Letter: Time to adopt Industry 4.0

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To the Editor:

I found myself nodding when I read Keith Crain’s editorial on disruption in the auto industry — and beyond. (“It sure isn’t just the automotive industry,” Aug. 7)

I’d like to continue the economic disruption conversation by adding in the phrase Industry 4.0. Think digital transformation or, as I like to say, “The digitization of everything.”

Industry 4.0, also known as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, includes technologies like virtual and augmented reality, the Internet of Things, the cloud, 3-D printing, autonomous robotics, cybersecurity, advanced materials, big data and AI. Singularly and collectively, they are disrupting all industries. Automotive indeed, but also all of manufacturing.

If Michigan is going to maintain its clout as the nation’s manufacturing leader, the need to acknowledge and adopt Industry 4.0 strategies must be an urgent imperative for every manufacturer in the state, regardless of size or industry served.

There are other key states with the brainpower and private money to happily take on this role — but only if we let them.

Tom Kelly

Executive director and CEO, Automation Alley, Troy

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