Automation Alley: What's in Store for 2018?

By Tom Kelly | Automation Alley | 1/3/2018

As we close out another successful year at Automation Alley, I’d like to briefly reflect on some of the key milestones our organization achieved in 2017 and look ahead to what’s in store for the first quarter of 2018.

This was a year of transformation and growth for Automation Alley. First, we shifted our focus to Industry 4.0 awareness and education in order to better serve the needs of manufacturers across the state, who are now faced with a rapidly changing industry.

Next, we launched a new event series, the Tech Takeover, at our Troy headquarters, as a forum for technology and manufacturing companies to discuss the smart technologies transforming our factory floors and to develop solutions to the industry’s most critical challenges.

And finally, we held our first-ever Industry 4.0 conference, Integr8™, in Detroit. The conference, a global gathering of over 500 manufacturing and technology professionals, centered around the eight core components of Industry 4.0—robotics, the Industrial Internet of Things, big data and artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, advanced materials, cybersecurity, cloud computing and modeling simulation and visualization. It was a day of storytelling, idea sharing and deep learning for our workforces of today and tomorrow.

Integr8™ also did something else. It helped to show the world that Michigan is the epicenter of the smart manufacturing revolution nationally and a key player globally, that we are still home to some of the most innovative minds on the planet, and that the manufacturing community has many technology leaders who will generously share their experiences if given an opportunity.

Building on the momentum of Integr8™, Automation Alley is excited to announce a new direction for our Technology Industry Report. First, the name of the report is changing slightly to better reflect our new Industry 4.0 mission. For 2018, and the foreseeable future, we will be publishing the Technology in Industry Report, which will cover Industry 4.0’s current state of the art, emerging trends, challenges and opportunities and implications for industry. Even more exciting: Automation Alley is currently working with a group of leading universities and corporate partners from across the state to conduct research for the 2018 report.

The report will debut in April of 2018 and we look forward to sharing more details about our research in January.

As executive director and CEO of Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading technology and manufacturing business association, Tom Kelly oversees strategic planning and all ongoing activities for the organization on behalf of its 800 members across Southeast Michigan, including programs and services designed to help businesses succeed in the era of Industry 4.0.

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