Technology in Industry Reveal 

We debuted Automation Alley’s 2020 Technology in Industry Report in a livestream series featuring the report’s key contributors from industry and academia who broke down the report’s emerging technology trends, case studies and action items for industry. Watch all 11 episodes below and download the full 2020 Technology in Industry Report. 


Industry 4.0 In Focus: A Livestream Series

Automation Alley’s Technology in Industry Reveal is going virtual for 2020! Join us this summer as we debut Automation Alley’s 2020 Technology in Industry Report, titled Industry 4.0 in Focus, and launch a livestream series featuring Automation Alley Executive Director and CEO Tom Kelly and the report’s key contributors from industry and academia as they break down the report’s emerging technology trends, case studies and action items for industry. 

As we enter a new decade, the opportunities associated with Industry 4.0 are enormous. 5G technology will unlock the bandwidth to make Industry 4.0 truly possible, collaborative robots will become more agile and configurable and artificial intelligence will continue to become more sophisticated. While these rapid technological advancements provide manufacturers with great opportunities for growth, 2020 is also a time of profound uncertainty for business leaders and the global workforce as we face new challenges around the enormous amounts of data we are collecting, disruptive and sophisticated cyber threats and the impact and fallout of coronavirus, the worst pandemic of our lifetimes. 

Join us as we address these most pressing challenges—as well as the greatest opportunities—impacting the business world today. How should companies prepare in 2020 and beyond for the digital transformation and position themselves for long-term strategic success?  

Episode 11: Digital Twin and the Evolution of Manufacturing 

Manufacturing is on the verge of explosive growth in the use of digital twins, or a digital replica of a physical system, process or product. This technology, which allows users to experiment with a digital file before making changes in a physical environment, is already in use today in life sciences, aerospace, automotive, defense, mobility, manufacturing, energy and utilities. And the possibilities are only as limited as our imaginations. On this episode of Industry 4.0 in Focus, we are joined by engineering experts from Lawrence Technological University and Oakland University to discuss the adoption of digital twins and its huge implications for manufacturers.

Episode 10: How Industry 4.0 Transforms Data Regulation & Protection 

“More than ever, our adversaries’ targets are our nation’s core economic assets—our information and ideas, our innovation, our research and development, our technology.” – Christopher Wray, Director, Federal Bureau of Investigation

Industry 4.0 has created massive amounts of data never before envisioned, providing real-time intelligence that changes the way companies operate around the globe. Today, data analysis allows manufactures to predict machine failure and downtime, optimize their supply chain, detect product deficiencies, boost quality and efficiency, lower costs and gain valuable insights into customer behavior. However, these Big Data benefits also pose massive challenges for manufacturers as they face critical issues surrounding security, privacy  and regulations. 

On this episode of Industry 4.0 in focus, we discuss how Industry 4.0 transforms data regulation and protection in the manufacturing sector; how these smart technologies will impact people, processes and technology now and in the future; and steps manufacturers can take to ensure they are leveraging their data in a safe and compliant manner.

Episode 9: Data Protection Services for Your Digital Transformation 

As more organizations embrace digital transformation and accelerate the pace to digitize every aspect of their business, they become increasingly vulnerable to data breaches. Understanding the tools available to help keep your information secure is central to a successful digital transformation. On this episode of Industry 4.0 in Focus, Automation Alley Executive Director and CEO Tom Kelly chats with the experts at Otava about data protection services for your digital transformation.

Otava provides the secure, compliant hybrid cloud solutions demanded by clients in compliance-sensitive industries. Tune in to learn how Otava was able to create a custom solution for Gallagher-Kaiser that meet automotive industry action groups’ new third-party information security requirements and how these lessons can translate to success for your business.

Episode 08: 3D Printing's Impact on the Supply Chain 

“It is my hope that when people look back on the Fourth Industrial Revolution 50 years from now, they are going to be talking less about the Internet of Things (IoT) and more about how we removed 30%-50% of material that we had in automobiles and how everything has become more efficient,” Ric Fulop, CEO and co-founder of Desktop Metal recently said. While additive manufacturing has not replaced traditional subtractive manufacturing methods, the technology has the potential to impact global production and supply chains in many ways, including reduced material waste, increased flexibility and the ability to decentralize production. On this episode of Industry 4.0 in Focus, we are joined by Dr. Peter Wawrow, director of applied research and development at St. Clair College, and contributor to Automation Alley’s 2020 Technology in Industry Report (available for digital download July 13) for a deep dive into the future of additive manufacturing and how it is making us rethink the way they deliver products to end users.

Episode 07: AR — The New Reality for Work Instructions 

In a rapidly changing manufacturing ecosystem, workers on the shop floor today must adapt to a faster, more flexible and faultless assembly process, often alongside robot counterparts and other smart and connected Industry 4.0 technologies. For many manufacturers, augmented reality (AR) can be a useful ally in training new employees as well as experienced operators when product variants and materials frequently switch and change.

Join Automation Alley’s Executive Director and CEO Tom Kelly as he discusses AR projected work instructions with the experts at OPS Solutions. Learn how the company’s Light Guide Systems technology is helping manufacturers save time, money and reduce errors. A case study on Netherlands-based TNO from Automation Alley’s 2020 Technology in Industry Report will be discussed.

Episode 06: Mobility & Manufacturing Transformed with 5G 

5G, the next generation of wireless technology, is poised to make factories of the future faster, more agile and increasingly flexible. With the emergence of the coronavirus pandemic, the demand for flexible and dynamic manufacturing lines has never been greater, and those manufacturers that leverage 5G will see the benefits. 

You’re invited to Episode 6 of Industry 4.0 in Focus for a virtual discussion with Benjamin Ortiz of Verizon as we discuss how 5G will revolutionize the manufacturing industry with real-world examples from Automation Alley’s 2020 Technology in Industry Report, available for digital download beginning July 13.  Discover how Verizon’s deployment of 5G technology helped a manufacturing client transform its automated guided vehicle and material movement operations and learn how this technology is the key to unlocking digital transformation. 

Episode 5: Workforce Diversity & Inclusion for Competitive Advantage 

On this episode of Industry 4.0 in Focus, we are joined by Cheryl Thompson, founder of the Center for Automotive Diversity, Inclusion & Advancement (CADIA). CADIA supports diversity and inclusion for the automotive industry by providing professional development for individuals, along with resources, programs and tools that drive organizational evolution. Join us for a virtual discussion aimed at uncovering blind spots when it comes to making technology work for women and minorities, as well as the need for diverse teams to work together to bring new technological solutions to fruition as we move into Industry 4.0. 

Episode 4: Opportunities & Challenges of IT & OT Convergence 

The digital ecosystem of Industry 4.0 has forced the convergence of information technology (IT) and operational technology (OT). Along with the combining of physical and virtual worlds, this workforce convergence brings untold opportunities and challenges for manufacturers. On this episode of Industry 4.0 in Focus, Automation Alley Executive Director and CEO Tom Kelly is joined by David Schippers, chair and assistant professor of Information Technology Decision Sciences at Walsh College, for a deep dive into IT/OT convergence and its impact on people, processes and the future of innovation. 

Episode 3: Achieving ROI with Configit 

On this episode of Industry 4.0 in Focus, Automation Alley Executive Director and CEO Tom Kelly is joined by Configit CEO Johan Salenstedt to discuss how companies are realizing ROI with digital transformation. Discover how Configit, a company that solves complex configuration problems for clients around the globe, helped technology pioneer ABB achieve annual benefits of more than $2.3 million. Moving to Configit enabled ABB to establish a consistent and automated way to manage its product and pricing data, increasing productivity and improving technology management.

Episode 2: 5G: A Manufacturing Game-Changer 

“5G is way more than just a step up from current wireless technology. It’s a quantum leap that will bring an era of radically new possibilities across all areas of technology,” Hans Vestberg, CEO of Verizon recently announced. Indeed, 5G is poised to revolutionize all sector, especially manufacturing, where it will accelerate Industry 4.0 by enabling faster speeds and better connectivity as we enter a new decade characterized by continued, explosive growth in the number and types of smart and connected devices. What do these changes mean for manufacturers? And what action can be taken now to prepare our workforce? Join Automation Alley Executive Director and CEO Tom Kelly for Episode 2 of Industry 4.0 in Focus as he has a virtual conversation with Automation Alley 2020 Technology in Industry Report contributors Dr. Anca Sala, the dean of the College of Engineering at Baker College, and Dr. Patricia Chatman, the dean of Henry Ford College’s School of Business, Entrepreneurship and Professional Development, as they break down 5G technology, its impact on manufacturing and its potential to truly unlock the power of Industry 4.0.

Episode 1: Inside the Report—2020 Key Findings & Velocity Index 

Automation Alley’s 2020 Technology Industry Report will be available for download July 13! Join us for this virtual livestream with Automation Alley leadership as we discuss the report’s key findings, what they mean for industry moving forward and how companies can position themselves for success as the smart and connected technologies of Industry 4.0 impact the way we do business. We will also break down the report’s Velocity Index, a visualization of the perceptions of the maturity, importance and projected rate of development of each of the Industry 4.0 technology sectors as they impact manufacturing and similar verticals.

The Report

The 2020 report, titled "Industry 4.0 in Focus," features a series of case studies and white papers written in collaboration with top academic and industry leaders, on the trending topics impacting companies today, including:

  • The Rise of Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing
  • 5G: A Manufacturing Game-Changer
  • Opportunities & Challenges of IT & OT Convergence
  • The Impact of Big Data Analytics on Supply Chain Management
  • Accelerating Industry 4.0 with Digital Twin
  • Additive Manufacturing's Disruptive Impact on the Supply Chain 
  • How Industry 4.0 Transforms Data Regulation & Protection
  • Industry 4.0 Case Studies: Technology & Workforce Transformation

Content focuses on how these trends are impacting people, processes and technology in the now, near and far; and concludes with action items for industry to consider when developing their own digital transformations. The published report also includes a Velocity Index™ datasheet, a guide that maps Industry 4.0 technology perceptions based on a survey among manufacturers.

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