Keynote presentations and breakout sessions announced for Automation Alley’s Nov. 9 Industry 4.0-themed conference in Detroit

“With Industry 4.0, the backbone of factories will become their digital thread”

Media Contacts: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications;; 248.260.8466; Nicole Kampe, Automation Alley;; 248.457.3301

TROY, Mich., Oct. 31, 2017 —  Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading technology and manufacturing business association, has announced keynote presentation and breakout session topics for its Integr8™ conference,  a unique cross-discipline global event focused on Industry 4.0 technologies, taking place Thursday, Nov. 9, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., at the Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center.

Integr8™ is expected to attract 500 manufacturing and technology professionals from across the region and world and will advance attendees’ knowledge and understanding of the eight key technologies associated with Industry 4.0, the fourth industrial revolution currently disrupting the manufacturing industry. Those eight technologies include cybersecurity, big data and artificial intelligence, additive manufacturing, advanced materials, robotics, the Industrial Internet of Things, cloud computing and modeling, simulation and visualization.

Keynote speakers are Howard Heppelmann, divisional vice president and general manager of Connected Operations Solutions at PTC, the creator of leading Internet of Things and augmented reality platforms, and Ian Steff, deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

“Gone are the days where factories are rigid, slowly evolving physical environments. With Industry 4.0, the backbone of factories will become their digital thread,” Heppelmann said. “Tomorrow’s digital factory will enable a new era of speed, flexibility and innovation that will deliver dramatic performance improvements across every function of the manufacturing enterprise.”

Heppelmann’s morning presentation will focus on how Industry 4.0 has enabled breakthrough capabilities in the factory at an accelerated pace across the industrial value chain. Unlike past industrial revolutions, Industry 4.0 spans the factory as well as its extended value chain and thus merits a well-designed digital transformation vision and roadmap. Heppelmann will discuss how companies can implement Industry 4.0 to understand, advance and outperform.

The afternoon keynote by Ian Steff will focus on the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers. Steff was appointed deputy assistant secretary for manufacturing at the U.S. Department of Commerce in June 2017 and oversees a broad portfolio of national manufacturing programs. Managing a staff of 45 industry and analysis professionals within the International Trade Administration, he is among those senior officials responsible for executing plans to foster growth in U.S. manufacturing jobs and investments.

In addition to the keynote presentations, Integr8™ will include multiple breakout sessions in the eight Industry 4.0 technology sectors. Sessions include:

  • Fast and Furious: Rapid Design and Prototyping with 3D Printing
  • Robotic Applications of Today and Tomorrow
  • Think, Reason and Perceive: The AI Revolution
  • Stop Hackers in Their Tracks
  • Cloud Accumulation: The Risks and Rewards of Cloud Computing
  • Connecting the Dots: IIoT on Your Factory Floor
  • Blurring the Lines Between the Digital and Physical World
  • AR/VR Deep Dive: The future of Industry 4.0
  • Fast and Furious II: How Advanced Materials Are Revolutionizing All Industries
  • State of the Factory: Automation and Robotics in Global Manufacturing
  • How Smart Factories Manage Their Digital Toolbox
  • Car to Cloud: Keeping Your Data Protected
  • Cloud vs. Fog: What’s Better for Your Business?
  • Don’t Leave Your Data Stranded in The Field: The Benefits of IIoT
  • The Art of Making: MSV Explored
  • A Collaborative Workforce: Simplifying Complex Human-Robot Interaction
  • From Analog to Digital: How Do I Start?
  • Is Your Database Safe? Protecting Networks from Security Breaches
  • Next-Gen Factories: Unlocking the Value of IIoT
  • A Workforce Re-Imagined: Jobs in the Digital Era

Breakout session panelists include Industry 4.0 experts and thought leaders from ASK, Autodesk, Automation of Things, BluVector, Carbon, Carnegie Mellon University, Coherix, Comau, Comcast, Dana Corporation, DAQRI, DASI Solutions, FACTON, FANUC, the FBI, Ford Motor Company, Fraunhofer Institute, GE Digital, General Motors, HP Inc., IBM, KUKA, Lear Corporation, LHP Engineering Solutions, LIFT, Microsoft, MIT, Omron, OPS, Parker Hannifin, PTC, Reply, RSM, TARDEC, Tata, University of Michigan, Wedoo and more.

Integr8™ will also feature a targeted technology expo taking place throughout the day and will conclude with a closing reception featuring beer, wine, and appetizers. In addition to the Integr8™ conference on Nov. 9, Automation Alley is hosting a VIP Dinner and Cocktail Reception the day before the conference on Wednesday, Nov. 8, from 5:30-8:30 p.m., at the new Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Tickets information and additional details for both events can be found at

About Automation Alley

Integr8™ is presented by Automation Alley, Michigan’s leading nonprofit technology and manufacturing business association, connecting industry, academia and government to fuel Southeast Michigan’s economy and accelerate innovation. The mission of Automation Alley is to position Southeast Michigan as a global leader in Industry 4.0 by helping our members increase revenue, reduce costs and think strategically as they keep pace with rapid technological changes in manufacturing.