Friday, September 14, 2018

Get a Peek into the Factory of the Future at Integr8

By: Elliot Forsyth

Manufacturing is changing. The industry is entering a new era, with oncoming workforce and technological advancements set to transform manufacturing as we know it. In this emerging age of smart manufacturing, a number of factors are contributing to this evolution:
  • Workforce changes. Out with baby boomers, in with millennials and Generation Z. The manufacturing landscape is facing a drastic shift in the type of talent available and interests of oncoming generations, which will inevitably lead to changes in manufacturing operations and capabilities. The influx of younger workers on the factory floor is expected to increase technology use in production, both to draw in these tech-savvy generations and to boost companies’ efficiencies and competitive edges in the evolving industry.
  • New technological and data applications. Several emerging technological innovations that fall under the Industry 4.0 umbrella, including additive manufacturing, robotics and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), are being increasingly adopted by manufacturers across the nation. With this rise in technology use comes a related rise in the use of data and analytics to inform and power operations to achieve higher levels of efficiency than previously thought possible. Manufacturers who choose to adopt such innovations and use them to their full potential can realize new growth, emerge into different markets, grow from reactive to predictive in maintenance practices and maintain a safer and more efficient atmosphere.
  • Increased importance of cybersecurity. Following this use of technology, risks associated with cybersecurity have skyrocketed. Manufacturing is now a top five target for cyber-attacks, with 43% of attacks targeting small businesses. This level of danger will only continue to grow as production becomes increasingly dependent on technology. This is not a reason to avoid technological innovations, however, but rather a reason to prioritize establishing safe cyber practices within your company. This will ensure your company can continue advancing with the industry, while staying protected.
While these aspects have been largely discussed in articles and blog posts, many manufacturers are still left wondering what these innovations look like in reality and how their business can effectively navigate these changes. Manufacturers interested in keeping up with the changing industry landscape can get a first-hand look at these topics and more at Integr8, an annual event focused on advancing smart manufacturing presented by Automation Alley. Through keynote presentations, panel discussions, hands-on technology demonstrations and breakout sessions, attendees gain the opportunity to experience and learn more about these innovations they’ve otherwise only heard about.

Held on November 14th in Detroit, this one-day event provides manufacturers with the insights and confidence necessary to implement new technological innovations and adapt with oncoming industry transformations. To get a front row seat to the factory of the future, register for Integr8 here. Be sure to use our code “TheCenter” for a discounted price.


MEET OUR EXPERT
Elliot Forsyth
Vice President of Business Operations

Elliot is Vice President of Business Operations at The Center, where he is responsible for leading practice areas that include cybersecurity, technology acceleration, marketing, market research and business development. Over the past two years, Elliot has led The Center's effort to develop a state-of-the-art cybersecurity service for companies in the defense, aerospace and automotive industries, supporting Michigan companies in safeguarding their businesses and maintaining regulatory compliance.



Since 1991, the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center has assisted Michigan’s small and medium-sized businesses to successfully compete and grow. Through personalized services designed to meet the needs of clients, we develop more effective business leaders, drive product and process innovation, promote company-wide operational excellence and foster creative strategies for business growth and greater profitability. Find us at www.the-center.org.

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