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International Workshop at WPI for SMEs on Industry 4.0

On September 28, 2017, WPI is hosting a workshop to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) take advantage of Industry 4.0. It is part of a project funded by the European Union. Seven other universities around the world are involved, including MIT. Prof Erwin Rauch of the Free University of Bolzano in Italy, the lead institution, is managing the event, which is coordinated by Prof. Chris Brown of WPI.

The workshop is for entrepreneurs and managers, including production or logistics managers, of SMEs. Participation is limited to 12 enterprises. Please contact GlorieAnn Minnich [email protected] if you are interested.

Industry 4.0, a term better known in Europe than the US, is about the fourth industrial revolution, that is, advancing from embedded systems, e.g. programmable machines, to cyber-physical systems (CPS), i.e. communicating and thinking machines. The main features are:​

  1. Intelligent systems in production and logistics;​
  2. Highly adaptable and modular manufacturing and logistics systems;​
  3. Sustainable and advanced manufacturing technologies;​
  4. Automation technology and human-machine interaction.​

With Industry 4.0, new web and ICTs (information and communication technologies) promote smart, autonomous, self-learning factories, which can provide more individualized and customized products.​ The workshop seeks to provide information on industry 4.0 and, interactively with the attendees, to identify the needs and enablers for transitioning to a smart and intelligent enterprise.​ This will support the creation of solutions for production and logistics systems in SMEs, and the development of sustainable organization and business models.​

The project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under the Marie Skłodowska-Curie grant agreement No 734713.

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