(PDF) Covid-19 and Industry 4.0

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2020, Volume 28, Number 46 DOI 10.2478/rput-2020-0005


György CZIFRA1, Zsolt MOLNÁR2
e-mail: czifra.gyorgy@bgk.uni-obuda.hu, Zsolt.Molnar@graphit.huReceived 15 April 2020, accepted 28 April 2020, published 25 June 2020
Nowadays, the whole world is talking about the corona virus. The world economy has
slowed down, large businesses and small businesses as well as private ones struggle to survive.
The current situation will affect the lives of all of us. How can we handle this situation? How
does business flexibility help us? How can we use modern technology to restore the functioning
of the economy? How can losses be reduced? In this paper, we are trying to find answers to
these issues. To search for answers, we used the publications of renowned experts. We
summarized the overview of their views of this important issue.
Key words
Corona, covid-19, Industry 4.0, economy, business, flexibility, digital manufacturing
This section was compiled of on the materials in [1].
Flexibility is the goal of many manufacturers to gain or maintain market leadership in their
industry. Organizations that were able to demonstrate flexibility were asserted without
problems on the market.
Flexibility can be understood as quick adaptation. We are talking about creating a smooth
flow of goods and services from demand to delivery. True flexibility allows manufacturers to
quickly meet market demands. It is a replacement of a rigid and static operating model with a
high level of control and sensitivity that has never been possible before.
Flexibility is more than just technology. Technology is in the focus of transformation and
is constantly propelling and enabling new ways of innovation. However, technology alone
cannot bring change quickly without the support of a flexible organizational environment. For
this reason, we need to look at the background of processes to identify areas that allow flexible
operations in organizations and manufacturing companies.
The starting point for increasing flexibility is to identify where there may be potential
obstacles and barriers. Exploring these options requires that we conduct a comprehensive

review of each area that contributes to meeting the needs of the market. Such a procedure makes
it possible to resolve inconsistencies and better allocate resources to continually improve the

In cooperation with customers, it is possible to start from the following six areas.
Intelligent systems can provide greater flexibility at the technical level. For many years,
production has been based on static off-line production lines controlled by systems of often
impractical operating technologies. Now in the current era of digitization, manufacturers can
combine control and information systems to collect and analyze data to the smallest detail. This
analysis, together with feedback, can be used to adapt and refine operations during production
system operation.
One of the basic mistakes that a manufacturer can make is to focus only on technology and
ignore the human element. Qualified operators, engineers, and analysts are an important part of
the personnel needed for flexible production. Flexibility options are limited if workers are
unable to use their high-level skills. The company's specialization and commitment to staff
qualifications, therefore, support a flexible approach by ensuring that technological change co-
operates with the human resources used.
Powerful support
The decision-making bodies within the company structure should also have flexibility. The
decision to produce a new product based on current customer requirements or to discontinue
the production of a profitable product based on changing market requirements needs to be made
very quickly and in a coordinated way. The presence of powerful ingredients with a broad
representation of business units supported by clear rules of decision-making can greatly
increase the probability of success of the innovation project.
Consumption models
Over the past few years, the main trend has been a shift towards consumer models based
on subscription services. Instead of a capital-intensive model, online services and online
applications are currently in use. Ownership of physical machines is a huge obligation, and the
manufacturer has to invest in dead assets throughout his lifetime. For greater flexibility,
manufacturers are now adopting a service-based approach, not a machine-owning approach.
This helps to increase the efficiency of a business with an increased ability to upgrade and adapt
to requirements based on rapidly changing market conditions.
Understanding the market
The last area is about understanding our customers. In many organizations, the market is
usually seen as a hidden function that is responsible for increasing sales without directly
affecting production. This approach is no longer applicable. Now, for a business to be
successful, sales and marketing must be directly related to production. To meet customer
requirements, we need to understand what the customer wants, what product the customer
wants, and therefore we must adapt production constantly. This is true not only for the features
and quality of the product but also extends to issues relating to ethical and sustainable practices
that are increasingly important requirements from customers.
Flexible growth
Removing rigidities in each of the key areas can help to create a solid foundation on which
to build and work. New modern technologies based on simulation programs support the design
of the solution and the search for answers to the questions. Using functional simulation models,
it is possible to design and initiate concepts that allow testing of proposed procedures in a
computer environment. After successful simulation tests, it is safer to make initial investments
and allocate resources to implement new procedures and test them live for several months and

monitor the performance of the new solution. After proving the functionality and efficiency of
the new concept, it is possible to introduce a new method across the entire production.

This section was based on the Business Insider Intelligence analyses [2].

Figure 1Situation - Covid 19 to day 15/04/2020 [4]

The initial outbreak of coronavirus appeared in China. However, the outbreak has grown
into a global pandemic and has cut global supply chains. Currently (15.04.2020), 1 982 281
worldwide confirmed cases and 126 722 deaths and 487 471 recovered (Coronavirus COVID-
19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins
University (JHU). It affects 185 countries and regions. Many meetings, congresses, and
exhibitions had to be canceled as a result of restrictive measures. Nowadays many companies
are moving to work remotely, the world industry is facing big problems due to delayed
responses and unusable production capacities due to production stoppage and transport. [4]
But the telecom and technology industry has found a way to help companies keep people
safe and healthy. They help companies to organize and conduct videoconferences as much as
possible, freeing up resources and capacity for telecommunications technologies. They help
governments disseminate accurate information about the virus to citizens and seek intelligent
technologies to combat the pandemic: (https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-

Here are some ways that coronavirus can have an impact on the world economy.

Disruption of supply chains.
The core of the pandemic was in the region of China and was a hard hit. Many people
became ill with this disease and many were forced to quarantine. This led to a partial and
descendant cessation of production in factories and factories. These companies produced for
major technology companies. For example, Apple has seen a shortage of iPhone components
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