Think Tanks are an interesting type of gathering of technologists and business leaders. Dell introduced me to them when I moderated two for it. Then the end of January I heard about another one. This one organized by Optel Group—a supplier of traceability software. It was the Industry 4.0 Think Tank held in Chicago.

This was more like a conference than the smaller, focused ones I was used to. In fact, it drew perhaps 300 people or more. I developed a car problem and didn’t make the drive. I received some reports from friends who were there (and who were going to send me a “guest post”, but that idea died. Here is a report from the organizers.

Embracing Disruptive Manufacturing: A Review of Industry 4.0 ThinkTank

The event welcomed 34 expert speakers, from 6 leading industries, and 200+ C-level executives, coming together to learn how to achieve or optimize their 4.0 transformation.

The format combined case studies and open discussions, as well as the Innovation Exhibit and networking breaks.



Four hands-on workshops were led by OPTEL, Boeing, Domino and VUZIX. The diverse themes and in-depth demonstrations ranged from the latest QA innovations to automation, and from wearable technologies to manufacturing control systems.

Panels and Conferences

People appreciated the format of four panel discussions and 30-minute case-study presentations. Through real-life examples, speakers showed how they personally used new 4.0 technologies to increase their overall efficiency and solve important issues.


In addition to all the information, Industry 4.0 ThinkTank also provided ample opportunity to interact with industry peers, meet potential partners, share thoughts and learn from others’ experiences.

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