existing literature as a result of this method.

Significant themes emerging from the literature study were recognised and discussed, with pertinent comments given to identify future research areas. The primary themes are: supply chain transformation, Industry 4.0 technologies, the use of big data in Industry 4.0 for a sustainable supply chain, Industry 4.0 benefits and challenges, Industry 4.0 enablers, and the connection between Industry 4.0 and sustainable supply chains.

The paper will add to the body of knowledge and debate surrounding Industry 4.0 and Supply Chain Sustainability. A survey of the literature indicated research gaps, particularly in the manufacturing industry. Future study will be possible due to the emerging themes.

Research limitations/implications (if applicable):
The literature review was limited to articles published in seven databases. Further research on the subject could focus on including more databases for literature search.

Practical implications (if applicable):
The discussion of these emergent themes will be useful for both academicians and industry practitioners to identify areas for more research and collaboration.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 26th International Symposium on Logistics (ISL 2022)
Subtitle of host publicationThe Journey to Sustainable Supply Chains
EditorsA Potter, KS Pawar, S O'Reilly, A Jimo
Place of PublicationNottingham
Number of pages1
ISBN (Electronic)9780853583509
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2022
Event 26th International Symposium on Logistics: The Journey to Sustainable Supply Chains - Cork, Ireland
Duration: 10 Jul 202213 Jul 2022


Conference 26th International Symposium on Logistics
Abbreviated titleISL 2022
Internet address


  • Industry 4.0
  • supply chain
  • sustainability
  • sustainable supply chain
  • supply chain sustainability
  • manufacturing


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