Season 3

S3E03: Bringing American Manufacturing into the Fifth Industrial Revolution

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S3E03: Bringing American Manufacturing into the Fifth Industrial Revolution
May 31, 2023

S3E03: Bringing American Manufacturing into the Fifth Industrial Revolution

This episode features an interview with Walker Reynolds, President & Solutions Architect of 4.0 Solutions.

Walker Reynolds

Walker Reynolds

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Episode Transcript

Episode Summary:

This episode of Over the Edge features an interview between Matt Trifiro and Walker Reynolds, President and Solutions Architect of 4.0 Solutions. Walker’s mission is to save and create middle-class jobs by helping manufacturers become more efficient through successful digital transformation efforts.

Walker dives into the fourth and fifth industrial revolutions, and how he approaches digital transformation within an industry where many companies have fallen behind. He explains how 4.0 Solutions evaluates digital capabilities within their clients’ companies and what factors indicate that a company is capable of improving. This conversation gives insight into technology applications across the manufacturing plant floor and into the ways that Walker thinks the industry could solve its biggest problems.  

Key Quotes:

“It is the convergence of artificial and human intelligence. That's what the fifth industrial revolution is. And when we talk about industry 5.0 or the fifth industrial revolution, that's what we're talking about. We're talking about being able to take the best person you have in your organization and put them on the biggest problem, no matter where in the world that biggest problem is.”

“Do the people at the helm of your organization understand what digital transformation actually is?... Well, it's about unlocking potential on the plant floor to start. The smartest people in any manufacturing organization, they are the people who do the actual work on the plant floor.”

“And what I realized was, holy cow, if you could unlock that potential in all these operators, you could solve the manufacturing exodus problem in the United States overnight. If you could suddenly be able to figure out how to tap into the operator's knowledge and enable them to solve the business's problems, you would solve manufacturing in the United States overnight. And that's what digital transformation does.”

“If everyone in your organization can't recite from memory what the digital strategy is, you don't have one because every person in the organization is a node in an ecosystem. If they don't know how they're inter-operating in that ecosystem, well then you don't have a strategy. Or you didn't communicate it.”

Show Timestamps:

2:36 Walker’s start in tech

6:45 Understanding industry 4.0 and 5.0

10:10 How advanced are most manufacturers in the U.S.?

11:21 The top digital manufacturer

14:44 How does Walker determine whether an organization can improve?

17:00 Solving the manufacturing exodus problem

20: 35 How Walker gets leadership buy-in?

23:46 Intellic Integration and 4.0 Solutions

33:08 Factory floor examples / Kepware

39:12 Defining HMI, OPC, PLC

41:45 IoT and the Internet in the industrial world

44:40 The two steps of digital transformation

46:30 Example of how data supports consumables

48:30 Factories leveraging cloud

54:00 Digital and human advantages to using data to react in real time

57:22 What is Amazon doing right?

61:04 Data centers as factories

1:02:02 Speeding up the revitalization of the manufacturing industry