March 18, 2019
Other Voices

Hartford region can be a leader in Industry 4.0

David Griggs

Times have changed with the advanced-manufacturing industry, creating a wealth of opportunity for Hartford and other areas of Connecticut.

Connecticut — and specifically Hartford — has a rich history and tradition of success in many industries including precision manufacturing, aeronautical and aerospace, and industrial tools.

Our state is home to some of the world's most innovative and prosperous advanced-manufacturing companies including Pratt & Whitney, Barnes Aerospace, Stanley Black & Decker, General Dynamics Electric Boat, Kaman Corp., and Pitney Bowes.

But the term "advanced manufacturing" no longer reflects the growth and technological advances in this sector, nor does it encapsulate the role Industry 4.0 plays in the economic growth and sustainability of our city, region and state. As the industry advances, so does the way we must talk about it and the functions it serves in our economic growth.

Industry 4.0 is the fourth revolution in manufacturing. It describes the ongoing direction of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. By capitalizing on emerging technologies, Industry 4.0 creates numerous ways to combine physical and digital applications. This new industrial revolution can potentially enhance business efficiency with smart and autonomous systems powered by data and machine learning.

The Hartford region can and should be a leader in Industry 4.0 with its legacy in manufacturing and existing leadership in this growing sector. As an integral community stakeholder, the Alliance and our partners play an important role stimulating interest around Industry 4.0 and its role enhancing our global brand.

With our mission to serve as an economic-development leader and our well-connected audience of community stakeholders, the Alliance is well-positioned to communicate the intent for Hartford to be a leader in Industry 4.0.

Already, opportunities to encourage Industry 4.0 are taking place in Greater Hartford, with initiatives like The Stanley+Tech Stars Additive Manufacturing Accelerator, which takes place at Manufactory 4.0, Stanley's new advanced-manufacturing center in downtown Hartford. MakerspaceCT will also play an important role for those looking to become involved with Industry 4.0 as a hobby or a potential business. The Hartford-based workspace provides information and access to tools and technology for local inventors, innovators, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, hobbyists and students.

Greater Hartford has all the assets in place to be one of the world's most economically viable manufacturing markets. The resources and leadership we have to support Industry 4.0 will not only foster success but sustain it for generations.

The Alliance looks forward to working with our community and prospective businesses to ensure long-term economic growth in an industry whose past success here has built our foundation for the future.

David Griggs is the president and CEO of the MetroHartford Alliance.

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