Peggy talks about interoperability, saying in order for a smart factory to work as its intended, all of the different components of a system need to be able to talk to each other. She explains that mutually agreed upon standards for the Industrial IoT and the entire supply chain in manufacturing are important in supporting interoperability and reliability going forward. She continues that to achieve digital transformation, manufacturers will need to invest in the concept of individualized manufacturing and what some call “batch size 1.”
2 Championing the Workforce of the Future
Peggy kicks off the segment, talking about how technology is redefining the workplace, and how the use of short-term contractors is estimated to grow. She and Greg Settle, director of national initiatives, TechForce Foundation, discuss new trends surrounding the workforce of the future. He says TechForce Foundation is a nonprofit, with the mission to champion students to improve their education in the transportation industry. He explains that a four-year college is not the only path to success—and the problem with sending everyone there is that not everyone learns that way and we are not educating young men and women about the huge opportunity and demand in all the trades. He adds that with transportation technicians there is a lot of training that takes place once you get into the workforce. He says hands-on learners can fit in well with the technician profession.
3 Fourth Industrial Revolution in Chicago
Peggy and John Pletz, senior reporter, Crain’s Chicago Business, discuss the Fourth Industrial Revolution in Chicago. Companies are trying to figure out how to use data to make manufacturing better, faster, and smarter, he explains. Still, many manufacturers are at the early stages. While there are sensors that are cheap enough to be on machines, the hard part is pulling it all in and making sense of it, he adds. They also discuss sensors in buildings, and he says new buildings are being built with the idea of sensors and data on the front end—and then a lot of buildings are being retrofitted with digital controls as well. This is allowing building operators to improve efficiency.