Dynamically changing conditions of business activity, rapid development of new technologies, increasing intensity of competition, progressing globalisation pose for entrepreneurs new, much more difficult principles than before, especially due to the increase of intensity and complexity of the environment. It is reflected in the necessity of continuous improvement of processes and their quick reorganisation. The aim of the article is to present research conducted in metallurgical enterprise. In the article individual stages of heat treatment process, taking into consideration complications, errors and quality defects of the product arising at the stage of manufacturing the product were described. In order to minimize resulting defects, quality improvement system was implemented, using, among others Ishikawa diagram. In view of the fact that the world stands on the threshold of next industrial revolution, directions of improvement of heat treatment process in the context of Industry 4.0 were indicated.
Over the last few years, the Industry 4.0 concept (called the Fourth Industrial Revolution) has attracted attention among both academics and practitioners. Industry 4.0 is a very broad domain including production processes, efficiency, data management, relationship with consumers, competitiveness, and much more. Therefore, the aim of the paper is to present new factory archetypes. The manuscript uses a synthesis of literature (scientific studies and industrial reports). Based on the results obtained, the archetypes of factories of Industry 4.0 are described. The presented manuscript contributes to the development of literature on the concept of Industry 4.0. The results obtained from the analysis of the literature not only summarize the existing knowledge about Smart Factories, but also indicate the directions of potential research.