Industry 4.0 Readiness in the U.S. (Plus Tools, Knowledge & Resources for Manufacturers)

Tom Kelly - Executive Director and CEO, Automation Alley

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Automation Alley is one of the World Economic Forum's AMHUBs (Advanced Manufacturing Hub). These centers of excellence aggregate and share knowledge, resources and tools around Industry 4.0 through collaborative projects and initiatives. 

In episode one of our two-part series with Automation Alley Executive Director and CEO Tom Kelly, we discuss the state of Industry 4.0 in the United States. Are small and midsized manufacturers aware of the impact Industry 4.0 will have? What technological and cultural changes need to be made for a business to embrace Industry 4.0? How will reshoring impact our manufacturing workforce?

We answer all these and more in a fascinating discussion all around advanced manufacturing strategies.

(Ready for episode two? Listen here:

3 Big Takeaways from this episode:

  1. Industry 4.0 and digital transformation must be collaborative efforts: This concept is unfamiliar in manufacturing where companies hold tightly to their "secret sauce," but the rate of change of technology today makes it imperative that organizations share their knowledge and best practices around Industry 4.0. At Automation Alley, the mindset is share what you know; take what you need. We discuss the roles that companies, academic institutions, government and other entities must play in this collaborative effort.
  2. Industry 4.0 readiness is about business culture, too: While so much focus is placed on technology, Automation Alley's research with small to midsize companies has shown that it's really about company culture and a willingness to change - and that might mean disrupting business models from a capital-asset-focused strategy. Hear Tom share the four biggest barriers to change for SMBs and how he scores the U.S. for Industry 4.0 readiness.
  3. The workforce will be massively disrupted by Industry 4.0: Disrupting business models, changing technologies, reshoring manufacturing to the U.S. and an aging manufacturing workforce all play into this idea - that the manufacturing workforce will be greatly disrupted by Industry 4.0. Echoing earlier sentiments, the workforce challenge should be solved through collaboration, company culture, and building connections between academia and industry.


To learn about Automation Alley and get free access to Industry 4.0 knowledge visit:

To get access to the Industry 4.0 Readiness Assessment discussed in this episode, visit:

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