Information technologies continue to be a key driver of production equipment efficiencies on the factory floor and projections for capital spending in this area by manufacturers, processors, and machine builders reveal this is where the big money is going to be invested in the coming years.
These "glue" technologies, as one IT industry analyst recently put it, include systems, software and middleware that integrate production processes, remove steps in the work flow, animate or articulate processes, and identify waste. Not coincidently, these and similar themes of efficiency and cost savings are evident throughout the conference tracks, pavilions, keynotes, and products being presented at the 14th annual National Manufacturing Week (NMW) which returns to Chicago and the McCormick Place Complex February 23-26, 2004.
Heralded as the only U.S. trade show dedicated to the entire manufacturing process, an estimated 30,000 attendees can look forward to precisely defining a show experience to fit their needs, able to pick and choose conference sessions and view vendor offerings from among six discreet shows in one location: the National Design Engineering, Plant Engineering and Facilities Management, Industrial Automation, Enterprise IT, Technology Transfer, and CleanTech, shows and conferences.
According to the show's management, NMW 2004 will encompass roughly 1,000 exhibitors and offer nearly 200 conference sessions across the six shows. Exhibit hall hours for all the shows are slightly shorter this year, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Monday through Wednesday, and 10 a.m.- 3 p.m. Thursday. Conference session hours are 10 a.m.-3:50 p.m. Monday through Wednesday and ending at 2:50 p.m. Thursday.
As usual, there will be a wide variety of pavilions dominating the six show's exhibit halls. This year, attendees can stroll among 21 product-focused pavilions to review highlighted technologies and products in categories relevant to each show. Pavilions likely to attract the readers of Industrial Networking include Blue Tooth wireless technologies, Microsoft Partners Pavilion, featuring manufacturing-oriented Microsoft ,compatible applications, Wireless, featuring a broader range of wireless technologies, and Reliability, featuring asset management technologies and strategies. Other pavilions that may interest readers include Sensors, Motion Technology, Fluid Power and Control, and Maintenance Software.
For the first time, attendees and exhibitors will also have direct access to capital providers that specialize in providing financing for the middle market. In addition, the show will feature panel discussions on capital raising for small and medium manufacturers.
Keynote Presentations for All
Keynoters for NMW 2004 will offer diverse commentary on the state of the manufacturing industry to attendees throughout the week with presentations starting each morning at 9 a.m. with one lunch-time address at 12 p.m. Tuesday, February 24. Launching the week Monday morning with his keynote presentation "Manufacturing" is Congressman Don Manzullo, (R-Ill.). Congressman Manzullo chairs both the Small Business Committee as well as the House Manufacturing Caucus. In his address, Munzillo plans to discuss the problems facing U.S. manufacturers and offer solutions to help restore manufacturing jobs in America.
Tuesday's morning keynote "100 Years of Harley-Davidson," will be delivered by Jeffrey Bleustein, chairman of the board and chief executive officer at Harley-Davidson, Inc. Much to the delight of the many Harley fans likely to be in the audience, Bleustein will chronicle the first 100 years of the company from its humble beginnings in Milwaukee to the present day and its current status as one of the best-known motorcycle brands in the world. His remarks will cover the events leading to Harley-Davidson's brush with bankruptcy and its renowned turnaround. He also plans to provide his insights into how Harley-Davidson has delivered 18 consecutive years of record production, revenue and earnings and his vision for the company's future.
Atsushi (Art) Niimi, president and CEO of Toyota Motor Manufacturing North America, Inc. is Tuesday's lunch keynoter. Delivering "The Slow and Steady Climb Toward True North: Toyota's Manufacturing Foundation and Challenges," Niimi will discuss Toyota's overall corporate philosophy, called "The Toyota Way" and detail how these core beliefs guide the company through the ever-challenging climate of today's automotive manufacturing sector.
J. Victor Lebacqz, associate administrator for Aerospace Technology at NASA, will deliver his keynote presentation "Moving Aeronautics and Space Technology Through the 21st Century," Wednesday morning. He will address R&D issues confronting the nation in aeronautics and space in the 21st century, provide an overview of NASA's technology investments in aviation and space transportation, and an overview of NASA's Innovative Technology Transfer Partnerships Program, established to catalyze partnerships with industry and transfer NASA-developed technology to the private sector.
David Nelson, president, Global Supply Management for Delphi Corp. and past president of ISM, wraps NMW 2004 with "Manufacturing Marketplace: Report on Business and the Supply Chain Revolution." ISM's Report On Business® and the PMI have earned immense recognition over the years and economists and forecasters in government and business. Nelson will discuss the latest edition of this report and the repercussions for the manufacturing sectors. Nelson has also been recognized as one of the leaders of the supply chain revolution, and he will also address supply chain fitness, citing examples from Delphi, and how the company is driving major cost reductions and satisfying customer requirements faster by working ever more closely with its entire supply chain.
IT-Oriented Sessions Abound
Overall, NMW 2004 offers attendees such a broad selection of topics it's doubtful one will come away from this years show able to say "I wish someone had covered this." Arranged and segmented logically for each individual show, conference sessions across all shows are dominated by efficiency themes and new ways to do almost anything manufacturing-related better, fast...well, you get the idea. For those focused on absorbing the latest IT-lead trends and insights into networked and integrated production, the conference program for the National Enterprise IT show offers two programs with 46 sessions. For complete conference session information please visit: http://www.nmwonline.com/Conference/program.asp.