The MD&M East, Atlantic Design & Manufacturing, EastPack, ATX East, PLASTEC East, and Quality Expo came to New York this week.

The topics of big data, robotics, machine learning and Industry 4.0 were discussed in the aisles as well as educational sessions.

The Smart Manufacturing sessions offered a glimpse into the state of the robotics industry,  ROI-based smart manufacturing, and automated quality control.

“Keep your eyes open,” said Chris Blanchette, executive director global accounts at FANUC America Corp. “It’s going to be an amazing progression to robotics in the next decade.”

The robotics panel with FANUC, Nonik Technologies CEO Eric Macy, and SensrTrx CEO Bryan Sapot explained how the addition of robots can make a company more competitive. The panel cited research from the Robotics Industry Association (RIA) that only 10% of applications that could benefit from robots are using robots. But for those that do implement robotics, the attributes of cost, social acceptance, and ease of programming continue to drive growth.

In addition, the ability to predict downtime before it happens is just one benefit of automation, according to FANUC. Continuing the technology trends, the rise of smart manufacturing can help companies with quality. During his presentation, Willem Sundblad, CEO of Oden Technologies, explained that Industry 4.0 technologies are designed to address the cost of poor quality. When beginning a smart manufacturing project, he urged listeners to focus on what’s going to drive customer change.