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The Digital Bridge initiative supports manufacturers in adopting Industry 4.0 technologies, including robotics, digitization, additive manufacturing (AM), and cybersecurity, to enhance their processes and resources. Manufacturers must carefully consider implementation opportunities and challenges while leveraging digitization to optimize data distribution.

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The Digital Bridge Initiative

The Digital Bridge initiative helps manufacturers with implementation of Industry 4.0 technologies in products, processes, logistics, and human resources. Eligible uses include:

Robotics and Automation

If you, like many manufacturers, are challenged to do more with your existing workforce, then exploring your facility for opportunities to leverage robotics and automation is a critical step. Increasing throughput, eliminating bottlenecks, and improving machine utilization are all potential benefits from robotics and automation.  You can also expect to increase worker satisfaction by eliminating dull, dangerous, or monotonous tasks or improve quality through consistent performance shift after shift.

Additive Manufacturing (AM)

AM is revolutionizing manufacturing; not as a replacement for traditional manufacturing, but as another tool at your disposal that can reduce costs and increase capabilities across the manufacturing spectrum.

Digitization

Digitization covers a wide range of applications and functional areas at a manufacturer, from front office to operations and everywhere in between. It is all about providing the right data to the right people at the right time.

Cybersecurity

Depending on your customers and industry, you may be subject to cybersecurity requirements that will dictate the cybersecurity protocol you must follow. A prime example is the U.S. Department of Defense Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC).

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Technical Assistance Planning And Implementation

  • Industry 4.0 technology assessments and project identification/prioritization services
  • Vendor validation and selection services
  • Project implementation support: de-risking of deployments and other project management support
  • University student project teams to provide no-cost project analysis and evaluation
  • Access to advanced technology research and demonstration facilities at Carnegie Mellon University, Digital Foundry at New Kensington, and University of Pittsburgh

Digital Discovery Webinar Series

Digital Discovery is an education series where speakers present for 30 minutes on a topic relevant to Industry 4.0 technologies. Each webinar serves as a tool to help regional manufacturers improve their competitive advantage and strategies to expand business.

Case Studies

Access To Capital

The Digital Bridge Technical Assistance Program provides matching funds from the Economic Development Administration, Build Back Better (BBB) initiative to assist Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in integrating and expanding the adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies through visual management solutions, production system modeling and design, prototyping, vendor research and evaluation, and other assistance.

The Digital Bridge Technical Assistance Program provides for two types of funding reimbursement, which will be awarded on a competitive basis, first come, first served, to SME Manufacturers

1. Manufacturing Engineering Projects (up to $10,000) technical assistance for assessment and evaluation of Industry 4.0 investments and advanced manufacturing technologies, including manufacturing engineering, data analysis and vendor selection services.

2. Production Simulation and Industry 4.0 Project Implementation (up to $25,000) support for advanced manufacturing Industry 4.0 and advanced manufacturing technology implementation projects, which may include but not be limited to de-risking of deployments, prototyping, modeling, and simulation.

The complete guidelines for the Digital Bridge Technical Assistance Program can be found in this document.

Workforce Development

  • Manufacturing Industry Partnerships focused on employer needs
  • Training funds and services offered by PA CareerLink and Workforce Development Boards
  • On-the-Job Training (OJT) offering up to 75%
  • Incumbent Worker Training (IWT)
  • Individual Training Accounts (ITA) creating opportunities for job seekers
  • Coordinating and providing job fairs for local employers with hiring needs
  • WEDnetPA funds can also provide training reimbursements for incumbent workers
  • Access to training content developed and provided by regional resources and partners to develop worker skills
  • Access to high school and college students for part-time work and internships

Coalition Partners

The Digital Bridge coalition is led by Catalyst Connection with academic, economic development, and technology partners from around the region.

  • Digital Foundry
  • JARI
  • Pittsburgh Technology Council
  • University of Pittsburgh, Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business
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