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SME's AeroDef Manufacturing 2020 to Take on Rapid Growth, Advanced Manufacturing, Cybersecurity

By SME Press Release

SOUTHFIELD, Mich.—The AeroDef Manufacturing 2020 conference and exhibition, produced by SME, will bring together the aerospace and defense industry's brightest, most strategic minds March 16-19 in Fort Worth, Texas, to discuss crucial industry volume production issues, transformative manufacturing processes and critical cybersecurity issues. The professional association – based in Southfield, Mich. – produces more events and brings together more people in manufacturing than any other organization.

“With a forecast of 40,000 aircraft in the skies in the next 20 years, our industry is at a critical crossroads, where traditional manufacturing processes and materials simply are not efficient enough to meet the expansive demand for flight,” said David Morton, senior event manager of AeroDef Manufacturing and Industry Development for SME. “To grow from the current 20,000 aircraft to 40,000, a tremendous amount of throughput must occur, forcing our industry to embrace higher-volume advanced processes and materials, including more use of automation. Our AeroDef Manufacturing conference and exhibition is the place to come to explore these new technologies, meet the right people and prepare for the significant expansion of aerospace manufacturing that will affect every company in the industry.”

In addition to growth and advanced manufacturing changes, Morton also previewed the impact of data and digital transformation that will be discussed at AeroDef Manufacturing 2020. He said that with 80 percent of aircraft manufacturing occurring in the supply chain, cybersecurity is a serious issue for OEMs and suppliers alike. He said manufacturers and suppliers that are seeking cyber guidance will find AeroDef an oracle of information on both the exhibition floor and in featured presentations.

Speakers, Panels and Forums

On Tuesday, March 17, Kim Howard, vice president, F-35 Production Operations for Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, will speak on Continuous Innovation & Development of the F-35 Program. She will be followed by a panel discussion about Next Generation Automation for Aerospace Composites led by John Russell, director of the Air Force Research Laboratory. Tuesday’s featured presentation will spotlight Doug Decker, president of The Composite Consultants and Brietta Oakley, material and process engineer of Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company presenting “Bond It… Don't Bolt It! Challenges & Opportunities for Structural Bonding.”

On Wednesday, March 18, Gerould Young, director Materials & Manufacturing Technology Boeing Research & Technology, will speak on Composites, Automation & Data in Aerospace Manufacturing. His keynote presentation will be followed by a panel discussion, Industry 4.0 for Aerospace Manufacturing in 2020: Impact, Challenges and Best Practices, moderated by Avner Ben-Bassat, president & CEO of Plataine Ltd. Later that afternoon, Katie Arrington, chief information security officer for Acquisition, Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment, OUSD (A&S), will present a featured presentation, Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification.

AeroDef features multiple panels, workshops, facility tours, networking receptions and approximately 100 conference technical sessions. Attendees have a chance to be a part of live, participative demonstrations, keep tabs on what leading aerospace and defense manufacturing companies are doing to stay competitive, and ask questions face-to-face with aerospace contract suppliers, engineers, product designers, executives and more.

To learn more, visit There, you can view the event schedule and see the list of exhibitors and speakers. Get involved in the conversation before, during and after the event by downloading the AeroDef mobile app on the App Store or Google Play or at . Follow AeroDef on Facebook, @AeroDefMfg on Twitter, or joining the discussions on LinkedIn.

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