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Planning and Economic Development

Contact: Vicky Rowinski, Director of Macomb County Planning & Economic Development

Phone: 586-469-5065



May 15, 2023

Augmented reality and virtual reality to be subjects of Macomb County Industry 4.0 workshop

Augmented reality and virtual reality are the subjects of the next Industry 4.0 workshop hosted by the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development (MCPED) in partnership with Oakland University and the Velocity Center

The workshop will take place June 15 from 8 a.m. -10 the Velocity Center, located on 18 Mile Road in Sterling Heights.

The keynote speaker is Khalid Mirza, PhD., a special instructor at Oakland University in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. Mirza is also the director of the Chrysler Lab and Industrial Robotics Lab.

Industry 4.0 (I4.0) is the ongoing automation of manufacturing and industrial practices, using modern smart technology. I4.0 helps manage and optimize all aspects of the manufacturing processes and supply chain. It provides access to real-time data and insights necessary to make smarter, faster decisions, which can ultimately boost the efficiency and profitability of an entire operation.

Augmented reality and virtual reality (AR/VR) are vital technologies implemented in the transition to Industry 4.0 and the adoption of smart manufacturing. Both use virtual environments or incorporate virtual elements to reality that provide knowledge and useful information for minimizing cost and maximizing throughput and efficiency. Industrial prototyping, plant maintenance and control, personnel training and incident response resolutions are just a few of the different ways that AR/VR are being implemented in manufacturing facilities.

If saving costs, improving processes, minimizing downtime on the floor and increasing employee safety is important to a business, they should consider attending the June 15 event to learn how these pillars of Industry 4.0 can be applied in a facility. A panel of industry experts and peer adopters will discuss these topics, as well as returns on investment and how workers play a role in these changes. The panelists include Christopher Bala of LightGuide; Jason Price of Virtual World Innovations; and Stacey Ferguson of RAVE Computers. Vendors will also be in attendance to answer questions and show new available technologies.

There is no cost to attend but seating is limited. Visit register.

The AR/VR workshop is the third in a series of five offered by MCPED in 2023. The first event, held in February, discussed cloud computing and the Internet of Things. The second event in April focused on big data. Each of the workshops addresses individual I4.0 pillars and how interconnectivity, automation and real-time data can be implemented into a facility.

The nine pillars of Industry 4.0 include:

  • Additive manufacturing (3D Printing)
  • Advanced robotics and automation
  • Advanced simulation
  • Big data and analytics
  • Cloud computing
  • Cybersecurity
  • Internet of Things
  • Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR)
  • System integration

Two final workshops will be held later this year, including additive manufacturing (3D printing), advanced robotics and automation in August, and cybersecurity in October. Learn more at


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For media inquiries only, please contact Tom Lehrer at 586-463-3523.