Session Details

Take a look at the exciting sessions coming up at Manufacturing & Technology, June 23-25, 2020 at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando, FL. More session and speaker announcements coming soon!

5G: Manufacturing's New Frontier

The ultimate goal for smart manufacturing is an autonomously controlled factory. 5G can finally deliver this by allowing tens of thousands of machines, robots and products to be connected to the same network at higher speeds than ever before.

According to McKinsey & Company, the GDP impact of connectivity in manufacturing could reach $400 billion to $650 billion by the decade’s end. But what about the challenges enterprises will face as they look to build out these networks? Are 5G networks really going to transform IIoT, or are they only going to offer revenue opportunities for the operators?

In this session, Qualcomm’s Dr. Xiaoxia Zhang will discuss what today’s manufacturers need to know about 5G deployment and how to prepare for the changes it will bring to their industry in the coming years. Among other topics, attendees will learn about the key role 5G will play in eliminating the cumbersome bundles of Ethernet cables that litter their factory floors and connect the machines wirelessly to the cloud, and how to decide whether now is the time to invest in 5G.

Dr. Xiaoxia Zhang
Ford’s Journey to Digital

Ford Motor Company is leveraging over 115 years of continuous improvement practices, built on a foundation of standardized work, to transform into a globally scaled digital operations ecosystem. Mike Mikula, global chief engineer, will discuss how Ford is pursuing new ways to use advanced technology to maintain Ford’s position as an industry leader in lean manufacturing.


Mike Mikula
Opening Remarks, IndustryWeek's Best Plants Awards Presentation, & Tackling Today’s Labor Shortage with the Next-Gen Workforce
  1. Opening Remarks from Travis Hessman, editor-in-chief of IndustryWeek
  2. IndustryWeek's Best Plants Awards Presentation with Jill Jusko, associate content director, IndustryWeek
  3. Tackling Today’s Labor Shortage with the Next-Gen Workforce:

The labor shortage is one the of greatest challenges facing the industry. To solve it will require a sustained effort from leaders across all sectors of the manufacturing industry and beyond. In this session, Mark Rayfield, CEO of Saint-Gobain North America, will discuss today’s manufacturing labor shortage and how companies can address this challenge by tapping into the next-generation workforce. He will offer insight from Saint-Gobain’s own workforce development programs and discuss how manufacturers can truly propel the next generation of talent into skilled jobs in the industry.

Mark Rayfield
Panel: The Future of Manufacturing

The COVID-19 crisis taught the manufacturing industry many lessons—it demonstrated the power and importance of communication across the business and across the supply chain, it tested the ability of automation and IoT systems to maintain output and stability in unstable times, and it revealed just how essential the industry truly is.

The challenge now is to identify how these lessons will guide manufacturers into 2021 and into the post-COVID future.

To do this, we have assembled a panel of manufacturing leaders from across the industry who will discuss the short- and long-term impacts this pandemic will have on the people, processes, and technologies central to manufacturing recovery and success.

Travis Hessman John Dyck William Hardy Marie Langer Stefan Nusser

All sessions subject to change.

Continuous Improvement
A Human-Centered Approach to Improving Operational Reliability Using Industry 4.0

For years, manufacturing companies have sought ways to optimize operations by improving efficiency and productivity, all while simultaneously reducing costs. To do so, manufacturers are turning to the promise of Industry 4.0 – a new world powered by digital technologies that are helping improve how manufacturers collect, analyze and action data to improve operational performance. But while technologies such as AI, big data and the industrial internet of things have the potential to radically improve performance, technology alone won’t solve these challenges. You need human insights and the right process to correctly leverage and analyze data and drive improvements in operations and maintenance (O&M) programs. For example, sensors can give you vibration and oil particle count data, but which data is most important to assess how to improve the reliability of a gearbox? How do you connect these insights to your broader program? Without a human-centered approach that considers the entire operation, manufacturers risk losing out on the potential of Industry 4.0 and wasting valuable capital. This presentation will provide an Industry 4.0 blueprint to help manufacturing companies build a prescriptive maintenance approach that effectively leverages these technologies. It will highlight the data that manufacturers need to assess in order to solve the most important operational performance challenges, as well as how to utilize this new operational intelligence to then interpret that actionable data to improve overall equipment efficiency and productivity.

Matthew Dinslage
Finding Root Cause When You Can’t Be On-Site

Nissan dealerships have an excellent group of highly trained technicians who service and repair customer vehicles. Often, this is a straightforward process, but every now and again the technician will experience an elusive repair resolution and needs the support of the TECH LINE team to complete the repair at the dealership.

The TECH LINE team has detailed knowledge of all Nissan vehicles, but are operating remotely and cannot get their hands on the vehicle. Frequently, multiple repairs and fixes have already been completed by the on-site technician in their search for a solution. A procedure was required to provide timely support for on-site technicians to get customers back into their vehicles quickly. The Nissan team needed to find a way to fully understand what the problem was and what the technician was dealing with without actually being on site.

Join Jackson Hisey and Chris O’Connor of TECH LINE to learn how they not only broke through the barriers of remote problem solving, but exceeded expectations through establishing a system of communication and problem analysis, sharpening both the TECH LINE team and the on-site technician on focused information gathering and documentation. Their result? Accelerated resolutions, faster repairs and happy customers.

Jackson Hisey Christopher O’Connor
Leader Standard Work for Daily Improvement

Continuous improvement should be high impact, economical, sustainable and exciting. It doesn't always happen, though. Numerous studies reveal that the leading cause of failure for continuous improvement initiatives is a lack of leadership support – often by well-meaning leaders who don't understand the key role they play in developing a culture of continuous improvement. In this session, hear from lean manufacturing expert Calvin Williams, CEO of Impruver Technologies. Key to the effort is leader standard work, a system of structured routines at all levels for coaching and driving perpetual improvement. Attend this presentation and learn from Impruver Technologies how the manufacturer embraces leader standard work as part of a robust continuous improvement program to maintain alignment to company strategy, drive the pace of improvement, ensure the sustainment of gains and systematically develop the workforce.

Calvin Williams
Perspectives on Preventing Serious Injuries and Fatalities - Nine Interventions That Really Matter

Organizations making significant progress in mitigating precursors to serious injuries and fatalities (SIF) have focused their efforts in nine key areas that have proven to have a significant impact on frontline performance, execution and outcomes. These nine areas, if improved, can make a real change to the security of workers’ safety in some of the most high-risk industries. In this session, we explore each of these nine areas and discuss many of the workstreams involved in these interventions. Lessons learned, data and leadership support strategies from successful client organizations will also be discussed.

Key takeaways:
• Learn how focusing on specific SIF intervention strategies will make a measurable difference.
• Learn how new SIF metrics and indicators can drive leadership behaviors and improve organizational support for preventing SIFs.
• Identify key elements of a governance and oversight framework for enabling sustainability of the SIF prevention effort.

Jim Spigener
Preparing for Uncertainty in Food & Beverage

This presentation summarizes the challenge of the F&B industry in uncertain times and through the many challenges and hurdles of 2020. We delve into potential model changes, introduce ideas for planning and preparing for change as well as ideas for leveraging new and existing technologies.

Steve Gignac
Factory Automation
Leveraging Additive to Simplify the Supply Chain

The maturation of additive technologies is a game-changer for companies looking to address supply chain pain points while unlocking performance enhancements through design freedom. In this session, Wabtec will share how it utilizes additive manufacturing technologies to improve its supply chain performance to gain flexibility, simplify logistics and lower inventory costs. Don't miss this opportunity to obtain valuable insights to help improve your own supply chain performance.

Alicia Hammersmith
Leveraging Cobots in the COVID-19 Age
Overcoming the Challenges of Manufacturing Technology Innovation & Adoption with Small and Medium Sized Manufacturers

While manufacturing remains a core component of the U.S. economy, the pace of manufacturing is rapidly changing and challenging the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized manufacturers (SMMs). Technology continues to advance rapidly, regulations are becoming more stringent, and consumers demanding “faster, better, and cheaper” products. This session will focus on best practices developed, tested and implemented that specifically help small- and medium-sized manufacturers identify and prepare for the innovative technology and processes necessary to stay competitive in the global market. The speakers will share a best practice system specifically developed to meet the individual SMM where they are today and progress them down the path to increasing their competitiveness in an orderly, risk-managed and achievable way. The presenters will outline a holistic and integrated model that contains unique assessments, hands-on workshops and on-the-shop-floor manufacturing technology planning and adoption projects.

Key takeaways:
• Recognize the challenges specifically facing small- and medium-sized manufacturers when it comes to implementation of new technology.
• Gain insights about how smaller manufacturers can build a culture of innovation.
• Discover how automation and new technologies can help small manufacturers retain talented workforce.

Schneider Electric’s Digital Transformation

Schneider Electric kicked off a global initiative, known as the Smart Factory program, to digitally transform its facilities and plants (which manufacture the company’s electrical hardware) using EcoStruxure, a vendor-neutral, technology-agnostic, IIoT-enabled architecture. Schneider’s industrial footprint includes 207 factories in 44 countries employing about 86,000 people. The company aims to have more than 100 smart factories by 2020. Given the scale of Schneider’s operations, it is one of the biggest digitization efforts to upgrade manufacturing operations for the Industry 4.0 era. Dr. Luke Durcan, Director EcoStruxure at Schneider Electric will speak to the evolution of the smart factory program and what it takes to roll out digital transformation initiatives encompassing technology, people and process at scale. Leveraging IIoT and important advancements in AR, VR, AI and robotics/cobot, Schneider Electric is capitalizing on opportunities to increase agility and optimize operations, while decarbonizing energy and reducing the use of natural resources. In this session, Luke will share the benefit they're seeing as well as lessons learned from the company’s brownfield and greenfield implementations. He will also detail Schneider’s efforts to pilot new technologies such as 5G in its factories and prepare for the next wave of automation.

Dr. Luke Durcan
The Future of Manufacturing is Human + Machine

It’s nearly impossible today to ignore the talk around digital transformation and the automation of industrial operations. But many companies are ignoring one very fundamental issue. Robots and digital systems speak exclusively in absolutes – binary, ones and zeros – and human workers don’t. This is where connected work changes the game. With connected work, machines and digitally connected humans work together to deliver rapid, measurable increases in productivity, quality and safety. Join this session to learn how connected work has transformed operations at Tier 1 automotive supplier American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM), best practices on how to scale, and ways to successfully integrate people, processes and technology.

The presentation will cover:
• What massive data blind spot is likely currently in your operations?
• What is the connected work maturity model and where does your organization lie on the curve?
• Where does connected work fit in your company's digital journey and technology toolkit?
• How do you go from zero to hero and successfully scale a connected worker program?

Lawrence Whittle Lincoln Hughes
Building an Innovation Culture (Or, Why I Built a Half Million Dollar Room in My Factory)

Innovation isn’t a goal, it should be an absolute requirement for every company. Investing in your employees is a crucial first step toward finding your company’s innovative potential. Steven Blue, author of five leadership books and president of CEO railroad safety solutions manufacturer Miller Ingenuity, will provide you with a blueprint to ignite innovation and growth within your company by providing the right tools and resources to establish an innovative culture.


Steven Blue
Cultivating a Culture to Win

Attend this session and learn what happens when a global manufacturing company decides to focus on developing meaningful relationships with co-workers, customers and the communities around them. In addition to sharing the journey of cultivating culture, speaker Dustin Kaehr, Founder of The Think. Lead. Live. Group, will share four critical mile-markers that need to be recognized. You will leave this session encouraged, inspired and challenged to return to your organization ready to impact its culture in a positive way!

Dustin Kaehr
Servant Leadership: How Putting People First Leads to Profitability

In the cutthroat business world where profits are primary and people are expendable, 2019 IndustryWeek Best Plants Awards winner All Metals Fabricating has proven that putting people first leads to long-term success and sustainability. CEO Lance Thrailkill will share how this concept of servant leadership has generated healthy profits for over 40 years.   



Lance Thrailkill
What Leadership Style Is Required to Achieve Excellence?

What style of leadership is required to promote collaboration, trust and teamwork? Why is it difficult to change the culture of an organization in order to successfully implement lean and Six Sigma? Join IndustryWeek contributing editor and author of The Façade of Excellence: Defining a New Normal of Leadership John Dyer as he runs a simulation that demonstrates the impact of management vs. leadership. Attendees will have the opportunity to participate in a hands-on simulation that is both engaging and entertaining. This interactive session is for everyone who wants to learn more about how culture, leadership and trust impact lean and Six Sigma sustainability and expansion.

Key Takeaways:

  • Discuss the difference between management and leadership, and explore the four styles of leadership required to drive a successful improvement initiative.
  • Participate in a demonstration that will help drive home the need to change the culture to a team-based, empowered organization built on trust.
  • See the difference “enthusiastic productivity” can make in motivating workers at all levels within the organization to achieve excellence.
John Dyer
Plant Tours
Virtual Tour of Branch Technology

Branch Technology is a prefabrication and technology compnay that specializes in large-scale 3D printing. They offer a patented 3D printing process called Cellular Fabrication, C-Fab®. This unique printing method allows material to solidify in open space, creating a matrix of polymer in virtually any shape. We bring unprecedented design freedom and resource stewardship to next-generation wall systems.  

Virtual Tour of Lodge Cast Iron

Built with mettle, focused on family, filled with lifelong resilience, Lodge Cast Iron has a lot in common with the popular cookware it manufactures. From humble beginnings in South Pittsburg, Tennessee, Lodge Cast Iron has thrived for 125 years all while maintaining its reputation for quality products and innovation. Today, a total of 556 people are employed in the Lodge family. 

As the oldest manufacturer of cast iron cookware in America, Lodge doesn’t just make cast iron; they make heirlooms that bring people together for generations. From classic skillets and a new bakeware line to Blacklock triple seasoned™cookware and enameled cast iron, each individual piece of cookware is handled with careful care and attention as it represents a gift from our family’s table to yours. 

Smart Manufacturing
Eliminating the Challenges of IIoT using Computer Vision and Artificial Intelligence

Capturing data from legacy equipment in order to assess operational efficiency has always been challenging.  Add in trying to determine how quickly an operator reacts to machine issues and the time associated with these interactions, managers have an incredibly hard problem to solve.  However, Computer Vision solves this problem by capturing and analyzing images and video to provide the data needed to really understand what’s happening on the manufacturing floor every minute of every day.

This session will highlight South Bay Solutions journey leveraging Computer Vision & Artificial intelligence to better understand the operational efficiency of their injection molding machines and the operators that manage them.


Rob Schoenthaler
From Legacy Machines to Manufacturing Intelligence

As a global manufacturing leader with over 100 facilities across 30 countries, Flex owns and operates a broad portfolio of production machines, both new and legacy. The company's challenge was how to enable live machine data and a data exchange to unlock Industry 4.0 within the factory. Flex partnered with Arch Systems to leverage the value of accurate, real-time supply-chain information to drive efficiency and innovation for their customers. An organization the size of Flex has many different levels of challenges in building a digital factory. To start, there's a fundamental question of how you extract data from many different machine types: new and old, smart and dumb, and electronics and mechanicals. Problem definition is important because it determines what data is needed and what edge processing capabilities are required. In cases where machine data was already being captured, it was localized to the site and wasn't able to be pulled up into global metrics and dashboards. Connections to different MES's complicated implementation. Once the data was gathered, it needed to be transformed and standardized in a data exchange to drive production efficiencies, process automation, and predictive analysis. And, at the top level, alignment and buy-in from both IT and Operations was required for a global rollout. This talk will walk the audience through the journey that Flex and Arch Systems took together to build manufacturing intelligence and use specific examples in SMT (surface mount technology) and mechanicals to highlight challenges and solutions.


Reimagining Manufacturing Operations with 3D Printing

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed areas of vulnerabilities for manufacturers—particularly when it comes to supply chains. In response, 3D printing has gained more attention as a way to make manufacturers more resilient and adaptable in our uncertain world. In fact, a recent SME survey found 3D printing is the No. 1 choice for post-pandemic technology investment among their manufacturing engineering members.

This presentation will explore why it’s time for manufacturers to rethink their supply chains, and how 3D printing can help organizations move faster, increase efficiency and respond more quickly to changing demands. Attendees will learn how manufacturers in industries such as aerospace, automotive and consumer goods are successfully transitioning to digital manufacturing, with 3D printing at its core, and the top three things they all have in common, including:

• Building 3D printing infrastructure to produce quality parts fast
• Using a platform that minimizes operating costs—from efficiently using materials to reducing the use of consumables
• Incorporating technology that certifies production processes, making them agile and repeatable

Patrick Carey
Smucker's Innovates to Create New Production Floor - Balancing Speed and Safety with Brilliant Operations to Unlock Hidden Capacity

Smucker's co-innovates with GrayMatter to achieve faster production and better communication with the shop floor through powerful visualizations and a connected operations hub powered by timely, relevant data. Today's speakers will cover how Smucker's and GrayMatter empower employees and transform operations to meet increasing consumer demand.


• Enable social distancing in a production environment
• Visualize shop floor data to meet higher demands
• Rely on partners to increase speed of innovation
• Maximize operations and realize hidden capacity with a Manufacturing Execution System
• Standardize disparate systems into one layer
• Bring enterprise-wide data into a data cloud for cross-plant analytics
• Simplify with a clear structure, reducing variety
• Implement an asset-centric view and efficient processes to drive safer, more reliable operations
• Improve speed through lean governance and a rapid launch approach


Tod Virden John Baier
Talent Management
Apprenticeships, Tech and More: Taking Talent to the Next Level at Lincoln Electric

Lincoln Electric’s success as the global leader in welding products relies on its ability to hire and develop diverse talent, thinking beyond traditional workforce development models. Key to its success are early engagement activities, virtual training and mobile labs, partnerships with academia, facility tours, registered apprenticeships, and more. Geoff Lipnevicius, senior manager of organizational effectiveness, will highlight innovative approaches to pipeline and talent development that include a system of transparent, interconnected training and education programs with multiple entry and exit points. He will share details of Lincoln’s recent expansion of its short-duration apprenticeship programs, successes and lessons learned, and the quantitative and qualitative payoff for both the company and its workforce that span career pathways that include entry level, skilled trades, engineering, and supervision.

Geoff Lipnevicius
Building Bolder Dialogues for Better Outcomes
Sharawn Connors
Fixing Communication: The Big Payoff

If you ask your employees the one thing their company can improve, they will likely answer “communication!” This sounds straightforward but is anything but. When not equipped with hard facts, employees will create their own facts—and then you have a problem. Spartanburg Steel Products President and CEO Mark Whitten will lay out a series of organization-wide communication methods that, when rolled out in a systematic way, have dramatically improved employee engagement despite significant challenges.


Mark Whitten
Learn From a Proven Injury-Free Workplace Safety Culture Development System

Discover how diverse manufacturers from EnPro Industries and National Gypsum to Bonnell Aluminum Extrusion and King’s Hawaiian are eliminating injuries through a unique workplace safety-culture development system. Developed by EnPro over more than 10 years and proven effective, this approach to safety culture through personal leadership and employee engagement led the manufacturer to be named one of America’s Safest Companies three times. This session will explore the basic building blocks of a positive workplace safety-culture approach to eliminating all injuries, which can be applied to any manufacturing environment. The presenter will address key aspects of an effective safety culture, including: Safety as a Core Value, Safety360 Leadership, SafetyFirst Individual Habits and Behaviors, safety action teams, care management and cultural development. You will learn how to apply two safety system tools (the SafetyMyVoice and the Safety360) to develop effective communication and employee support at your organization – key issues facing any manufacturing leader who wants to eliminate workplace injuries. Injury freedom is achievable.

Joe Wheatley
From Challenge to Challenger - How to Develop a Low-Risk Entry Strategy for Additive Manufacturing

How can your organization approach additive manufacturing (AM) in the best way possible? The simplest answer is to embrace AM as a massive opportunity for growth instead of a challenge that needs to be addressed.

After all, the goal of any AM initiative shouldn’t be to “catch up” to competitors that may already be using AM. The goal is to become an innovator in your space -- the leader that your competitors are scrambling after. Getting there involves overcoming the challenges that practically every organization faces at the outset of their AM journey. This webinar will explain how to work past those roadblocks, how to explore the full potential of AM from the ground up, and how to become a true innovator in your industry.

The first step requires looking inward at your organization. It involves an end-to-end rethinking of your design process, your manufacturing philosophy, and your entire value chain. You’ll need agile teams that aren’t bound by traditional ways, and your organization must be set up to nurture and optimize that agility. With the right organizational groundwork, you will create new opportunities for your products and your business that will grow more powerful over time.

In this workshop, we will discuss:

  • Why a “wait and see” approach to AM can be dangerous for your business
  • How you can begin your AM journey with low risk and minimal investment
  • How to lay the groundwork for long-term AM success
  • How modest AM projects can evolve into transformative business opportunities
  • Real-world examples of the many paths you can take on your AM journey
  • Where the future of AM can take you
Fabian Alefeld