Q1 2017: Automation Alley puts focus on Industry 4.0 with 2017 Technology Industry Report, Tech Takeover event series and launch of new Integr8™ global conference

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April 18, 2017
Q1 of 2017 marked the launch of a new initiative at Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading technology and manufacturing business association, focused on helping Southeast Michigan’s manufacturing and technology companies better prepare for Industry 4.0, or the smart manufacturing technologies associated with the fourth industrial revolution.
The initiative kicked off in February with the debut of Automation Alley’s 2017 Technology Industry Report and continued with the announcement of new Industry 4.0 Advisory Councils, an ongoing Tech Takeover event series and the launch of Integr8™, Automation Alley’s global Industry 4.0 conference, to be held this November in Detroit.
The 2017 Technology Industry Report surveyed top executives from the manufacturing and technology industries, both locally and nationally, to gauge their Industry 4.0 readiness. The report found that manufacturing companies lack resources dedicated to technological advancements, while the technology industry needs to better understand pain points among manufacturers.
“We realized that there was much work to be done, but we also discovered that Southeast Michigan businesses have the opportunity to lead the nation as early adopters of Industry 4.0, and that we could help,” said Tom Kelly, Automation Alley’s executive director. “No matter what industry you serve, this revolution will affect your business. That is why we are beginning to transform Automation Alley into an Industry 4.0 knowledge center, to help local companies increase revenue, decrease costs and think more strategically as they navigate through this new era of manufacturing. We like to call it actionable intelligence.”
Automation Alley’s new Advisory Councils are structured around the eight industry 4.0 technology sectors: The Industrial Internet of Things, robotics, advanced materials, additive manufacturing, artificial intelligence and big data, cybersecurity, cloud computing and modeling, simulation and visualization. Each council will advise Automation Alley’s existing committees and will be led by a regional industry expert in the eight tech sectors associated with Industry 4.0, creating opportunities for companies to discuss industry trends and share strategies for success.
The Tech Takeover event series is also centered around Industry 4.0 technologies. Each Wednesday, Automation Alley welcomes one of its manufacturing or technology member companies in to its Troy headquarters to give an in-depth presentation on one of the eight Industry 4.0 technology sectors, offering opportunities for members to share best practices, develop solutions to industry challenges, collaborate and learn.
And, finally, Q1 ended with a big announcement from Automation Alley: the launch of Integr8™, an all-new interactive, cross-discipline Industry 4.0 global conference to be held Nov. 9 at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center. Integr8 aims to educate attendees on the advantages and benefits of implementing advanced manufacturing technologies on factory floors.
Attendees will enjoy a morning and afternoon keynote presentation, a technology expo featuring the latest in cutting-edge Industry 4.0 technologies and breakout sessions focused on advancements in manufacturing, how to overcome obstacles to Industry 4.0 adoption, financial ROI and blueprints to successful integration.
Integr8™ registration opens April 17. For complete registration and sponsorship information, visit automationalley.com/integr8.
Other Q1 Happenings
  • Automation Alley’s 7Cs™ program invests in five Michigan startups: Automation Alley invested a total of $125,000 in five companies – MKinetics, Inc., OptiFit, Inc., Pivot Ready, Inc., Strikefoot, Inc. and Crazy Diamond Performance – through its 7Cs™ program for growing advanced manufacturing and technology companies.
  • Automation Alley launches ApprenticeshipUSA: ApprenticeshipUSA is a new Department of Labor-funded grant partnership between Automation Alley and the state of Michigan. While serving as the state of Michigan’s program administrator for Southeast Michigan, Automation Alley will help manufacturing and IT companies create new or expand existing apprenticeship programs by leveraging grant funds to offset the costs of hiring apprentices.
For more information on these and other Automation Alley initiatives, visit automationalley.com or contact Automation Alley at 800-427-5100 or info@automationalley.com.
About Automation Alley
Automation Alley is Michigan’s leading nonprofit technology and manufacturing business association, connecting industry, academia and government to fuel Southeast Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. Automation Alley focuses its efforts on innovation and technology, entrepreneurship, talent development, defense and international business, providing resources, funding and actionable intelligence to help members grow and prosper in the digital age. Visit automationalley.com for more information. 

Erin Sommerville, Communications Manager
sommervillee@automationalley.com, 248-457-3227