Automation Alley contributes to white paper report on the impact of COVID-19 on advanced manufacturing

Troy, Mich.-based Automation Alley, the World Economic Forum's Advanced Manufacturing Hub (AMHUB) for North America and a nonprofit Industry 4.0 knowledge center, is a contributor to a new AMHUB global network white paper report about how the manufacturing industry can survive and thrive in the midst of supply chain disruptions and halts to production caused by the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Capturing perspectives from seven worldwide regions the World Economic Forum has identified as advanced manufacturing or major industrial hubs, “The Impact of COVID-19 on the Future of Advanced Manufacturing and Production: Insights from the World Economic Forum’s Global Network of Advanced Manufacturing Hubs” addresses the global impact of COVID-19, provides examples of manufacturing and government responses, and offers best practices to get economies and citizens back to health as quickly and wisely as possible.

“The World Economic Forum established the global network of AMHUBs to help small to midsized manufacturers keep pace with the rapidly transforming technological advances that could disrupt their industry,” Automation Alley vice president and white paper contributing author Cynthia Hutchison said. “The aggregate of voices in the white paper not only reports on the manufacturing impact of COVID-19 from regional angles throughout the globe, but also shares lessons learned and best practices to mitigate repercussions and improve manufacturers’ ability to be better prepared and come out stronger.”

Input from the AMHUB responders highlights key findings:

  • The coronavirus pandemic is a wake-up call for the necessity of Industry 4.0 technologies in a global marketplace that will now require more agile and flexible production systems and supply chains.
  • Manufacturers that apply a digital-first mindset to a physical business will reap the benefits of implementing Industry 4.0 technologies.
  • The growing need for remote interaction may potentially accelerate adoption of 5G technology.
  • The latest advances in manufacturing technology show just how far we have come and that investments do pay off. Ten years ago, disruption the magnitude of COVID-19 would have forced many to completely shut down.

In addition to input from Hutchison and Nicole Kampe, Automation Alley’s manager of global content strategy and development, AMHUB members from Turkey, Copenhagen, Boston, South Korea, and Italy contributed to the white paper report.


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