The Industrial Design Engineering & Automation Conference

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.

Keynote Speakers

Conference Speakers

In-Person Conference Tracks

Automation & IoT IDEAs 

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.

Digital Transformation: Practical Application.

Panel discussion with Digi-Key, Sonic and Orbweaver Each party will discuss the basics on how to get started and how to follow through on a digital transformation journey based on real-world experiences.  We’ll share requirements, common mistakes, and a basic framework on how to be successful.

Driving Excellence Through Diversity and Inclusion

Driving Excellence Through Diversity and Inclusion

Billy Taylor
IoT Roundtable Discussion

Key executives from industry-leading manufacturers and groups will review the current state of IoT adoption, what is limiting IoT adoption, and strategies to overcome those barriers.

Bob Vavra
Toward Zero-Downtime, Zero-Defect Manufacturing

Manufacturers are still talking about digitizing their manufacturing floor and deciding if they should invest or not. In this presentation, Mo Abuali has some key messages for the attendees:

  • Act now and build the business case for Industrial IoT and Industry 4.0, and get started.
  • Data first! Digitalization is from the past; Predictive Analytics and Artificial Intelligence is the future.
  • Industry 4.0 is all about people, process, and technology. Empower your operators and personnel with paperless human-machine interfacing and improve their productivity.
  • Think big, start small, and think ROI (return on investment). Take a systematic path to drive the right technology adoption, and scale your digital maturity.
Mo Abuali

*All session details subject to change.

Produced by:

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.

Advanced Manufacturing Roundtable Discussion
A look at how additive manufacturing, robotics and other cutting edge technologies are being adopted, how to ensure such technologies also consider the human element, and how to train and prepare all aspects of your organization for the transformation.
Bob Vavra
Digital Transformation and the Factory of the Future

Following COVID-19, it will be even more crucial for the industry to adapt and change to help ensure that future resilience and adoption of the Factory of the Future (FoF) is key. Your business needs to be equipped for the now, next and beyond, taking immediate steps to safeguard business continuity and initiate crisis planning while developing a resilient enterprise going forward. This will allow you to reframe your future, operate a “new normal” and transform to succeed.

Digitize Your Manufacturing Process to Stay Ahead of the Competition

Whether it's for prototyping or mass commercial use, the time and energy spent setting up your manufacturing production impacts your team's ability to meet deadlines, ensure quality, and account for supply chain disruptions. In this talk, Xometry's Aaron Lichtig will cover how Manufacturing as a Service (MaaS) expedites the rate of your engineering and design team's innovation capacity, as well as protects production timelines from external vulnerabilities. Walk away from this session with expert knowledge on how to outpace your competition through cutting-edge digital manufacturing strategies.

Aaron Lichtig
How to Automatically Quote for Additive Manufacturing Processes

Additive manufacturing is no longer a nice-to-have option but has become a critical strategy for reducing time-to-market. It is now an essential part of early-stage development, tightening the time for functional prototypes and drastically reducing the turn-around of physical testing. This early confidence in the design further drives downstream time savings by providing insight on manufacturability and reduction and elimination of late-stage errors.

*All session details subject to change.

Produced by:

Power & Motion IDEAs

Motors, drives, electrical systems, electrohydraulic systems, hydraulics and pneumatics. Driving effective motion control can be achieved through a variety of power sources. Picking the correct solution for the application requires a thorough knowledge of operational goals and cost management. Produced by Machine Design and Hydraulics & Pneumatics.

Extending Bearing Service Life and Uptime in Severe Service Operating Conditions

Often times conveyance system operating conditions including heavy impact or shock loading, aggressive contaminants and debris, moisture and washdown, and/or high operating temperatures set up conditions which cause premature failure of standard rolling element bearings.

Power & Motion Roundtable

Industry experts will take a look at the evolving issues of vehicle electrification and traditional fluid power applications. The discussion will focus both on disruptive technologies as well as how traditional fluid power will continue to be utilized.

Smarter Linear Actuators--Another Value Proposition for Factory Automation

While the Factory Automation industry continues steady growth, Mechatronic Linear solutions are getting smarter. Can they help you be faster to market?

Using Linear Actuators in Automation – 5 Steps for Design Success

The specific type and size of actuator that a design engineer needs depends on the application's nature. With an innumerable combination of stroke sizes, speeds, and voltage options – it can be difficult to determine the correct linear actuator components for your specific needs. Follow these five steps to achieve linear actuator design success.

*All session details subject to change.

Produced by:

Laser Assisted Processing IDEAs

This conference deals with the science and technology of smart laser materials processing which 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. 

Addressing Myths Surrounding Performance Measurement of Industrial Lasers

High-powered lasers are increasingly common in industrial environments, such as sintering in additive manufacturing, joining in auto body and e-mobility component processing, and drilling and cutting of aerospace components. Like any other machine tool, the technologies surrounding the laser system have advanced significantly over the past several decades. Yet the laser system is still made of physical components that can degrade or fail. How the changes on these modern laser systems are monitored and traced can affect the overall system's long-term efficiency and return on investment. In this session, we will address the myths that have developed surrounding the employment, operation, and maintenance of industrial lasers with a focus on understanding how laser light behaves in material processing applications, how modern-day laser products are different from legacy laser products, and when and where measuring your laser’s performance is important in order to optimize processes and reduce down time. 

John McCauley
Lasers for Glass Drilling and Cutting

Glass laser processing has attracted intense interest in recent years because of the need for a variety of applications. In this presentation, we present our latest studies of picosecond and nanosecond green fiber lasers at 515nm for glass drilling applications. A drilling speed of more than 60mm/s was achieved for 0.5mm thickness glass, which is more than 3 times faster than solid state lasers. 

Micro Laser Welding Considerations for Manufacturing Success

Laser Micro Welding is a manufacturing joining technology that is widely used to fusion join or bond components together. When a component/part is designed and developed, several design considerations should be made to ensure laser welding success. The choice of equipment, material, and process settings will ensure a robust manufacturing process is attained.

Dr. Mark Boyle
Use of Ultrafast Lasers in Low-Heat Processes

Due to the ongoing debate between the requirements for edge quality versus the need for economic throughput of laser-based micromachining, the promise of cold ablation is often compromised by the need for faster laser processing. In this session, we will discuss laser processing of key materials used in medical and display applications from polymers to ceramics, and demonstrate how ultrafast lasers can eliminate heat effects.

Dr. Andreas Oehler

*All session details subject to change.

Produced by:

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. 

Eradicating Production Defects with Artificial Intelligence

Manufacturing environments are unique and deeply customized, supported by small IT teams and legacy technology and skill sets. Successful implementation of artificial intelligence in this environment requires customization, consideration for privacy protection, and easily-understood, actionable outputs. Both the hardware and software frameworks for machine learning and computer vision are now at a point to meet this challenge. Where implementation used to be a major undertaking, it is now a feasible cost. The result: manufacturers must harness this technology now to remain competitive. Using machine learning for computer vision, manufacturers can catch twice as many defects on their production line, in a fraction of the time, improving on the accuracy and speed of human quality inspection by several orders of magnitude. Lloyd Clark is an expert in artificial intelligence and machine learning and co-founder of BlueRidge Al, a visual inspection and defect detection solution for manufacturing.

Lloyd Clark
Improving Processes and Quality with Machine Vision Technologies

Machine vision technologies have provided an efficient and effective way to streamline manufacturing processes and improve quality for decades. In today’s industrial landscape, smart manufacturing and data collection and analysis are increasingly key to reducing costs and automating the workflow. More than ever, machine vision is an important way to achieve these objectives and grasping the fundamentals of the technology will help you accelerate the specification, development and deployment of successful inspection and robotic guidance applications. This non-commercial presentation will outline what machine vision does, how it works using both analytical and AI/deep learning tools, and the components critical to system reliability. The discussion will include an overview of the latest trends in this broad industry, and the advanced hardware and software technologies that are further enabling and expanding use cases for machine vision in industrial automation.

David Dechow
Machine Vision Trends in Industrial and Embedded Vision Components

In the last few years, the suppliers of image sensors have produced new products that have put much pressure on the manufacturers of camera components. The trend is relentless, and in many cases, the machine vision engineer is no longer satisfied with a USB3 or Ethernet camera. I will present machine vision trends and the newest interface technologies. Machine builders and OEM customers are now very skilled, and they expect a high standard from camera suppliers and camera components. They are not interested in receiving the image, but they need pre-process images in the cameras and to use only the data for image processing analyses. Come and join me to see benefits of high-end industrial cameras and how they can cost-effectively save bandwidth and even reduce of cameras in the application.

Frantisek (Frank) Jakubec
Reducing Inspection Costs with Hybrid AI

This presentation will introduce the concept of “hybrid AI” and discuss how it can help manufacturers more cost-effectively deploy advanced machine learning skills in existing applications. One of the key challenges for manufacturers evaluating AI is cost concerns related to replacing existing infrastructure and proven end-user processes. In comparison, a hybrid approach integrates AI with existing vision algorithms, infrastructure, and end-user processes to help reduce deployment costs and complexity. This session will highlight how machine learning differs from traditional machine vision and the advantages and drawbacks of the two approaches. In particular, we will highlight on how a hybrid approach combines the best of traditional vision algorithm and machine learning capabilities reduce inspection errors and costs. We will close the session with a real-world case study of a global consumer goods manufacturer now deploying hybrid AI in a consumer good inspection applications, and discuss some of their concerns, challenges and benefits as they have migrating to a hybrid inspection approach.

Jonathan Hou

*All session details subject to change.

Produced by:

Virtual Conference | December 7-8, 2021

The virtual event will include a mix of top sessions from the live event and customer virtual-only content presented December 7-8, 2021. All in-person full conference passes will include access to the virtual event as well. Details on the full virtual program coming soon! To learn more about your registration options, go here.

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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