“Digital Transformation” – 2018 MFG Summit Breakout Session

by | Mar 17, 2018 | Manufacturing, Regional News, Summit

“ $500,000,000,000   or  “one half a trillion dollars savings from the Factory of the Future” as per Goldman Sachs, largely driven by the digital transformation of manufacturing.  That is an average of about $2 million for each of the 255,000 manufacturing firms in the USA.    Digital manufacturing includes a number of titles found in the media, like Industry 4.0, Industrial IoT  “Internet of Things” and Big Data.

And so began the Digital Transformation breakout session at the 2018 Manufacturing Summit sponsored by the Grand Traverse Area Manufacturng Council (GTAMC), with the goal of educating about current and future trends,  AND accelerating our companies’ ability to get more than their fair share of those savings.  The session was organized by GTAMC membership Coordinator  Dennis Arouca, who is also a Board member of the GT Economic Development Corporation.

Lead remarks were offered by Chuck Werner of the Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center, who was also representing the Digital Manufacturing & Design Innovation Institute, one of several industry-education-government sponsored manufacturing Innovation Institutes known as manufacturingusa.com   Chuck described how small and medium sized firms can  get active with DMDII without spending a fortune. He was joined by Sikich consultant Evert Bos, author of the popular—and timely—article in Industry Week-  “Why Smaller Manufacturers Can’t Afford to Dismiss the Industrial Internet of Things”.    Evert captivated the group with a live display of how a “$29 off the shelf sensor” —which Evert moved about the room— and his smart phone enabled real time capture of changes in temperature, light, acceleration, noise, vibration, all items of interest in manufacturing operations.

Focus then shifted to two local peers who shared their company’s digital journeys.  Jim Chan, Chief Architect for RJG described his digital career evolution from Microsoft, Oracle and Disney, to leadership of an injection molding company’s efforts which include extracting data from  deep inside a plastic mold, to improve quality, and processing performance .Justin Gauthier of Team Brightly described digital transformation of the forklift and dairy businesses, linking producers, distributors and ultimate customers in ways that improved performance and generated savings throughout the supply chain.  (Yes dairy—remember that food processing one of the top 3 manufacturing sectors in the Traverse region!)

A document with links to additional information and videos was handed out, and is available at the GTAMC website-  www.makegreatthins.org

The session  well received and  discussions began about starting periodic meet ups of team members doing the digital manufacturing work—-a regional collaboration to share best practices and promote a rising tide that can raise the boats of all GTAMC members.   Open to all.  If you or your company is interested,  write to dennis.arouca@gmail.com

We would like to say thank-you to our Platinum sponsors for helping to make this possible:

Chemical Bank
Michigan Manufacturing Technology Center (MMTC)
Skilled Manufacturing Inc.

We would also like to thank Ferris Coffee & Nut for the fantastic keynote along with all of the companies and individuals that contributed their time and expertise to our breakout sessions!

And finally, thanks to everyone attending for making this yet another successful event!

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