Sensors Midwest 2018: Industry 4.0 Challenges Clarified & Conquered

Industry 4.0 can be described in few and simple words. Quite simply, Industry 4.0 is the automation of manufacturing and industrial facilities. Here comes the tricky part.


In today’s environment, factory automation, or the smart factory, involves more than several remote-controlled machines and conveyor belts operating and producing goods with little or no human intervention. Industry 4.0 employs and relies on the internet of things (IoT), industrial internet of things (IIoT), machine learning, artificial intelligence, and cloud and edge computing, either or both. Just getting all these technologies to work together faultlessly is a daunting task. Getting them all on the same page to work efficiently, productively, and profitably as well requires a bit of education.

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Industry 4.0 is not without its challenges. Probably the first and foremost concern of prospective developers is security. When processes and tasks are communicated over the IoT, security risks are far from few. Next up is reliability of automated tasks. With the use of machine learning and autonomous operation, factory owners need to know the system will work consistently and safely.


Other challenges include additional maintenance, computer problems and glitches, lack of modern skills among existing personnel, and the cost of change. There also seems to be some concern over the lack of standards and regulations. Bottom line, there’s much to be considered and learned before diving headlong into Industry 4.0.


If you are planning to get involved or are already up to your waist in Industry 4.0 applications, there are resources available you should take advantage of. For example, at Sensors Midwest 2018, you  can attend and participate in the “IoT Enabled Industry 4.0 Workshop” on Wednesday, October 17, 2018 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm in Room 51. The workshop will be conducted by two experts in the field, Dr. Pankesh Patel, Senior Research Scientist at Fraunhofer USA and Shivakumar Mathapathi, Adjunct Professor at Sonoma State University.



The eight-hour, hands-on workshop will help attendees understand and respond to the Industry 4.0 trend in a variety of approaches that will include discussions, use cases, and technology demonstrations. It will start with a comprehensive overview of Industry 4.0 concepts aimed at engineering executives and decision makers who want to understand what Industry 4.0 is and how they can get their organizations ready for it. After that, follow-on workshop modules dive deeper into Industry 4.0 details. By the end of the workshop, participants will have a strong understanding of Industry 4.0 and how it can be used to solve business problems and deliver higher value.


Dr. Pankesh Patel is working at Fraunhofer USA – Center for Experimental Software Engineering (CESE) as a Senior Research Scientist. His current focus is on deploying Industry 4.0 techniques and methodologies in commercial environments. Prior to joining Fraunhofer, he served as a Research Scientist for the Industrial Software System group at ABB Corporate Research-India.


Pankesh’s research applies model software engineering techniques such as separation of concerns, abstractions to hide software complexity, and end-to-end system integration. In brief, his focus is building software development methodologies and tools to easily develop applications in the cross-section of software engineering, cyber-physical systems, and IoT. He has published more than 34 research articles in prestigious events. He is frequently invited to speak as a panelist and keynote at both academic and commercial conferences. Dr. Pankesh obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Paris VI and the French National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation (INRIA) in Paris, France.


Shivakumar Mathapathi is an Adjunct Professor at Sonoma State University.  He is the Team Lead for Global City team challenge hosted by National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST USA).


Shivakumar has over 25 years of experience in product development and design. He is a seasoned technologist, entrepreneur, instructor and practitioner on the Internet of Things (IoT) with extensive experience as lead faculty, and in lab-practice and mentorship in executing smart city, smart agriculture, assisted living and other IoT related projects. He has designed study programs and academic syllabus for The IoT course, a master’s curriculum (4 units) taught at Santa Clara University and California Polytechnic State University. He led capstone design project at Cal Poly- San Luis, Obispo (part of California State University) to design and develop IoT cloud platform needed for smart city.


Shivakumar has contributed to the building of the ecosystem and innovation pathways for the OpenIoT project, a blueprint and awarded Open Source project in the Internet of Things for smart Cities sponsored by the European commission. Focused on academic research and innovation, he is involved in architecture design and development of smart city projects such as smart trash monitoring, flood monitoring, and smart trail traffic monitoring for the City of San Luis Obispo. California.


Now that you are ready to jump into wide world of Industry 4.0, you need to do that ever-popular two-step Tango:

  1. Register for Sensors Midwest 2018.
  2. Attend the “IoT Enabled Industry 4.0 Workshop” session, Wednesday, October 17, 2018 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm in Room 51. Sign up now for this workshop.


Also, checkout the conference schedule for related sessions and the exhibitor lineup for presentations of the latest sensors and sensor-related products plus a plethora of other technologies.


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