Commerce Secretary Frink to keynote Automation & Assembly Summit

April 11, 2005


l Frink, assistant secretary, Manufacturing and Services, U. S. Department of Commerce, will deliver the keynote, "A Government Perspective: The Role of Government in Automation and Assembly," at the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) 2nd Annual Automation & Assembly Summit April 20. The event is being held April 18-20 at the Sheraton West Port Hotel Lakeside Chalet in St. Louis.

Frink serves as chief advocate for the U.S. manufacturing sector within the federal government and brings 30 years of private-sector experience. As a small business executive, Frink built an internationally recognized carpet manufacturing company, Fabrica International in Orange County, CA.

Frink is a champion of export. As his company's chief advocate and spokesperson, he opened foreign markets and took responsibility for all international accounts. Frink understands both the challenges and opportunities facing manufacturing and will be a credible voice to others in the sector, particularly small and medium-size businesses.

As assistant secretary, Frink advocates, coordinates and implements policies that help U.S. manufacturers compete globally. Some of the challenges he focuses on include:

  • Enhancing government focus on manufacturing competitiveness
  • Creating the conditions for economic growth and manufacturing investment
  • Promoting open markets and a level playing field
  • Lowering the cost of manufacturing in the United States
  • Investing in innovation
  • Strengthening education, retraining, and economic diversification.

The Automation & Assembly Summit 2005 is an event developed by industry practitioners, developers and technology innovators for its own community of users and solution seekers.

Foremost, the event addresses issues on helping the manufacturing community be productive and competitive through the use of advanced automation and assembly processes. Global success means bringing innovative products to market faster.

The event is highlighted by more than 50 technical sessions, keynote presentations from government and industry, technology exhibits, plant tours of Ford Motor Company, The Boeing Company, and a networking reception. The SME Student Summit will also provide St. Louis high school students and educators with an opportunity to learn more about exciting career opportunities in advanced manufacturing. Events also include:

  • "An Industry Perspective on Automation & Assembly," presented by Daniel H. Wheeler, director of Manufacturing & Research Development, The Boeing Company, Wichita Division. Daniel Wheeler is part of the top management team at Boeing responsible for re-designing the organization along with the sell-off of the Midwestern Boeing facilities. He will share his vision of the new organization and how automation will support it.
  • "Sustaining Lean: Keeping the Drive Alive for Over Six Years," presented by John C. Dickson, F/A-22, manager, Operations Integration, The Boeing Company. Boeing's F/A-22 Assembly Center has aggressively utilized and embraced lean principles, which has dramatically transformed its factory floor and people.
  • RFID Forum (Radio Frequency Identification) "Making Waves: Integrating RFID into Your Supply Chain,"
  • "Extending the Lean Toolkit to the Whole Enterprise."

Keynote and conference hours are: Tuesday, April 19, 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., and Wednesday, April 20, 8 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. Additional event information is also available by visiting the Automation & Assembly Summit web site, or by calling the SME Resource Center at (800) 733-4763, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., ET, Monday-Friday.