Economic/ Global Trends

INTEGR8 2024 Playbook - Navigating the Future: Global Industry 4.0 Trends, Standards and Policy Foreword

Automation Alley
January 31, 2024
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Our first INTEGR8 2024 Playbook is live. Automation Alley brought together experts in industry, academia and government to chart the course of global manufacturing in Industry 4.0 throughout the new year. This foreword, penned by Automation Alley CEO Tom Kelly and GVSU associate professor and chair of interdisciplinary engineering Dr. Ryan Kraus, kicks off a weeklong content series from the first playbook. Thank you to all who contributed.

Technology in industry is developing at a rapid rate across the world. Each nation that takes on the challenge Industry 4.0 presents responds in a unique and different way compared to its neighbors. How can we learn from each other, and capitalize on our differences to push innovation in our industry forward?  

We have much to learn from each other in Industry 4.0: China leads the world with its lion’s share of World Economic Forum designated Global Lighthouse Facilities. India is rapidly modernizing its industrial sector from heavy industry to high-tech manufacturing at an incredible rate. Europe continues to make strides toward pairing technological gains with gains in sustainability. And the U.S. catapulted powerful open-source artificial intelligence tools into its industrial base and mainstream economy at large. Each country has its own Industry 4.0 journey.  

However, there are tangible political and social challenges we must overcome for global collaboration in Industry 4.0 that will take a renewed sense of dialogue and understanding. This playbook on Global Trends in Industry 4.0 will play a pivitol role in advancing this conversation.  

An important part of this effort will be setting an international standard of excellence for Industry 4.0. Considering the diversity of each region, this standard will need to be flexible enough to facilitate global collaboration yet sturdy enough to be a replicable measure of success in implementation.  

Another topic to be addressed is how we can collaborate across borders to ethically deploy powerful and transformative Industry 4.0 technology. How should artificial intelligence be regulated? Should we have rights to products and our likeness in the digital twin metaverse? Where is the boundary, if any?

Lastly, this conversation will help identify what the technological game changers are that can affect every nation on its Industry 4.0 journey. Think of the wave of progress and challenges associated with Big Data. Imagine if the distributed manufacturing model could be made a reality with advances in artificial intelligence paired with 3D printing. We must identify these potential game changers and evaluate their utility in the coming years.  

It is an honor and a privilege to work on these important topics in global trends with our partners in industry, academia and government sectors. Automation Alley believes despite the world’s differences on socio-economic and political issues, Industry 4.0 remains a global beacon of technological collaboration and prosperity beyond borders. We look forward to serving you as a trusted source of information and insight.

Read the INTEGR8 Playbook in full here.

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Automation Alley
Automation Alley

Automation Alley is a nonprofit technology business association and Digital Transformation Insight Center focused on driving the growth and success of businesses in Michigan and beyond through innovation and automation. With a global outlook and a regional focus, we foster a vibrant community of innovators, entrepreneurs, and business leaders through opportunities for collaboration and learning. Our programs and services help businesses develop the skills and expertise needed to effectively jumpstart or accelerate digital transformation. By bringing together industry, academia, and government, we aim to create a dynamic ecosystem that drives innovation and growth across Michigan.

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