Posted on 11/28/2018

8 Things We Learned at Integr8 2018

Think global. Leverage data. Be a lifetime learner. This week on the blog, we take a look back at the 8 most valuable takeaways from Automation Alley's global Industry 4.0 conference, Integr8. 


1. "Globalization is at the heart of the Fourth Industrial Revolution"

Integr8 keynote presenter, Helena Leurent of the World Economic Forum, stressed that Industry 4.0 is not only revolutionizing manufacturing processes but also having a powerful impact on how companies operate globally, creating flexibility and greater international collaboration.


2. "All companies should view themselves as technology organizations driven by a learning culture"

Automation Alley Executive Director and CEO Tom Kelly said during his Integr8 morning welcome that the lines between traditional businesses and tech companies are beginning to blur. Companies today need to change their culture and embrace digitization in order to compete and thrive.


3. Don't count the humans out

While much of the conversation surrounding Industry 4.0 is focused on technology implementation, the biggest impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will revolve around the transformation of the workplace, displacing workers while creating demand for different combinations of skills to fill new jobs and types of work. The rise of "cobots" (collaborative robots), for example, means humans are beginning to work side-by-side their automated counterparts.


4. Low-tech can be high-tech

Even traditional companies, like Integr8 expo participant Pingree Detroit, can take part in the digital revolution. The handcrafted shoemaker, which uses reclaimed leather from the auto industry, is beginning to explore the use of automation, AI and other Industry 4.0 technologies.


5. Industry 4.0 is a game changer for health care

From blockchain technology to surgical robots, medical experts worldwide agree that big data and artificial intelligence (AI) will play a key role in vastly improving health care quality and delivery. Aided by advances in sensor capabilities, computational power and algorithmic ingenuity, the pace of medical innovation is accelerating rapidly.


6. Companies must understand cyber risks and mitigation steps

The rise of highly connected factories utilizing smart IoT devices means manufacturers are increasingly vulnerable to sophisticated cyber threats targeting critical infrastructure. In order for companies to remain competitive and thrive in the era of Industry 4.0, cybersecurity strategies should be fully integrated into the organization.


7. Detroit is an advanced manufacturing hot spot

As evidenced by the 750 people in attendance at Integr8, the world turns to Detroit, and the entire state of Michigan, to understand how to bring together the physical and digital worlds. This is a region with a high concentration of skilled talent, unparalleled knowledge of how the supply chain works and a vision for the future.


8. Intersections of Industry 4.0 technologies are key to success

Separately, the technologies of Industry 4.0 are creating waves across all industries, but, when integrated together, they are transformative. As Michigan’s Industry 4.0 knowledge center, Automation Alley's goal at Integr8 is to help you leverage the intersections of Industry 4.0 technologies, systems and people to gain a considerable competitive advantage.


What was your biggest takeaway from the event?
Leave a comment and let us know!


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Dan McKiernan

eFlex Systems

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