The Industrial Design, Engineering & Automation (IDEA) Conference will focus on emerging trends and innovations in the design and engineering community that will enhance the future of manufacturing operations for industry leading engineers and managers.

Registration is open now!

Learn more about how you can attend the hybrid 2021 event  & book your seat now!

Register with confidence: We understand that the future is uncertain due to the COVID-19 pandemic, so all registrations will be fully refundable for any reason until October 15, 2021.  Register with confidence knowing that if your plans change, you're fully covered.

In-Person Conference Tracks


Connected systems, sensors, analytics software and data management. Putting a modern connected plant together requires not just the quality of the individual components but also the way those components are networked together to deliver the insight manufacturers need to improve their operation. Produced by Machine Design.

Wired vs. WirelessIn an age of 5G and Single-Pair Ethernet, which application works best for your environment.
Analytics and SoftwareHow to help your team make sense of the data tsunami and generate real results really quickly.
Connected SystemsPutting all the pieces together: How interoperability REALLY works.
Digital TwinPreview your automation solution before you install; how the digital twin creates efficiency
Edge ComputingA look at the hardware, software and human needs to get the most from your edge computing strategy

*All session details subject to change.

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Advanced Manufacturing IDEAs

3D printing, CAD/CAM software and AR/VR. The emergence of additive manufacturing, augmented reality and virtual reality and sophisticated CAD/CAM software give designers and manufacturers a deeper insight into how to turn ideas into products. It also allows designers to optimize their designs and shorten the time to market. Produced by Machine Design.

Robotics and SafetyFrom cobots to ergonomics, understanding the hidden value of a more automated assembly process.
System IntegrationTechnology may be daunting. A system integrator can deliver a scalable solution for your plant.
Additive ManufacturingIt's a mature technology now, but innovations are everywhere. What's next for additive manufacturing?
The Human FactorWhat does a manufacturing world with more robots mean for the human worker?
RoboticsHow to identify and "hire" the right robot for your applications

*All session details subject to change.

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Power & Fluid IDEAs

Motors, drives, electrical systems, hydraulics and pneumatics. An automated plant creates a safe and productive flow of materials and finished products. It also allows humans to be used to their fullest potential, driving operational efficiency and cost management. Produced by Machine Design and Hydraulics & Pneumatics.

Fluid Power's Role in INfrastructureWith a major federal infrastructure initiative under way, how will fluid power play a role in its success?
Compressed Air EfficiencyCompressed air leaks may be the greatest waste of energy in your plant. How to audit your system to minimize that waste.
How IoT and Fluid Power Fit TogetherHow software and sensors provide greater insight into your system's efficiency.
Connecting The SystemsIf you overlook the value of hoses, couplings and valves in your fluid power system, you're overlooking cost management.
Hydraulics and LubricationHow has lubrication changed to meet the needs of hydraulics in a variety of manufacturing environments?

*All session details subject to change.

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Laser Assisted Processing IDEAs

Offers an efficient, non-contact method for working with a wide variety of materials. It plays a critical role in best manufacturing practices for not only macro-products such as airplanes, but also micro-products such as implantable medical devices. The technology is essential to modern smart manufacturing strategies such as additive manufacturing and helps manufacturers produce higher quality products at lower cost. This conference deals with the science and technology of smart laser materials processing.

E-mobilty Applications Autonomous VehiclesRising demand from the auto industry as electric vehicle usage grows exponentially, and the advantage of laser energy is factored into battery design has led to the development of more cost-effective lasers and beam delivery concepts.
Micro-Machining/Drilling of Glass and CeramicsMicro- and Nano- applications at compatible laser wavelengths now enable the 'cold processing' of thermally challenged materials. The manufacture of displays for mobile communication products such as smart phones and medical devices such as used in knee replacements are examples of this laser attribute.
Laser Systems for Various Non-Metal Materials ApplicationsLaser energy at output wavelengths compatible with non-metals are now widely used in production processes that require a low total heat input to reduce secondary post-treatment operations, such as glass cutting, packaging identification, medical device processing and wood engraving.
Additive Manufacturing with Selective Laser MeltingAdditive manufacturing using high-power lasers is revolutionizing today's manufacturing operations. Moving from a prototyping process to a serial role has been facilitated through the development of adjustable beam control laser energy. Now on -demand, large parts can be fabricated cost effectively, allowing manufacturers to rapidly respond to market conditions.
Laser Assisted Production TechniquesLasers today, represent more than 10% of annual machine tool sales, showing a 10% CAGR compared with 1% CAGR for machine tool sales over a five-decade span. An overview of the cost-effective applications that have driven this growth will describe technology features that have changed how users utilize laser power.

*All session details subject to change.

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Machine Vision IDEAs

Properly deploying machine vision technologies in industrial settings improves product quality and process control, increases productivity, and saves on cost.  Automotive, food and beverage, and semiconductors and electronics are just a few examples of manufacturing environments that rely heavily on machine vision systems today. This conference will cover all aspects of machine vision, from introductory descriptions, definitions, and concepts; to the latest innovations in enabling technologies such as artificial intelligence, non-visible imaging, and 3D imaging technologies. 

Advanced Inspection Concepts: Deep Learning/AI, Non-Visible ImagingMachine vision technologies continue to advance and keeping up with them can prove daunting. This presentation covers some of the hottest technologies in machine vision and how they can be applied, including deep learning and artificial intelligence; multispectral, hyperspectral, and shortwave infrared imaging.
3D and Other Enabling Technologies in Vision-Guided RoboticsRobotic vision advancements have had quite the impact on today’s manufacturing and distribution environments. 3D machine vision components and software, for example, continue to evolve and add a new dimension to machine vision systems. This presentation will cover the latest in 3D technology as it pertains to robotics
Machine Vision Trends 2021 and Beyond / Vision Systems Design 2021 Audience Survey ResultsMachine vision continues to grow in terms of both adoption and technology. Advances in components and software have powered recent machine vision growth, along with the applications that are being further enabled by these developments. This discussion touches on the latest cutting edge technologies and trends and will cover the results of a 2021 Vision Systems Design audience survey on the same topic.
Improving Process and Quality Control with Machine VisionMachine vision technologies offer an efficient and effective way to streamline manufacturing processes, but grasping the fundamentals is vital and will help accelerate the development process. This presentation touches on what machine vision does, how it works, the components of a system, the different types of machine vision system types and platforms, and how to get started with machine vision.

*All session details subject to change.

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Virtual Conference Track

Automation IDEA’s

Designing systems, material handlings, AGVs. An automated plant creates a safe and productive flow of materials and finished products. It also allows humans to be used to their fullest potential, driving operational efficiency and cost management. Produced by Machine Design and Material Handling & Logistics.

Sustainable Automation 
Connecting Hardware and SoftwareThe modern integrated plant requires the ability to put the legacy machines together with cutting-edge technology.
What's Next For The Supply Chain?Supply chains were challenged in 2020. What lessons did we learn that will give us a more robust, agile product process moving forward?
Design To OperateBreaking out of manufacturing's silos has never been more important. How can designers deliver a more perfect machine on Day 1?
The Next Wave of SensorsSo much progress has been made in gathering and managing sensor data, but there's more to do. What's the next step in sensors?

*All session details subject to change.

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Who Attends | Job Titles

  • Manufacturing/Production Engineering
  • Manufacturing/Production Management
  • Corporate Management
  • Design/Application Engineering
  • Research & Development
  • Purchasing/Procurement
  • Laser Technicians
  • Trade School/Education
  • Engineering Management
  • Product Designer
  • Equipment Design Engineer
  • Manufacturing & Design Students

Date/time conference schedule & registration coming soon!

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