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 Industry 4.0 – opportunities and challenges of digital transformation 

The dovetailing of production and automation technology with the latest information and communication technology, known in Germany as Industry 4.0, is also an important topic in the USA. The development of fully automated factories connected to the Internet, so-called "smart factories", is being promoted in the USA under the term "Industrial Internet of Things" (IIoT) "Smart Manufacturing" or "Advanced Manufacturing".

Efficiency gains through IIoT are crucial for the US to remain competitive in the global manufacturing market and gain attractiveness as a manufacturing location. Industry 4.0 solutions from German providers can help to digitally network systems, parts and processes and enable highly individualized production and flexible manufacturing.

The North American market for IIoT solutions is estimated to grow to $599 billion by 2021. The USA is very interesting as a sales market for IIoT solutions. According to the DIGITAL Economy Monitoring Report 2016, the USA is the country with the best framework conditions for the digital economy in terms of technical infrastructure and the intensity of use of digital technologies.

In this workshop, company representatives will exchange their experiences in introducing Industry 4.0 solutions in the USA compared to Germany and discuss the current status of the implementation of digitization measures. The workshop will also show the participants current trends and look at the Industry 4.0 landscape in the USA. Innovative projects and concrete examples will show potential and market opportunities for German providers of Industry 4.0 solutions in the USA and address possible challenges associated with entering the market.


Our speakers

Jackson Bond
Co-Founder, Chief Industry Evangelist, New Business, relayr GmbH


Jackson Bond has been relayr's co-founder and chief industrial evangelist since 2018. He has served as chief product officer since 2013 and built the relayr product and marketing teams. In the last 5 years he has been in close dialogue with industrial engineers and senior managers in heavy industry to better understand their challenges and needs to enable digital transformation.
Before that he co-founded MONOQI, Europe's leading eCommerce platform for designer products and 8hertz Technologies, a leading provider of speech recognition applications. In these corporate development roles, he was involved in setting up new products and business areas for XING AG and Parship.

Michael Butschek
Senior Vice President "Digital Enterprise", Siemens AG, Digital Factory


Michael Butschek is responsible for Digital Enterprise in the Digital Factory division of Siemens AG – the connection between the virtual and the real world. The basis is the world's leading automation and industrial software portfolio from Siemens AG. The area of responsibility ranges from the definition of the industrial digitization strategy to global governance of sales activities, portfolio management and consulting to the construction of demo systems and partner agreements.
Before taking on his current role, Michael Butschek was responsible, among other things, for strategy and regions for Siemens' Industry Services business and, as CEO, headed the Americas & Industry business of Siemens Management Consulting.

Peter Riehle
President & CEO, WITTENSTEIN holding, Corp.  and President, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc. 


Peter Riehle has been President and CEO of WITTENSTEIN holding, Corporation since May 2013.  Prior to that he was Vice President of Sales and Marketing at TRUMPF Inc. in Farmington, CT, CEO at DMG America (DMG-Mori) in Chicago, IL and Director of Industrial Sales at Schaeffler in Fort Mill, SC. His career includes many managerial positions with responsibility for sales and marketing, research and development, software engineering, procurement and logistics, acquisitions and business intelligence. Mr. Riehle is an international business executive with extensive knowledge of sales and distribution of advanced machine tool technology.
He is President of the GACC Midwest and was instrumental in the launch of the ICATT program.

Rainer Strohm

VP Corporate Sector Information Systems and Services, Robert Bosch GmbH


Rainer Strohm is responsible for the digital transformation of the Bosch Rexroth, Bosch Packaging and Bosch Connected Industry divisions in the Corporate Sector Information and Services at Robert Bosch GmbH.
In close cooperation with the Business CDO Industry, the spectrum of tasks ranges from the definition of the digital strategy to the implementation of the projects, the rollout and the operation of the solutions. 
From 2003 to mid-2017 he was at IBM, where he headed the cloud computing division and was responsible for customers in the automotive and industrial sectors.


Mark Tomkins
Executive Director, German American Chamber of Commerce of the Midwest, Inc.

Mark Tomkins has been working for the AHK USA-Chicago since 2006 and has already supported a large number of German companies from different industries with their market entry in the USA with his team. He has been the managing director of the AHK since May 2015 and a member of the board since 2009. During his work at the AHK, he was in charge of developing the Skills Initiative, which supports companies and public institutions in introducing German dual training structures. He initiated the ICATT (Industry Consortium for Advanced Technical Training) training program developed according to German standards, with which the AHK USA-Chicago currently offers complete solutions in vocational training for more than 35 companies. Before joining AHK, Mr. Tomkins was active in business development consulting for more than ten years and advised international companies on the establishment of strategic alliances and long-term cooperation.


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