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Come meet fellow change agents, in the Windy City

Brett Brune
By Brett Brune Editor in Chief, Smart Manufacturing

Our interviews with the 30 leaders profiled in this issue should give you a taste of what you can learn about at SME’s Smart Manufacturing Experience event, Sept. 14-16 in Chicago.

Many of the 30 leaders profiled in this issue will be at the event. And some of them—including NIMS’ Montez King, Fastems LLC’s David Suica, Plex Systems’ Jerry Foster and Ford Motor’s Mike Mikula—will be speaking at the event.

The event is curated by SME and AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology. They are the two largest manufacturing event producers in North America.

You will be intrigued with what’s on tap: artificial intelligence, augmented reality and virtual reality, automation and robotics, additive manufacturing, cybersecurity, data analytics, Industrial IoT and, of course, workforce transformation.

Smart Manufacturing magazine’s coverage of the 2018 show included recording what Lonnie Love, leader of the manufacturing systems research group at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, had to say about young people accepting innovation invitations with alacrity.

Look around and you will see that “society is changing very rapidly,” he said during the panel discussion. “The largest cab company doesn’t own a cab (Uber). The largest hotel chain doesn’t own a bed (Airbnb). Things are changing, and it happens in a matter of years instead of decades now.”

To help with workforce development that will speed the arrival of “truly intelligent” machines, manufacturers can, for starters, back First Robotics teams, which are always looking for sponsors and mentors, Love said. “I like the grassroots approach. What really has to happen is more engagement from industry with the high schools.” (First Robotics is an international youth organization that operates the First Robotics Competition.)

If you are interested in gathering more pearls of wisdom like this, get yourself to Chicago for this idea-generating and problem-solving event.

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