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Press Release

SME Honors 25 Outstanding Leaders Transforming Manufacturing

SME, the professional association committed to advancing manufacturing and developing a skilled workforce, today honored 25 leaders in smart manufacturing who are transforming the way the industry designs and produces goods. The leaders, who work at startups, large corporations, public-private partnerships and standards organizations, are successfully changing the pace and scope of technological adoption of smart manufacturing processes at the highest levels.

Some in this group are advancing the integration of robots into their factories. Others are integrating artificial intelligence and augmented reality into work processes. Still others are using specialized cameras and machine vision for high-speed counting, vibration monitoring and predictive maintenance. All in this compilation were identified by SME Media’s Smart Manufacturing magazine in consultation with manufacturing experts from across a full range of industry segments and disciplines.

“We’ve seen in the last several months how quickly our industry can rebound to near full production,” said Robert Willig, executive director and CEO of SME. “These 25 luminaries in manufacturing are pushing the pace of change in our industry, paving the path that leads to elevated quality, improved productivity, increased profitability and higher employment here in North America.

One individual leading this charge is Anthony Oteka, vice president of Stanley Black & Decker’s Stanley Production System and Industry 4.0 Strategy and Planning in the company’s Industrial Platform and Global Operations. Oteka said that the company has adopted several robotic and automation technologies across a number of their product manufacturing, quality and packaging disciplines globally.

“These technologies help drive manufacturing excellence, meet and exceed both internal and external customers’ expectations and drive process standardization,” he said. Expanding the company’s data analytics through artificial intelligence and deploying cutting-edge technology solutions that provide flexible-manufacturing processes, improve productivity and lower cost also are high on his list. “The collaboration with and adoption rates from our operations teams have been instrumental, as well,” he said.

The article in the April 2021 issue of Smart Manufacturing magazine includes significantly more detail on the advances and accomplishments of these exceptional leaders in their own areas of manufacturing. It is available at the following URL: