How Smart Manufacturing Changes Everything

Automation of processes that increase yield and raise productivity, is the core of what people think of when they speak of smart manufacturing. Smart is not limited to process change but opens the door to the use of new materials. Rather than stocking inventory 3-D printing capability allows custom built job-lots of one. Smart is certainly transforming manufacturing but it also transforms companies themselves. Witness Valin Corp. a San Jose supplier to the semiconductor that nearly perished in the wake of the dotcom bust of 2001.

April 25 2013 by

“All these elements are part of smart manufacturing which mean not only doing more with less but changing the process by which you normally make things,” says Joe Nettemeyer. He points to the example of Samsung which faced the dilemma of having to shut down a flat panel manufacturing plant because the current system using hard-wired sensing devices couldn’t allow for making panels more than 60 inches to accommodate demand for panels that had to be 8o inches. Valin showed Samsung how to redesign the manufacturing process using wireless sensing devices. Without the redesign Samsung would have faced a retooling that would have cost 20 times the cost of the upgrade.

“Technology is advancing so quickly that just to stay in the marketplace it forces all of us to change what we do,” says Nettemeyer. “Smart also opens the door to new materials at the molecular level. Nanotechnology and 3-D printing are the future of manufacturing.”

“12 years ago we were large a parts provider to the semiconductor industry. After our sales dropped from $75 million to $25 million in the wake of the dotcom bust, we realized our parts were being shopped out and our own returns dropped accordingly. We realized that we had to offer integrated services and upgrade to offering consultative engineering solutions,” he says. “In the last five years we’ve built revenue up to $200 million and raised returns to shareholders by 270 percent.”

Meet Lynn Tilton, CEO of Patriarch Partners and Keith Nosbusch, CEO Rockwell Automation

Meet Lynn Tilton, Keith Nosbusch and other Smart Manufacturing leaders on May 21-22 by joining us at the Smart Manufacturing Summit, where mid-market manufacturing CEOs connect with top-performing peers and learn best practices. This extraordinary event brings together the thinkers and doers who are writing American manufacturing’s comeback story. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to bring fresh thinking to the opportunities and threats facing your business.

Our full lineup of speakers:
Alan Mulally, CEO, Ford Motor Company
Farooq Kathwari, President, Chairman, & CEO Ethan Allen Interiors
Dr. George Calvert, Chief Supply Chain and R&D Officer, Amway
Dave Bozeman, SVP of Caterpillar Enterprise Systems unit of Caterpillar
Keith Nosbusch, Chairman & CEO, Rockwell Automation
Stephanie Streeter, CEO, Libbey
John Fleming, Global Head of Manufacturing at Ford
Jim Jarrell, President, Linamar
Jason Blessing, CEO, Plex Systems.
Cristian Pedersen, General Manager, Microsoft Dynamics
Doug Farren, Associate Director, National Center for the Middle Market

To find out more about how the Smart Manufacturing Summit can help you improve your business and expand your network, please visit Smart Manufacturing Summit.