#SpeakerSpotlight: Ben Hope

Ben Hope calls himself a “Technology Driver for Advanced Manufacturing & Industry 4.0”. He works with Festo, a manufacturer of automation solutions for industry. Ben will take part in a discussion about “The Evolution of Automation, Impact on the Growth of Industrial IoT” at the Wavefront 2017 IoT Summit, May 1-2 in Toronto.

Learn more about this digital transformer.

What inspired you to pursue a career as a champion of business productivity and innovation?

I come from the world of industrial manufacturing and automation. I was always drawn to the idea of things and their ubiquity in our lives, which (I think) led me to manufacturing. I also love technology and how it enables us to be better, more productive and smarter.  Working in a sector with so much potential yet traditionally being so rigid and low tech, meant that it was ripe for disruption and innovation. And that inspired me!  With the introduction of Industry 4.0 and the potentials of digital transformation, manufacturing is about to enter into a new age, a renaissance of sorts. For the first time in many years, it’s an exciting place to be!

What is the leading trend in IoT for 2017?

The Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will enable industrial processes to be connected making them more flexible, reconfigurable, and independent. This has been talked about in the manufacturing space for many years, but 2017 is starting to see implementation. This will have a tremendous impact on manufacturing. It will mean customizable products (batch sizes of one), new products, and updated products can come to market faster.

What are the key challenges around adopting IoT technologies/ transitioning to a digital organization?

Workforce development is the biggest challenge in my industry. Advanced technologies, communications, and software are transforming the factory floor (or the operations technology) leading to the human worker’s value being pushed to more high skill areas of an organization. This means that industry, educational institutions and government must work together to ensure that people have access to the training they need in order to contribute and function in this new digital age.

What’s on your reading list for 2017?

I’m looking forward to reading “The Industries of the Future” by Alec Ross and “The Originals” by Adam Grant. Both of which appear (conveniently) as “frequently bought together” on Amazon.

If you could create a smart technology to make your job easier, what would it be?

AI for Google that could better understand search context and locate more relevant content, pictures and video.

Catch Ben Hope at the Wavefront Summit May 1-2 in Toronto!  

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