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Northern Kentucky executives discuss smart manufacturing advancements

Sept. 29, 2017
The panel, which included Balluff president Tony Canonaco, focused on how smart manufacturing, robotics, and automation are changing manufacturing in America
On Friday, Aug. 25, Tony Canonaco, president of Balluff, participated in Northern Kentucky Tri-ED's Smart Factory panel discussion.  Canonaco was joined by John Baines, president of HAHN Automation, and Craig Todd, CEO of Amend Consulting, and moderated by Paul Miklautsch, co-founder of Start Something Bold. The discussion focused on how smart manufacturing, robotics, and automation are changing manufacturing in America.

"If you look at our history, we started as a repair shop for sewing machines, bicycles, air compressors, those types of things." said Canonaco. "As Balluff progressed, we went into more sophisticated things that would add more value." According to Canonaco, automation has created a safer working environment for employees by automating some of the more dangerous aspects.

When asked about the importance of data and analytics in automation, Canonaco spoke about the ability to add more predictability to processes when you have more data. "You may already have a lot of data points, so it is important to be smart about what data is the most important to your business," Canonaco said.

The panelists were presented with the topic of how to get more people engaged and interested in manufacturing. Canonaco acknowledged the fact that there are pre-conceived negative notions of what manufacturing is, and how the community views it. He went on to speak about Balluff's activities to improve the image of manufacturing, like an involvement with Manufacturing Day. "We believe that these kinds of events and activities effect people and help everyone realize what we in manufacturing have to offer as a career path," Canonaco said.

The Northern Kentucky Tri-County Economic Development Corporation (Tri-ED) blends public and private funds to enhance the business climate in and foster regional cooperation among Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties. NKY Tri-ED works to market and promote Northern Kentucky on a national and international basis.

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