A perception of Industry 4.0 and the needed labour profile: an exploratory study in auto parts firms in Guanajuato, Mexico

Type de publication:

Conference Paper


Gerpisa colloquium, Paris (2019)


industry 4.0


In recent years, the term industry 4.0 emerged to refer to the new industrial model adopted by MNEs to be more competitive (through cost reduction and the generation of innovations). Industry 4.0 represents a total transformation of the industrial production through the unification of the digital technologies with the conventional industry (Rodic, 2017). There is no certain definition of Industry 4.0, according to Salkin et al. (2018), it is composed of the integration of production facilities, supply chains and service systems to enable the establishment of value-added networks. This is considered the fourth industrial revolution, it is realized by the combination of physical and digital technologies such as Big Data and analytics, augmented reality, additive manufacturing, cyber security, simulation, Internet of Things, iCloud, system integration, and autonomous robots (Rüssman, et al.). Industry 4.0 enables the generation and analysis of digital data to develop smart products, processes and supply channels. Therefore, Industry 4.0 is affecting the making decisions of the firms and it is delineating a new way to compete. According to Markoff & Seifert (2018) one of the main challenges for the companies is the digitalization of their process to be more efficient and to respond to their customer’s needs in a very rapid way. In this sense, one of the main challenges is the development of human capital in order to cover specialized jobs, especially generated by the introduction of new technologies.

The automotive industry (AI) is very important for the Mexican economy since it contributes 3% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and 18% of the manufacturing GDP. And the state of Guanajuato, located in the Bajio area of Mexico has been positively affected by this dynamism, evidenced by the fact that total foreign investment received during the period 2007-2018 reached USD $14.16 billion. (82.57% of the total, according to SDES, 2018).

Given this, the purpose of this proposal is to analyze how industry 4.0 is conceived by auto-parts firms located in Guanajuato, as well as, to know what is the labour profile that these companies believe is important to face the technological changes.

This research was carried out in 10 companies established in the technological park named “Puerto Interior”. This park is located in the municipality of Silao, Guanajuato, and it was conceived to promote an innovation ecosystem in the region. It comprises: multinational firms (especially from the automotive industry), education and research institutes, specialized governmental agencies, etc.

In order to do that we carried out a quantitative research, through an electronical survey send to the firms and answered by the production managers. This survey was applied from November to December of 2018.

The main findings are that the implementation of the Industry 4.0 strategy requires a new labor profile as well as the formation of multidisciplinary teams; but this is not enough, in order to obtain better results (productivity, quality, labor environment, among others), it is necessary to introduce changes in aspects such as, training, incentives system, and evaluation system. Then one of the main challenges that the firms face is to create human development systems that permit them to capitalize the human talent.

This research form part of the project IN309819 “Industry 4.0, global value chain, and new business models: three case studies of the automotive industry of Guanajuato” funded by UNAM-PAPIIT Program.

  GIS Gerpisa / gerpisa.org
  4 Avenue des Sciences, 91190 Gif-sur-Yvette

Copyright© Gerpisa
Concéption Tommaso Pardi
Administration Juan Sebastian Carbonell, Lorenza MonacoGéry Deffontaines

Créé avec l'aide de Drupal, un système de gestion de contenu "opensource"