Workshops are 3-hour long specialized training sessions focused on best practices to improve processes, people and technology across the manufacturing business. They are designed to give in-depth training on specific topics.

ALL WORKSHOPS TAKE PLACE ON MONDAY APRIL 1, 2019. Pre-registration is required for workshops.

➤ Digital Transformation: Improving Customer Engagement through Effective Collaboration

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Digital transformation is more than just a buzzword. In fact, according to Apiumhub, “85% of enterprise decision makers feel they have a timeframe of two years to make significant inroads on their digital transformation before suffering financially or falling behind their competitors.”

But without defined goals matched to organizational strategy, transformation for transformation’s sake is only a waste of time and money.

In today’s manufacturing environment, customers demand more unique products and services and expect detailed communication from their vendors. Unfortunately, many manufacturers lack the ability to innovate during the design process and cannot operationally support the need to accurately quote and deliver products and services.

This workshop will illustrate how to match digitalization efforts to meet customer needs and improve profitability through enhanced communication, automated configuration management, and facilitated field service.

Attendees will learn

  • How to devise, plan, and execute impactful digital initiatives across your organization
  • Defining best practices for designing and delivering innovative products and services
  • Illustrate how internal and external communication can facilitate configuration management and lead to satisfied customers


Rodney Tarzwell

Rodney Tarzwell has been involved with PLM and ERP solutions for over 25 years. He has over 18 years experience in the engineering field—in both mechanical and electrical engineering covering automotive, aerospace, commercial, and high tech electronics. In addition, he has also managed large engineering teams for contract work at Ford, GM, and Chrysler.

At Infor, Rodney uses his past experiences and knowledge to help customers optimize every step of the product lifecycle to create higher quality products, launch new products in less time at a lower cost, and maximize profits.

Nick Castellina is Director of Industry and Solution strategy where he is responsible for marketing messaging and strategic direction in the discrete manufacturing industries. At Infor, Nick interacts with end users to understand their challenges and connects with product management and marketing to support Infor’s commitment to delivering focused solutions featuring industry best practices. Prior to Infor, Nick was Vice President and Research Group Director of the Aberdeen Group’s Business Planning and Execution research practice. There he worked with software vendors and end users to analyze trends and produce industry-leading content in topics related to Enterprise Resource Planning, Enterprise Performance Management, Project Portfolio Management, and Business Process Management.

➤ The Lean and Continuous Improvement of Today and Tomorrow

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This workshop is designed to help you understand and implement continuous improvement/ lean methodologies at all company levels. We will review best lean practices, measurement tools, share gaming activities for you and your teams to develop a lean environment on a factory and company level. We will also share insights and recommendations to start implementing connected tools and preparing your organization to the new challenges of Industry 4.0.

Discussion Points and Highlights for Attendees:

  • How do lean office and lean manufacturing work together?
  • How can you train your team to 5S methods and ensure a clean and organized plant floor 
  • Overview of value stream mapping, analysis and mapping (your VMS kit)
  • The importance of visual management use to improve overall company productivity
  • Illustrative examples of lean company case studies
  • Vision and insights into lean future with Industry 4.0 and connected tools

Learn best lean management practices and how to implement them into your factory. How to use visual management strategy to determine KPIs and create tracking dashboards. Improving worker physical environments and decreasing musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) in your plants. Finally, you’ll learn how to create a visual factory and improve your industrial performance. 


Jean-Paul Lerailler

Mr Lerailler studied industrial design and managed technical sales for industrial companies. During his numerous visits of factories, he realized that most plant results were linked to their organizational capabilities and their employees’ well-being. As he started to get familiarized with Kanban and 5S among other successful techniques of the time, he became aware of the challenges companies were facing when implementing such techniques. The lack of tools, especially visual skus, equipment, furniture, employee training to implement methods, and the lack of management commitment too often led to poor ROI. In 1990, he created Sesa Systems, a company dedicated to developing tools, furniture and visual management accessories for Lean Manufacturing.

About Sesa Systems Inc.: Today the company manufactures 2,350 products to support companies in their continuous improvement needs on an every-day basis. With 150 new products created every year, 240 models registered and 8 patents, the company is selling to the leading global companies across all sectors, from automobile to chemistry, medical, equipment, technology, banking, services, electricity and food industries. With its Sesa Systems Academies, the company is also known for training thousands of company workers, managers and CEOs of companies in their ongoing continuous improvement implementation needs. With a significant presence on the international scene, Sesa Systems recently opened a full-standing subsidiary based in New York to support its North American clients' needs.

Jabril Bensedrine

Jabril Bensedrine has spent the past two decades connecting corporations and 80+ technology providers with each other across a broad spectrum of industries. Most relevant to manufacturing technology and process optimization, he has introduced solutions as diverse as sensors and IOT, lasers and infrared, non-destructive testing, connected handheld tools, industrial ventilation, ERP, business intelligence, big data analytics, process automation, machine learning, and augmented reality. Since 2017, he contributes to the North-American development of SESA SYSTEMS, the world leader in Lean Enterprise and Industry 4.0. He also holds an adjunct faculty position at New York University Tandon School of Engineering.

➤ The Smart Manufacturing Journey - Lessons Learned and Best Practices

9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Many more manufacturers are now underway in their Digital Transformation / Industry 4.0 journeys and are seeing the business benefits promised by these latest technologies, whether IIoT, smart sensors, machine learning, wearables, collaborative / mobile robots, advanced analytics, and several others. Yet, others are struggling to get past the pilot into the rollout phase where they will derive the value. Why is that?

We will share our insight into lessons learned and best practices based on helping many manufacturers develop and implement their Smart Manufacturing journey, from strategy development to rollout.

Key considerations include:

  • Business Drivers with ROI first
  • Requirements & Stakeholder Alignment
  • Develop technology stack for short & long term needs based on proven use cases
  • Identify Pilot and Road Map
  • Change Management for People, Processes and Technology (the 3-legged step stool) 
  • Pick the right plant for a succesful pilot
  • Rollout Strategy – speed matters!
This interactive hands-on workshop will provide an opportunity to learn from other manufactures’ case studies across multiple industries. We’ll discuss technology types along with proven use cases for each and industry trends.
Attendees will learn:  
  • Lessons Learned and Best Practices for developing and implementing Smart Manufacturing strategies
  • Proven Case Studies
  • Industry trends
  • How do I get started


Robert Jones

Robert Jones, System Architect at Polytron with over 21 years in experence in manufacturing controls and IT. Robert has an indepth knowledge of IT in the areas of industrial networks, databases, software, hardware, and user interfaces. In addition to his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, he has an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta. Robert is a published subject matter expert and industry speaker with multiple technology certifications from best-in-class software and technology providers.

Maintenance & Reliability Metrics: Best Practice Workshop

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

How do you know which metrics truly matter? Based on the Society for Maintenance & Reliability Professionals' (SMRP) Body of Knowledge and Best Practices, 5th Edition, this workshop provides insights into the latest thinking on maintenance and reliability (M&R) metrics.

The workshop is for operation, maintenance and leadership personnel who want to learn how to identify key metrics, calculate these standardized metrics and use the metric hierarchy for linking M&R activities to an organization’s strategy. The M&R best practices will be discussed, along with how the metrics align with SMRP’s five pillars in the Body of Knowledge.

This hands-on workshop reviews the standard definitions and application of common metrics developed by the SMRP Best Practices Committee. Attendees will understand how to measure performance consistently, make valid comparisons and provide guidance to their organizations on how to use SMRP metrics. The workshop is interactive; attendees will participate in activities using specific examples to apply and calculate metrics.

Learning Objectives
After completing this workshop, participants will be able to:

  • Examine the process for determining the right set of metrics for your business
  • Understand the process (metric hierarchy) for linking M&R metrics to the organization’s strategy
  • Identify metrics that measure efficiency, effectiveness and strategic execution
  • Practice calculating M&R metrics using formulas and sample data sets
  • Discuss the value of dashboards/scorecards as a tool to track strategic execution
  • Discuss effective techniques of data reporting so that management can use the information to make better decisions

Through a series of hands-on exercises you'll learn how to apply these strategies in your workplace. Together we will build a blueprint for introducing visual communication. It'll include clarifying your objectives, understanding your audience and demographics, identifying roadblocks, examining your communication channels, identifying feedback opportunities, accessing affordable ways to make communication visual, and much more.


Paul R. Casto

Paul Casto is the Intelligent Assets Practice Leader at GrayMatter with a focus on Asset Performance Management (APM). He is a leading practitioner in reliability and maintenance (R&M) improvement methodologies and has hands-on experience in reliability, maintenance, operations and engineering in the chemical, steel, aluminum, automotive, oil and gas, aerospace, consumer goods and construction industries. His current areas of focus include: value creation through Asset Performance Management (APM), the development of asset health models, the application of advanced reliability and maintenance tools/strategies, data analytics, prognostics, machine learning, business case development and risk analysis, and R&M leadership.

Paul holds a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from West Virginia University, a Master’s degree in Engineering Management from Marshall University Graduate College, an MBA from Clemson University and a Masters in Maintenance Management and Reliability Engineering from the Monash University and has done PhD work in Industrial Engineering (ABD) at the University of Tennessee. He is a SMRP Certified Maintenance and Reliability Professional (CMRP), serves on the SMRP board as Secretary and has previous served as Director of SMRP’s Body of Knowledge. Paul holds ASQ certification in Reliability Engineering, Quality Engineering and as a Six Sigma Black Belt. He Is a WPiAM Certified Asset Management Assessor, is pursuing an Certified Asset Management Professional CAMP from Humber College/PEMAC, has a certificate in Strategic Decision and Risk Management from Stanford University and is a Certified Reliability Leader. He has served on the University of Tennessee's Maintenance and Reliability Center Board of Advisors, the SMRPCO Advisory Council, Chair of the SMRP Best Practices Committee, the SMRP Education Committee and the API-691 Risk Based Management for Machinery subcommittee. He is an active member of ASQ and IEEE.

➤ Seeking Common Ground for Smart Manufacturing

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM


We are seeking to understand the state of Smart Manufacturing. So far, MESA has been examining where there is agreement and disagreement on terminology, what initiatives are linked, what is challenging, and how companies are working through those.

Find out what not-for-profit association Manufacturing Enterprise Solutions Association International (MESA) has learned already from its research and Community Group meetings.

  • Accelerating progress toward Smart Manufacturing: MESA and the Community
  • What we’ve learned so far: Research data and discussion points
  • Expectations and Ground Rules for the workshop
  • How to stay involved in the Community

The workshop will break into sub-groups for interactive breakouts on the following topics:

Big Data and Analytics 
Smart Manufacturers know big data, analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning are important. Companies need ways to determine where and how to apply each of these for best business benefit. This group is examining what is working to move from where companies are today with backward-looking reporting to a more insightful and predictive approach.
• How are big data, artificial intelligence, and machine learning related and different?
• What are the levels of maturity moving from reporting and KPIs to correlation to prediction?
• How do you determine what data to collect, and what you need for better outcomes?
• What are the pitfalls of analytics not matching up with what operations most needs?

The Role of MES in Smart Manufacturing
Manufacturing Execution Systems (MES) have been a mainstay for larger companies’ production IT. With the radical changes envisioned around Smart Manufacturing, this group is examining how the MES footprint is adapting. We will explore what future MES needs to be to support Smart Manufacturing initiatives and handle the decentralized data from IoT and integration to enterprise systems and value chain. 

• What will MES need to do to support Smart Manufacturing?
• What are different options for MES and function-role-specific apps or bots in the future plant?
• How do you handle master data management in a distributed data collection environment with data lakes, MES, analytics and enterprise systems?
• How will MES and IIoT platforms interact? What are the proper roles?

Smart Factory and IIoT 
Plants can no longer succeed if the flow of information doesn’t match up with the production process. This group examines how companies can move facilities from their current state to one where everything in the production operation is coherent and data is shared effectively. Participants will share their views on new production technologies and how to leverage them successfully. 

• Why Does IIoT Matter? What are the drivers? What about other key technologies like robotics, 3D printing, augmented reality and virtual reality?
• What is the pathway to Smart Manufacturing for those with few minimal machine intelligence and connectivity today?
• How will smart products or containers and smart machines or lines interact effectively?
• How to architect data flows and connectivity effectively and at a reasonable cost?

Digital Thread / Digital Twin
These are the mechanism to ensure product and asset information is updated throughout its lifecycle. This group is helping clarify what companies are pursuing under these initiatives and what’s needed for Smart Manufacturing. We are examining whether the business case is strong enough, and the approaches spelled out well enough that companies are getting closer to smooth communication and up-to-date digital twin data. 

• How do digital twin and digital thread play together, and can one succeed without the other?
• Where are the current gaps in the digital thread and digital twin vision for different industries?
• What are the constraints today on ensuring data from all phases of the lifecycle are available in the digital thread?
• What role will digital twins play in ensuring the digital thread goes through the entire set of value chain partners?

Smart Connected Supply Chain
No company is an island. Increasingly, multiple tiers of suppliers, distributors, customers and other partners must be a part of the digital fabric of every company. The question is how to coordinate and synchronize the smart activities in both internal and external segments of the value network. We will examine ways to increase the visibility and agility both inside each plant and across this entire end-to-end ecosystem. 

• How can we gain visibility across the supply chain for faster, more nimble production?
• What are partners demanding and how can producers ensure they also get what they need?
• When you don’t control the IT or the IP, how can you ensure partner data is correct and safe?
• What groundwork are companies laying to increase the nimbleness and transparency of their supply chain?

Presented by Subject Matter Experts from MESA International

Click here for more information on MESA.



Conrad Leiva

Conrad Leiva is Chair of the Smart Manufacturing Working Group at MESA International and VP of Product Strategy and Alliances at iBASEt.

e consults with many aerospace and defense companies on how to streamline business processes and information flow among engineering, planning, inventory, quality, production, services and supply chain disciplines. His work has recently focused on smart manufacturing, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), and the digital thread between engineering, business, manufacturing and sustainment systems working with PLM, ERP and automation partners. He also periodically posts on his Manufacturing Operations Management Blog.

Julie Fraser

Julie Fraser’s clear explanations have helped hundreds of companies worldwide successfully buy and sell application software for production industries. Fraser directs a groundbreaking Smart Manufacturing Community and Research program with MESA International. She founded Iyno Advisors to share her passion: information technology to facilitate the common good through better manufacturing. She is Phi Beta Kappa from Lawrence University, facilitates mindfulness in the workplace, is a certified yoga teacher and Conscious Business Change Agent.

➤ Understanding the Role of Industrial Network and Security on the Digital Transformation Journey

1:00 PM - 4:00 PM

The digital transformation / Industry 4.0 connectivity journey begins at the plant floor. We will share our insights into lessons learned and best practices that have allowed us to develop a proven road map for optimal industrial network designs and security strategies that enable you to appropriately leverage current and future technologies to make incremental, short-term business improvements as part of a larger, longer-term strategy that will deliver sustainable value on your digital transformation / Industry 4.0 journey.

This interactive hands-on workshop will provide proven methodologies and case studies to help attendees learn how to begin the journey of digital transformation. Start small with a big picture in mind, while prioritizing projects that can deliver the highest short term returns.

Attendees will learn

  • How the connected industrial network impacts the smart manufacturing environment and how does it apply to my facility.
  • How to evaluate current network landscape and identify opportunities for improvement.
  • How to use ROI and proven case studies to justify Industrial Network & Security Solutions projects.
  • How to execute identified projects using a proven roadmap for success.
  • About challenges, journey, learnings and successes from my peers in the workshop.


Robin Cobb

Robin Cobb, P.E. PMP is Sr Project Manager for Polytron’s Industrial Network and Security Solutions group. Consulting with major manufacturing companies, Robin helps develop a roadmap using optimal industrial network designs and strategies for today’s plant floor and a secure robust infrastructure to meet future business goals. Robin has over 19 years of experience and focus on industrial network and security solutions, automation, systems integration, and power distribution. He holds an EMBA in Business Administration and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Auburn University. Robin is a published author and speaker for Industrial Network, IIoT and Smart Manufacturing related content.