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Published in Manufacturing

West Michigan organizations to partner on Industry 4.0 workshops for companies

BY Friday, July 30, 2021 02:36pm

A partnership among West Michigan organizations supporting advanced manufacturing has announced an opportunity for area companies to learn more about Industry 4.0.

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Economic development organization The Right Place Inc., Walker-based electrical services and industrial technology firm Feyen Zylstra LLC, and the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center-West (MMTC-West) will launch Industry 4.0 workshops in August. The events are designed to assist small and mid-sized manufacturing companies incorporate Industry 4.0 practices into their operations.

The day-long, in-person workshops, which cost $150 per person, will be held at Feyen Zylstra’s Industrial Tech Center, located at 3085 Walkent Drive in Walker. Workshops are slated for Aug. 25 and Sept. 21, and additional dates could be added based on interest.

“While Industry 4.0 and (industrial internet of things) are widely-accepted concepts on the plant floor, many manufacturers have yet to understand and harness the benefits and competitive advantage that they provide,” Ryan Cahalane, president of industrial technology for Feyen Zylstra, said in an announcement. 

“We believe Feyen Zylstra’s ongoing Industry 4.0 partnership with The Right Place and The Center-West will assist area manufacturers with accelerating their access to digital transformation and smart manufacturing technologies,” Cahalane added.

Interested participants can sign up through Feyen Zylstra’s website.

State officials have approved millions of dollars in funding this year to accelerate Industry 4.0 practices and concepts as manufacturers search for answers to labor and supply chain problems.

Small and mid-size manufacturers, in particular, have generally lagged behind their larger counterparts in implementing advanced technology into their operations.

“This partnership provides a systemwide approach to improvement and adoption of proven manufacturing principles and implementation of the correct Industry 4.0 technologies to advance a company’s vision,” Justine Burdette, regional director of MMTC-West, said in a statement. “There is great potential for productivity and quality gains with smaller to mid-sized companies through applying facets of Industry 4.0 to their operations.”

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