Macomb County Kicks Off New Industry 4.0 Workshop Series to Run Throughout 2023

Dennis Burck
February 9, 2023
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Vicky Rowinski, Director of Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED), speaks during an Industry 4.0 workshop in 2022. (Image by MCPED)

Vicky Rowinski, Director of Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED), speaks during an Industry 4.0 workshop in 2022. (Image by MCPED)


Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED), as part of its Macomb Next initiative, is partnering with Velocity to kick off a new 2023 series on Industry 4.0 technologies. Events are free to attend, but registration is required.

As Industry 4.0 continues to change manufacturing, it’s important for manufacturers, workforce organizations and engineering students to keep up to speed on the pillars of Industry 4.0: Automation, Internet of Things, Big Data, Cloud Computing, Simulation, Augmented Reality, Additive Manufacturing, Cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence.  

If this sounds like a lot to keep track of — it is. Unlike past industrial revolutions like the invention of the assembly line or the invention of industrial automation, Industry 4.0’s scope is exponentially greater due to its capacity to exponentially change the way manufacturing is done today.

Luckily for all interested parties, Macomb County Planning and Economic Development (MCPED), as part of its Macomb Next initiative, is partnering with Velocity to kick off a new free 2023 series on Industry 4.0 technologies, aimed at educating all on the contemporary innovations each segment presents to the industry at large.

“People are hearing the word ‘Industry 4.0,’ and it is very intimidating because they think ‘What does this all mean?’” MCPED Director Vicky Rowinski said.  “So we are breaking down each of these workshops to the specific pillars and taking baby steps toward them.”

Each event will feature a presentation, following panel discussion and vendors related to the topic. The first event will be held from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.  Feb. 16 at Velocity (6633 18 Mile Rd, Sterling Heights, MI), focusing on Internet of Things (IoT) and Cloud Computing. A light breakfast will be available.

George Singos, Industry 4.0 business leader advisor for the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC), will be the keynote speaker.

“For Macomb County, this series is an overview of the future of manufacturing,” Singos said in a press release. “We at the MMTC have gone all in on applicable I4.0 technology and its applications. Without having a plan, it will put you behind competitive manufacturers in the industry.”

Singos’ presentation will focus on implementing an adoption model and how it can provide operational transparency.

“Macomb County has a large percentage of contract manufacturing,” Singos added. “This workshop will allow participants to understand how to capture costs and learn where improvements are needed.”

Though the events are free, registration is required since seating is limited.    

Making the transition to Industry 4.0 is not a quick fix, Rowinski said.

“It is incremental,” Rowinski said. “But if each business attends each of the workshops, they will walk away with the right information to make those significant changes within their business.”

A lot of companies are implementing Industry 4.0 technologies, but aren’t realizing it, she added.

“What we are seeing is streamlined processes. We see a Return on Investment (ROI). For example, if they are purchasing a manufacturing execution system, they are saving money on cost of materials, able to adapt to labor shortages and even the cost between going from raw materials to finished products. The software helps them to create those efficiencies in the entire life cycle.”

Vendors will demonstrate Industry 4.0 technologies and connect with attendees about funding and employment opportunities. Additionally, high school and college students interested in high tech fields will be in attendance.

“The exciting part of this conference is who is in the room. With this event, there is a dynamic mix of industry, business, academia, students and nonprofits — all working together and all moving in the same direction.”  

Rowinski said advancements in cybersecurity is the workshop she is most looking forward to.

“People are putting so much technology into businesses, but there is a trust factor. What we’re hearing is on a national scale with the amount of cyberattacks and breaches. These actors are out there. What we want to be able to do is to get businesses in a digital space, but do it safely.”

Additionally, business culture needs to change internally to embrace cybersecurity, Rowinski explained.

“We want our manufacturers to grow and we want the technology to feed them, but we want to do it in a manner where they can be safe around this, and where it doesn’t impact or affect their business.”

Upcoming Industry 4.0 Workshop Series Events Include:

● April 13 - System Integration / Big Data / Analytics

● June 15 - Virtual Reality / Augmented Reality

● August 17 - 3D Printing / Adv Robotics / Automation

● Oct 19 - Cybersecurity

Register for all upcoming Industry 4.0 Technology Workshop events here.

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Dennis Burck
Dennis Burck

As Automation Alley’s Digital Content Editor, Dennis Burck manages Automation Alley's Industry 4.0 knowledge center, building relationships and collaborating with various internal and external stakeholders, including Automation Alley members and partners, to develop and curate engaging content around advanced manufacturing and digital transformation. Dennis provides in-depth coverage, data-driven reporting and on-the-ground feature stories on the Industry 4.0 transformation. Dennis worked previously as a business journalist for The Construction Association of Michigan and as a reporter for The National Endowment for the Humanities.

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