Industry Today Volume 22 Issue 4

he future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.” That’s a song title that was a hit in the mid-1980s, when the future was, well, 2020. So, now that we’ve arrived in the future, with smart factories and Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things, how bright is it? And is it in some cases too bright for our own good? A little of both, actually. Our focus feature, “Futureproofing the Factory of Tomorrow,” reports on a recent study on smart factory initiatives by Deloitte and the Manufacturers’ Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI). While manufacturers are overwhelmingly optimistic about the value of smart factories to improve efficiencies in production output, labor productivity and factory utilization, some risks are involved. However, any potential pitfalls can be addressed with thoughtful planning that involves all stakeholders, an effective change management strategy, measurable proofs-of- concept and incremental investments. Back in the 1980s, automation was viewed as a threat to jobs. Today, smart factory initiatives are a solution to a widespread labor shortage and reversing trends of declining labor productivity over the past decade. Properly executed, there’s little doubt the smart factory is the future for the manufacturing industry. The future is always top of mind with industry innovators. Elsewhere in this issue we feature the grand opening of the Georgetown Center for Advanced Manufacturing (GCAM) at the Horry-Georgetown Technical College. The brand new 30,000 square foot facility will offer technical educational programs, including advanced welding technologies, machine tooling, robotics and mechatronics. Needless to say, the future of manufacturing is as dependent on cultivating and encouraging people who are skilled in the use of technology as the technology itself. For those who feel the future threatens traditional industries, check out how offshore wind turbines, marine life and commercial fishing all co-exit at the Block Island Wind Farm in “Offshore Wind Energy Projects: An Angler’s Paradise.” Done right, offshore wind power not only generates clean energy, it creates a thriving habitat for creatures underneath the waves. The structure of wind turbine foundations actually attract greater numbers of fish, serving as a kind of artificial reef, which in turn increases the productivity and sustainability of local fishing. Moving to land, “The Next Big Thing in Smart Buildings” traces the evolution of smart buildings from the early building controls installed in the 1980s—when people were listening to “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades”—up to today’s digitized constructions. As for us here at Industry Today, we’re focused, as always, on covering the issues and trends most relevant and of interest to our readership. Here in the future of 2020, you no longer hold this magazine in your hands as you once did; but the information it contains holds the same value, time and again. “T Industry Today is published bi-monthly by Positive Publications LLC, 65 Madison Avenue, Suite 540, Morristown, NJ 07960. Copyright © Industry Today 2019. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or for any purpose without prior written consent from the publisher and payment of the agreed fee. ISSN # 1521-8058 65 Madison Avenue, Suite 540, Morristown, NJ 07960 Ph. 973.218.0310 Publisher: Susan G. Poeton Project Director: Brian McMillan Project Managers: Marcos Elias Jonathan Listig Production: Melissa S. Burge Art Director: Seema Mazhar Contributing Designers: Jorge Leandro Rodrigues Profile Writers: Reuben Ford, Lorie Greenspan, Michael Sommers, David Soyka Publisher’s Letter INDUSTRY TODAY 1