WESTEC Speakers to Provide Small and Medium Manufacturers “Smart” Knowledge for Success

Smart Manufacturing Technology helps ease labor, supply chain, inflation and revenue challenges

(SOUTHFIELD, Mich., Oct. 27, 2021) — At WESTEC, a Manufacturing Technology Series event, small and medium manufacturers (SMMs) will hear seasoned industry experts address the daunting challenges of labor shortages, supply chain irregularities, inflation, and revenue generation in the transformative years ahead. The event, which will take place Nov. 17-19 at the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach, California, is part of the four-event Manufacturing Technology Series sponsored by SME and AMT.

The experts' prescribed solution will lie in the adoption of smart manufacturing technologies, which have been around for over a decade, but which have been deployed mostly at large companies because of complexity and cost. They are sorely needed by SMMs to capitalize on the productivity, responsiveness and resiliency that digital transformation offers.

"Some of the most insightful and innovative leaders in manufacturing will share their knowledge at WESTEC with local and regional manufacturers," said Robert Willig, executive director and CEO of SME. "SMMs are responsible for the majority of industrial production in America, and it's important that all links in the value chain are prepared to embrace digital transformation to address common challenges."
Willig said that larger manufacturers have a financial interest in ensuring that their own supply chain, which is mostly made up of smaller makers, are adopters of smart manufacturing technologies. The larger companies must provide assistance and support in the deployment of low-cost, high-efficiency digital solutions across the board to SSMs on the local and regional level.
But as the majority of manufacturers in the United States are classified as ‘small businesses,' the industry's success relies on making for manufacturing's transformation available across the board, not just to its biggest players. WESTEC will focus on these solutions at the local and regional level."
Keynote Speakers at HOUSTEX 2021
Leading off at EASTEC is keynote speaker Chris Kuehl, PhD, managing director, Armada Corporate Intelligence. In his remarks, "Shifting into High Gear: The Post-Recession World," he will address how the post-recession rebound has brought much excitement for manufacturing, but also several ramp-up issues in a variety of areas. He asks a key question: Can the supply-chain issues experienced as a result of the pandemic be channeled positively to drive more on-shoring and re-shoring?

Stephan Biller, PhD, CEO & president, Advanced Manufacturing International Inc. (AMI), starts off day two on the topic, "Smart Manufacturing: Crucial for Small and Medium Manufacturers, Critical for Large Manufacturers to Support Them." In his remarks, Dr. Biller will explain the impact smart manufacturing provides on productivity, responsiveness, and resiliency and why they are crucial for SMMs to adopt. He will round out his remarks with a discussion on how Artificial Intelligence, IoT, cloud, and 5G will impact the Digital Transformation of all manufacturers.
Day three begins with Kenneth Sullivan, PhD, president & CEO, Micro Craft Inc., asking, "How Can Your Organization Survive in a Post-COVID-19 World?" Dr. Sullivan will address internal changes required to circumvent external customer and supply chain changes, adjustments to current culture needed to adapt, the organization structure needed for the "new normal," how to pivot core competencies to other markets without customer base loss and exit strategies for different scenarios.
Panel Discussion Focuses on Digital Transformation Strategies
WESTEC 2021 also will feature a panel discussion entitled, "Digital Transformation for Small to Large Manufacturers: Optimizing the Factory Floor," which will discuss which smart digital technologies are accelerating results and outline practical solutions on how and why integrating operational technology using real-time data enables speed and agility to protect a company's customer base and bottom line.
Integrated Solutions Center Demonstrates Low-Cost Transformation Option
To demonstrate a practical, low-cost enablement of digital transformation for small and medium manufacturers, Willig said WESTEC will feature an Integrated Solutions Center, demonstrating a $3,000 option that begins to integrate smart manufacturing technologies into existing manufacturing operations. At WESTEC it will be clear that digital transformation is not only a competitive minimum over the next decade, for both big companies and mom-and-pop shops, but also that it is neither financially nor technologically out of reach for the SMM manufacturing base, he added.

Student Summit Introduces Youth to Manufacturing
Also featured at this year's WESTEC event will be a Student Summit that will help deliver a student-centric introduction to manufacturing for 300 area high-school students. The 2021 program includes keynote speakers from local industry; a hands-on, autonomous-vehicle competition administered by Ten80 Education; and guided show-floor tours that showcase the high-tech nature of modern manufacturing, courtesy of WESTEC's exhibiting companies.

A link to the WESTEC digital conference brochure with additional detail on the keynotes, panel and conference offerings is available at the following URL:

About SME
SME connects manufacturing professionals, academia and communities, sharing knowledge and resources to build inspired, educated and prosperous manufacturers and enterprises. With nearly 90 years of experience and expertise in events, media, membership, training and development, and also through the SME Education Foundation, SME is committed to promoting manufacturing technology, developing a skilled workforce and attracting future generations to advance manufacturing. Learn more at sme.org, follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or facebook.com/SMEmfg.

About AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology
AMT represents U.S.-based builders and distributors of manufacturing technology - the advanced machinery, devices, and digital equipment that U.S. manufacturing relies on to be productive, innovative, and competitive. Located in McLean, VA, near the nation's capital, AMT acts as the industry's voice to speed the pace of innovation, increase global competitiveness and develop manufacturing's advanced workforce of tomorrow. With extensive expertise in industry data and intelligence, as well as a full complement of international business operations, AMT offers its members an unparalleled level of support. AMT also produces IMTS — The International Manufacturing Technology Show, the premier manufacturing technology event in North America.

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