The full impact of Industry 4.0 remains to be seen and is rightly of concern to the state of Michigan and on a global level to the World Economic Forum. Currently, there are no unified U.S. national policies aimed at Industry 4.0 integration, implementation and education (as in Europe and Asia), writes Tom Kelly, Automation Alley executive director and CEO. Automation Alley is in favor of a national Industry 4.0 policy. Other countries have made it priority and we should follow suit—it is necessary for our nation to remain globally competitive. We have the potential to be a leader in Industry 4.0 implementation, but only if government makes it a priority.

AR, VR and How the Gamification of Training Can Help Disadvantaged Populations

By Cynthia Hutchison | Automation Alley | 4/17/2019

"There are many dynamic technologies that will change your business, the biggest change might just be the gamification of training, taking a calculated risk on a new training method that uses augmented or virtual reality," writes Cynthia Hutchison, Automation Alley's senior director. This week on the blog, learn more about this exciting technology and how it can be a game-changed for those with barriers and challenges to employment.

The distilleries industry may be due for an update. And, a system developed by DornerWorks could soon provide the catalyst for industry 4.0 adoption, in brewing, distilling, and beyond. This is hardly a fad. The tradition upheld by brewers and distillers in the Great Lakes State is built on millennia of history.

Foresight is 2020

By Dan McKiernan | eFlex Systems | 4/3/2019

In the last few years, manufacturing professionals have seen a surge of interest in and adoption of new technology tools. As a result, an industry that has seen incremental change for decades now finds itself on the cusp of a profound change. What’s happening now is less about evolution than revolution: a foundational and industry-altering paradigm shift. There are several key pieces to this tech revolution. What makes this moment different than the past is the way in which all those pieces—the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), enhanced connectivity, big data and analytics—are coming together. This week on the blog, Dan McKiernan of eFlex Systems looks at each of those key elements, and then examines how they are working together to transform manufacturing.

Whether its hosting a member event at their facility or attending one of Automation Alley's many events at our Troy headquarters, Evans Distribution is a long-time Automation Alley member that has benefited from their active role within the Automation Alley ecosystem. The company has seen value in both the educational and networking opportunities offered by Automation Alley and has made several vendor relationships through membership.

Automation Alley added 6 new members in March. Click the link below to meet them.

If You Design – Build It

By Doug Fura | Farbman Group | 3/27/2019

It is not difficult to understand why design-build has emerged as an increasingly popular alternative that offers an appealing way forward. The rise of design-build can be seen across all sectors and across the U.S., and design-build is projected to account for nearly half of nonresidential construction spending between 2018-2021. This week on the blog, Doug Fura of Farbman Group details how industrial tenants can maximize design-build opportunities by selecting the right partner.

Design Thinking and the Customer-Centric Organization

By Greg Heist | Gongos, Inc. | 3/20/2019

This week on the blog, Greg Heist from Gongos, dives into the challenges of understanding one of the greatest mysteries of all: the human being. This is where design thinking comes in.

Industry observers have recently noted that Elon Musk should follow in Apple’s iPhone footsteps and find another company to manufacture its cars. While focusing on a core competency of product design is admirable, the observers are wrong. This week on the blog, Pavan Muzumdar emphasizes difference in designing, engineering and manufacturing vehicles compared to the approach that can work for computers and phones.

6 Ways to Make Your Office "Smarter"

By Laura Gayle | | 3/6/2019

Across various industries, there is a shift in the nature of work taking place — and in the worker doing it. Technology can be attributed as the catalyst of much of the change, although some shifts are more personal and represent an evolving societal viewpoint. Full-time blogger and founder of, Laura Gayle, examines six "smarter" adjustments that can make a difference in the quality of employee output, overall efficiency, and ultimately, company bottom lines.

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