As the auto capital of the world, Michigan has long been a leader in manufacturing. We have maintained our position by constantly innovating, incorporating new technologies and production methods.
Today, as physical and digital worlds converge on the production floor, Michigan manufacturers must continue this tradition to compete and thrive in today’s global economy. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and its statewide network of partners are ready to help our small and mid-sized manufacturing businesses increase readiness for the next phase in advanced manufacturing automation known as Industry 4.0 – a collective term for innovative technologies, such as artificial intelligence, cloud computing and 3D printing, that impact and improve the way we make things.
For many small businesses, the day-to-day demands of running a business often come at the cost of deploying new technology that can drive future growth and create new workforce opportunities. At times, the technology and concepts seem daunting and the barriers to entry are many, including high cost and lack of experience and training to run new equipment or technology. The long-term rewards don’t always appear to outweigh the immediate risks – particularly for companies already operating on razor thin margins.
One of MEDC’s priorities is reducing these barriers – both real and perceived – to allow our manufacturers to access new technologies that can improve their organizations. Industry 4.0 isn’t just for big business; we want ALL businesses to benefit from the technological advances available today and in the future. In fact, MEDC is focused on getting 50% of small and medium-sized manufacturers in Michigan ready to adopt Industry 4.0 technology by 2025 through partnerships with Automation Alley, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center and a network of regional partners.
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