Summit to focus on energizing U.S. manufacturing
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Top federal, state and industry officials will gather at Purdue University on May 30 for the 10th annual Advancing Manufacturing Summit, which will focus on reinvigorating U.S. manufacturing with an emphasis on small and midsize companies.
One segment, a "town hall" panel session, will enable attendees to interact with officials, industry leaders and each other using social media to pose and answer questions during the discussion.
"With the level of federal leadership we will have here and industry executives, this is a great opportunity for small to midsize manufacturers to have their voices heard at the highest levels of federal government manufacturing leadership," said John Schneider, Purdue's assistant vice president for industry research and outreach. "You will be able to sit in the audience with your cell phone or laptop and use social media to ask and answer questions."
The daylong summit, titled Advancing Manufacturing: Summit X Manufacturing Partnerships, will include sessions featuring high-ranking officials from federal funding agencies. The summit will include talks regarding a new U.S. advanced manufacturing effort announced by President Barack Obama last year and talks by manufacturers who have collaborated with Purdue to become more innovative and competitive.
This year's summit, organized by the Purdue Center for Advanced Manufacturing, is influenced by the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership initiative announced by Obama last year to boost U.S. manufacturing. The partnership joins industry, universities and the federal government to help U.S. manufacturers - particularly small and midsize companies - develop technologies to improve competitiveness and create jobs.
"There are widespread economic benefits to having a strong manufacturing sector," said Abhi Deshmukh, a professor and James J. Solberg Head of Purdue's School of Industrial Engineering.
A morning keynote talk will be delivered by Michael F. Molnar, the nation's chief manufacturing officer. Molnar will talk about Obama's recent Advanced Manufacturing Partnership initiative.
The federal initiative includes a $1 billion proposal to create a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation - a series of up to 15 regional manufacturing demonstration facilities - public-private collaborations where advanced manufacturing technologies would be developed and launched. The initiative identified four "workstreams" in which to concentrate efforts: technology development, shared facilities and infrastructure, education and workforce development, and policy.
"This is where a university like Purdue plays a crucial role," Schneider said. "We have the experts who are educating students who can put this new knowledge into practice in industry. It's in our DNA to work with industry in general and manufacturers in particular."
The initiative is providing $45 million in funding for a pilot institute for manufacturing innovation, which will strive to find manufacturing applications for new "keystone" technologies.
The summit will include a panel session in the morning to discuss public-private partnership success stories. In one of these success stories, Jeco Plastics Products, a pallet maker in Plainfield, Ind., solved a key engineering hurdle by working with Thomas Siegmund, a professor of mechanical engineering, and graduate student Srinivas Varanasi.
Siegmund will speak, along with Jeco CEO Craig Carson. Instrumental in Jeco's success was help from the Midwest Project, a public-private consortium led by the Council on Competitiveness, a nonpartisan group of CEOs, university presidents and labor leaders working to ensure U.S. prosperity. Jeco used software and hardware capabilities available through the Midwest Project in collaboration with Purdue faculty and student expertise to ensure its new pallet design would work.
The panel session also will include talks about manufacturing-related research by Srinivasan Chandrasekar, a professor of industrial engineering, and Nathan Hartman, an associate professor in the Department of Computer Graphics Technology.
The luncheon speaker will be Frank Doerner, vice president, Material, Processes, and Structures Technology at Boeing Research and Technology.
An afternoon panel discussion will include Steven H. McKnight, director of the National Science Foundation's Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation Division; and Neal Orringer, director of manufacturing at the U.S. Department of Defense who oversees the department's manufacturing technology program.
The final session will be the town hall, with a panel of experts to respond to audience questions and answers.
"If you are a small to midsize manufacturer, this is a rare opportunity to get your thoughts across to leadership," said George Adams, director of Purdue's ManufacturingHUB.org.
The town hall panel will include Ralph Resnick, president and executive director of the National Center for Defense Manufacturing and Machining; Matthew Bell, president, Ivy Tech Corporate College; and Dean Beutel, director, CPS Deployment Americas and Global Facilities Management, Caterpillar.
The summit is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., with registration at 8 a.m. in the Purdue Memorial Union's South Ballroom. The fee is $50 for attendees; those interested in being an exhibitor or sponsor should contact Steve Shade at firstname.lastname@example.org
People who want to attend or set up displays may register up to May 25 at http://www.conf.purdue.edu/summitx and the day of the summit at the registration desk. Faculty and students wishing to attend the conference should contact Kathy Walters, email@example.com
The Center for Advanced Manufacturing serves as the central point of contact at Purdue on a range of manufacturing issues, linking existing and emerging businesses with researchers on campus. The center's mission is to bridge basic academic research with specific industrial needs to enhance both the understanding and application of manufacturing sciences.
In addition to the center, summit sponsors and supporters include the Access Technology Across Indiana Network (ATAIN), the Indiana Manufacturing Extension Partnership and Purdue's Technical Assistance Program and ManufacturingHUB.org.
Writer: Emil Venere, 765-494-4709, firstname.lastname@example.org
Sources: John Schneider, 765-494-5532, email@example.com
Steve Shade, 765-494-1279, firstname.lastname@example.org
Abhi Deshmukh, 765-496-6007, email@example.com
George Adams, 765-543-8024, firstname.lastname@example.org
Note to Journalists: Journalists interested in interviewing speakers in advance of Purdue's annual Advancing Manufacturing Summit or wanting a detailed agenda may contact Emil Venere at 765-494-4709, email@example.com