The Smart Manufacturing Experience provides practical solutions for applying the latest advanced manufacturing technologies that drive results. Attendees will see how leading companies are using transformative technologies to boost productivity, increase sales and more

Q&A: SMARTx Tech Talks debut at Smart Manufacturing Experience

Contributed by | Smart Manufacturing Experience

Tell us a little bit about your event Smart Manufacturing Experience in Boston beginning April 30th?

This is a time of great change within the manufacturing industry. The evolution of the Industrial Internet of Things, Big Data and the desire for ever-increasing productivity is driving the smart manufacturing movement. Today, manufacturers can see and react to the performance of their machines and integrated systems with real-time analytics. They can enable machines to talk to one another, control operations remotely, predict challenges and share live data with the supply chain. The benefits of smart machines, smart factories and smart manufacturing go far beyond efficiency, quality and cost savings. They are the promise of enabling truly sustainable, efficient, custom manufacturing. Once networked to a larger system, smart manufacturing holds the potential to reshape supply chains. Smart manufacturing is not all about what’s happening inside the factory alone. It also enables transparency through the supply chain from OEMs right down to the lowest-tier suppliers.

Whether a company provides end-to-end platforms, components or software critical to this industry, all businesses that touch manufacturing must explore, embrace or execute smart manufacturing.

The Smart Manufacturing Experience provides practical solutions for applying the latest advanced manufacturing technologies that drive results. Attendees will see how leading companies are using transformative technologies to boost productivity, increase sales, improve efficiency and reduce costs. Core areas of focus include:

  • Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing

  • Automation & Robotics

  • Advanced Materials

  • Precision Machining

  • Precision Measurement & 3D Scanning

  • Digital Manufacturing

  • Industrial IoT (Internet of Things)/Big Data


What can an attendee of the event expect to see and learn?

The Smart Manufacturing Experience will highlight advanced technologies that are revolutionizing the manufacturing landscape. Attendees will hear and learn from the people and businesses using advanced manufacturing, and see the results they’ve achieved.

A variety of programming will be available, including:

  • Hands-on, Mixed Reality live technology demonstrations

  • Active Learning Lab

  • Knowledge Bars with Small-group discussions and problem solving

  • Technical conference sessions

  • In-depth workshops


You are presenting a new speaker format to the event.  What’s the concept behind the SMARTx Tech Talks at the Smart Manufacturing Experience, and how will it differ from other presentations?

Embracing the popular TED Talks concept, the Smart Manufacturing Experience will feature a speaker format called SMARTx Tech Talks. These presentations by visionary leaders are intended to motivate and inspire via shorter, inspirational talks about smart manufacturing, transformation, growth, advancement and expansion for the future of manufacturing. Where many of our sessions will address specific elements of the manufacturing process, the SMARTx Tech Talks will give context for the future of this growing industry, and lay the groundwork for a new vision for manufacturing.


How does it mesh with the rest of the event agenda?

Along with the keynotes, networking receptions and exhibitions, the Smart Manufacturing Experience features a variety of activities. After the SMARTx Tech Talks, attendees transition into an immersive environment called the Experience Zone with hands-on demonstrations, labs, mixed-reality experiences, and one-on-one Knowledge Bar discussions. Participants choose the subjects they are interested in and the ways in which they would like to learn, including:

  • Learning Lab presentations about trends and case studies.

  • Intimate Knowledge Bars to ask industry experts about specific manufacturing challenges.

  • Mixed Reality Experience (Augmented, Virtual & Mixed) to see the integration of machines, systems and data with live factory analytics, virtual machine demonstrations, and live modeling and simulation.

  • Student Program for student groups interested in engaging with a Mars Rover mission.


Who do you have lined up to speak for the SMARTx Tech Talks?

The SMARTx Tech Talks session is made up of four visionary speakers/topics:

Practical Applications for Artificial Intelligence in Manufacturing by Paul Manikas, Senior Industry Solution Executive, Microsoft

Paul Manikas works for Microsoft’s Discrete Manufacturing U.S. Industry team, and is responsible for advising business executives around industry solutions that help manufacturers drive digital transformation, with a focus on emerging capabilities. Manikas will discuss how Microsoft uses artificial intelligence (AI) to drive digital transformation with accelerators, solutions and practices that empower organizations. He will also examine how these industry solutions help manufacturers drive digital transformation across product development, manufacturing operations, sales and service.

Cloud Computing in U.S. Manufacturing by Wang Jin, Research Associate at IDE MIT Sloan School of Management

Despite being central to productivity and job growth, young firms still fail at high rates. In this tech talk, Wang Jin will examine how a recent rise in firms’ ability to access information technology as a service affects the survival and performance of young establishments in the U.S. manufacturing sector. Jin will share a study that provides the first empirical evidence that this emerging technology is changing how firms learn about their IT requirements, and benefit from shared economies of scale before they achieve significant experience and scale of their own.

How GE is Partnering with Startups in Manufacturing by Steven Taub, Senior Director of Advanced Manufacturing, GE Ventures

The discussion will include an overview of GE Ventures investments in the advanced manufacturing space, including 3D printing, robotics, and smart manufacturing software and analytics. Steven Taub, who focuses his time on venture investments in the advanced manufacturing space, will present case studies about GE Ventures’ portfolio companies and how GE is working with them to advance its mission of leading the digital industrial transformation.

Innovations in Technology by Katie Linendoll, Emmy Award-Winning TV Personality, Writer, Technology Expert, Global Technology Consultant

Katie Linendoll is one of the most in-demand tech experts in the country and tech contributor to the TODAY show. In this SMARTx presentation, she shares her expertise around innovations. This informative, entertaining and insightful tech talk will inform the audience about breakthrough technologies, and give a glimpse behind the scenes of how a tech guru works. Linendoll will share with audience members about how technology is changing the way we live, work and think.


These sessions address aspirational ideas, and much of the event content and exhibitions are grounded in what’s available now. How will the SMARTx speakers help move show attendees from the reality of today to the promise of tomorrow?

We’ve designed the Smart Manufacturing Experience with great intention. We want attendees to be inspired about the future, but to also bring back knowledge that can help their organizations today. The SMARTx presentations are the foundation for that, setting the framework to explore four major themes:

  • Smart manufacturing, to understand what’s possible along with what is currently happening in the industry.

  • Transformation and what it means to those in the manufacturing industry, and both why and how they should take steps toward smart manufacturing processes and technologies within their organizations.

  • The growth that’s possible – and needed – to make manufacturing strong in the U.S. for a long time to come.

  • Details about the advancement and expansion for the future of manufacturing to create advocates who will go out and continue to innovate, inspire and implement smart manufacturing.



The content & opinions in this article are the author’s and do not necessarily represent the views of ManufacturingTomorrow

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