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'Digital Industrial' Firms Talk Pros and Cons of Automation, AI at Detroit Summit
With the emergence of 3-D holographic engine models and windshield-projected driving directions, industry as we know it is being upended. Technology is enabling technology that produces technology, yielding a new paradigm.
“We are moving from a place to a pace,” Howard Heppelmann, divisional vice president and general manager of connected operations solutions at PTC Inc (NASDAQ: PTC), said at Automation Alley’s Global Industry 4.0 Conference.
It’s a new world requiring constant adaptation, and those who can’t keep up and who don’t embrace the label “digital industrial” won’t survive, he said.
“You’re never going to be done,” Heppelmann said. “You’re going to be living in this world for the rest of your life.”
Hundreds of industry players gathered Thursday at the Integr8 Conference in Detroit to drill down on their competitive position in the fourth industrial revolution.
An Undeniable Tailwind
Augmented reality enhances preproduction modeling to optimize manufacturability. Predictive analytics detect early flaws to eliminate the need for later testing. Cloud-connected robots hasten precision manufacturing and heavy lifting to cut costs.
“We’re actually in the game because of automation,” Matt Tyler, president and CEO of Vickers Engineering, Inc., said during a panel. “For every million pieces we ship, we only have two rejections, and that’s because of automation.”
Tyler reported not only a reduction in injury incidents and safety issues at his company, but achievement in cost competitiveness and scaling that allowed the firm to double the average wage it pays.
Photo: Getty iStock