Advanced Technology and the Future of Manufacturing Conference Takeaways

Earlier this month, Catalyst Connection hosted the Advanced Technology and the Future of Manufacturing Conference. The event was well-attended as industry experts reviewed topics including advanced manufacturing, robotics and cybersecurity.

Here are some key takeaways from the day:

  • Internet of Things (IoT)
    • Bob Evans, Founder and Principal of Evans Strategic Communications LLC, discussed IoT and informed participants of how IoT will shorten the distance between people, devices and decisions.
    • Cloud computing will put unimaginable computing power into the hands of startups as well as giant corporations.
    • It will be imperative that manufacturing companies stay on top of these technology advances and utilize IoT to make your customers smarter, more successful, more intelligent and generally happier.
  • Technology Advances
    • Technology advances are quickly changing Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) expectations.
      • OEMs that share Advanced Manufacturing Technology (AMT) solutions within their supply chain not only help to delight customers, but also creates a ripple effect up and down the supply chain that increases the value of any individual AMT initiative.
      • Manufacturers need to overestimate what can happen in the next year and underestimate what is going to happen in the next 10 years.
      • Overall, manufacturers should listen to your customers and let that guide your AMT decisions of where to invest, what problems to solve, and what is needed in the marketplace.
  • Cybersecurity
    • Matt LaVigna, President & CEO of the National Cyber-Forensics & Training Alliance (NCFTA) gave a very informational presentation on Cybersecurity.
      • Suggested steps that companies can take to ensure that they are well protected against cyber attacks and scams include: training everyone (no one is exempt from putting the company at risk); reporting incidents to the correct authorities; and registering with the NCFTA Internet Fraud Alert (IFA).
  • Additive Manufacturing – User Journeys
    • With additive manufacturing, “the riches are in the niches”. Manufacturing companies need to find the right niches in their company where additive manufacturing can generate value.
    • Learn from others via open innovation; talk to equipment suppliers, join consortiums, talk to universities and other companies about how they’re using additive manufacturing and their lessons learned.
  • Robotics – User Journeys
    • Automate the easy things first.
    • Programming and integration of robot assembly cells in a key skillset.
    • You should have one person within your company dedicated to your robotics initiative. It’s not a part time job.
    • Develop a long-term partnership with your integrator so there is not a technology gap.

As we move forward, Catalyst Connection will be focused on the future of how advanced technologies will impact the manufacturing industry. Catalyst Connection will be developing working groups related to Advanced Manufacturing and Advanced Robotics – stay tuned for more information!