Posted on 11/15/2017

8 Things We Learned at Integr8

More than 500 professionals from the technology and manufacturing worlds converged on Detroit, Nov. 9 for a day of deep Industry 4.0 learning at Automation Alley’s first-ever Integr8™ conference and expo. From smart machines that think and perceive to immersive technologies that can train our future workforce, this global event not only put the city of Detroit and the state of Michigan in the spotlight as a key player in the Industry 4.0 space, but it also taught us several valuable lessons about where advanced manufacturing is headed.

1. We are the thinkers and the makers. Michigan is the epicenter of the Industry 4.0 transformation nationally.

2. Innovation is in our DNA. We are still home to some of the most innovative minds on the planet, and the manufacturing community has many technology leaders who will generously share their experiences if given an opportunity.

3. It's all about Integration. The eight technologies associated with Industry 4.0 are transformative in their own right, but the key to unlocking the potential of the fourth industrial revolution is at the intersection of those technologies.

4. Robots aren't job killers. Robotic advancements will empower the human worker to become more productive, opening the door for new jobs and new industries to be created.

"I believe the robot is a tool and just like all other tools it increases productivity,"
Howie Choset, Carnegie Mellon University and Advanced Robotics Manufacturing Institute

5. Training is key! We must upskill the U.S. manufacturing workforce in order to achieve success in an Industry 4.0-powered world.

"We as humans must find ways to work collaboratively with smart machines,"
Tom Kelly, Automation Alley

“Teaching and learning roles are changing. Connective learning allows learners to teach learners,"
Clara Tu, Fraunhofer

“We have to break down barriers to expose workers to other career paths,”
Jennifer Llewellyn, Oakland County Michigan Works!

6. Industry 4.0 will change all aspects of our lives. Not only how we make products, but also how we use them.

7. Industry 4.0 is a journey. The hardest part of incorporating new technologies into your business is often taking the first step. Luckily, you don't need tons of capital to get started!

8. Don't feel threatened. Be empowered! The future isn't going to be what you think it will be.

"While no one knows for certain what our nation’s employment landscape will look like in a decade, it’s important we are not threatened by technology, but empowered by its potential,"
Tom Kelly, Automation Alley


What did you learn at Integr8? What do you want to learn more about next year?
Tell us in the comments below!


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