Industry 4.0: Supporting Small and Medium-Sized Manufacturers
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Several new and emerging technologies – that are part of Industry 4.0 – are dramatically transforming manufacturing. Additive manufacturing, advanced materials, artificial intelligence, big data, internet of things are just some examples that are making it possible for people and machines to interact more efficiently and improve production processes. Small and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs) find themselves facing unique challenges in adopting I4.0 technologies. This paper dives into the strategies that economic development organizations (EDOs) can use to support SMMs and ensure that their communities stay competitive regionally and globally.

Industry 4.0 builds on the extensive research presented in Future Ready: Preparing for Tomorrow’s Economy. Where Future Ready took a broader look at the impact of various technologies across multiple economic sectors, this paper dives deeper into impact of Industry 4.0 technologies and SMMs and how EDOs can assist them. Six case studies from around the US and the world provide useful examples on how EDOs are integrating strategies to support SMMs into traditional economic development practices.

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