TROY — The fourth annual Integr8 conference will be different from the previous three – due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event, on Nov. 9 and 10, will be virtual.
In a press release, the host, Automation Alley, said the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to light the urgent need for Industry 4.0 adoption and integration within the manufacturing industry, and Automation Alley plans to be the go-to source for companies looking to jumpstart their digital transformation and will show them ways to do it at the two-day conference.
“The demand for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) thrust an emergency opportunity at companies who could pivot their resources to create PPE and serve the greater good,” said Tom Kelly, Automation Alley executive director and CEO.
“That was a benefit of Industry 4.0 technologies that we hadn’t necessarily highlighted before,” he added. “Yet companies with 3D printers, robotics, augmented reality and artificial intelligence capabilities were all of a sudden helping us stay healthy and safely return to our workplaces and manufacturing plants. Now, we are seeing not only the societal benefits of these technologies, but the opportunity for manufacturers and tech companies to be rewarded for investing in and mastering Industry 4.0 with lucrative grants, contracts, and new connections. In some regards, I think this year’s virtual Integr8 conference can be a celebration of what we have accomplished – and a pep rally for what we still need to do.”
Highlights of the conference agenda include a variety of technology-focused breakout sessions, World Economic Forum Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB) roundtables, a virtual exhibit hall showcasing Industry 4.0 technologies, one-on-one matchmaking opportunities with up to four companies, and keynote presentations from Industry 4.0 champion, Dr. Irene Petrick, Senior Director of Industrial Innovation in the Internet of Things Group at global tech giant Intel Corporation, and entrepreneur, philanthropist and Groupon co-founder Brad Keywell, who is also founder and CEO of industrial AI software company Uptake.
Key themes for this year’s event will include a look at Industry 4.0 technology intersections, the needs of the future workforce, 3D printing and distributed manufacturing, sustainable manufacturing, blockchain, creating flexible and resilient supply chains, and new business models enabled by Industry 4.0.
Attendance at the general 2020 conference is complementary, thanks to the generous support of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Integr8 sponsors including Behco, Clayton & McKervey, Festo Corporation, Fraunhofer USA, HRPro/BenePro, Intel, Kors Engineering, Marco Technologies, Markforged, Omron, OPS Solutions, SRI and Verizon. The cost to participate in the World Economic Forum Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB) roundtables is $75.
To reserve a ticket and for all other conference information, visit the Integr8 website at integr8conference.com.