Smart Manufacturing

Capitalizing on the Benefits and Avoiding Risks in the Smart Manufacturing Revolution

Smart Manufacturing (sometimes referred to as Manufacturing 4.0) — the use of technology to make manufacturing more efficient, reliable, and traceable — has surged in recent years and is now at an inflection point. Artificial intelligence, autonomous mobile robots, manufacturing execution systems containing video analytics, cybersecurity, and other technologies are more widely available and effective.

As your company seeks to harness Smart Manufacturing, the benefits are clear, but rapid developments have raised new business, legal, and practical concerns. You need specialized counsel to anticipate issues and benefit fully from the revolution underway.

Since its founding in 1842, Foley has been at the vanguard of helping clients adapt to economic and technological changes. Foley is, once again, ready to help clients navigate change to capture the benefits of Smart Manufacturing: efficient and repeatable manufacturing, product customization, consistent quality, better supply chain adaptability, greater inventory management, and heightened brand protection.

As you bring Smart Manufacturing technology to your plant floors, our attorneys provide manufacturing, technology, and legal experience as well as deep knowledge of your industry and the specific needs of your business. For many companies, adopting Smart Technology necessitates rethinking and retooling your approach to multiple issues. From improving supply chain operations to establishing productive partnerships, protecting intellectual property, and maintaining data privacy, Foley helps you find solutions across the continuum.

The vulnerabilities in supply chains have become more prominent in recent years. While Smart Manufacturing can’t address all the issues, it can help make supply chains more resilient, responsive, and flexible. Foley’s multidisciplinary team of attorneys comes to the table well versed in supply chain resiliency, supply chains of the future, and the effects of new technologies on supply chains.

Another significant challenge is the capital cost associated with adopting Smart Manufacturing technology. Expanding your capabilities may mean creating joint ventures and other partnerships to combine resources and funding. We can help negotiate and execute agreements, secure funding, establish mutually beneficial relationships, and acquire the rights necessary for success and regulatory compliance.

Smart Manufacturing has opened up a world of possibilities, potentially changing your approach to protecting intellectual property. Foley’s intellectual property attorneys focus on assessing the competitive strengths and weaknesses of your business and IP portfolio, and they help adapt your IP strategy in a dynamic business environment.

Smart Manufacturing’s process and technologies also require you to protect large amounts of sensitive data, requiring in-depth knowledge and understanding of federal and state privacy and security laws and requirements. We provide practical advice and clear guidance on how you can manage the risks associated with these assets while also helping establish data breach remediation plans. Our Data Privacy attorneys have broad and deep experience, gained through our work on compliance matters for some of the largest global companies as well as start-up companies that focus on the use of information as a core business asset. Our team has also handled a number of high-profile security data breaches and cutting-edge privacy litigation matters.

For many companies, Smart Manufacturing involves a significant expenditure of time, resources, and capital. We offer the services you need to protect your investment and business from potential issues arising from intellectual property ownership, data privacy and security risks, and a regulatory environment that is becoming increasingly complex. We are here to help you capitalize on the transformational opportunities that Smart Manufacturing presents.