Manufacturing to Meet Tech Community at MT360

I will hold onstage conversations with additive manufacturing and collaborative automation leaders as part of the new technology event to premier May 12-14, 2020, in Santa Clara, California.


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Update: MT360 has been rescheduled to May 12-14, 2020. The column below has been revised to reflect the new dates. The speaker lineup is expected to remain the same. Save the date for the launch of this new tech-meets-manufacturing event.

Is there a connection between the “tech” culture we associate with Silicon Valley and the manufacturing culture at work in machining facilities throughout the rest of the country?

Seemingly yes, and that connection is growing stronger. Today, the manufacturing technology developments offering the most promise to dramatically transform manufacturing tend to be digital, including artificial intelligence (AI), collaborative automation, the Internet of Things (IoT) and even additive manufacturing (AM). To varying degrees, these technologies leverage tech community advances that are still advancing. Indeed, the latest tech innovations may find their greatest impact in the potential they offer to accelerate, streamline and reorder the ways that things are made.

ThyssenKrupp Bilstein’s plant in Hamilton, Ohio (far from Silicon Valley) exemplifies this. This established manufacturing facility makes a familiar product, shock absorbers. Yet as this this article describes, the addition of a seemingly small new technology is having an unexpected effect on the possibilities for this plant. At Bilstein, collaborative robots were supposed to be beneficial in just a few areas where automation needed to be near people. But the technology proved such an effective option for versatile, redeployable automation that the company found other applications in which proximity to people was not even a requirement. Furthermore, this success led directly to the application of another versatile automation system: autonomous intelligent vehicles capable of various tasks throughout the facility. At Bilstein, digital-enabled technology is changing the very paradigm for automation within the plant.

Which is why Bilstein CEO Fabian Schmahl is traveling to Silicon Valley next month. I am going there, too. Onstage at the new MT360 event, I will chat with Mr. Schmahl and others about the changing face of manufacturing technology.

Organized by AMT–The Association For Manufacturing Technology, MT360 is an event aimed at bringing together manufacturing leaders and the tech community. The event is May 12-14, 2020, in Santa Clara, California. The plan for the event is itself innovative—sort of a conference, sort of a trade show, and more than both. The conference program includes not only the in-depth conversations I will have with technology leaders in additive manufacturing (from EOS and HP) and collaborative automation (from Bilstein and Veo Robotics), but also concise presentations from up-and-coming users and providers of AM, AI, IoT and other digital manufacturing technologies, including little-known startups. Alongside this program, the complement and equal companion to these speakers will be the event’s Virtual Factory, the “show” part of the show-and-tell format, offering hands-on demonstrations of disruptive digital technologies at work in a simulated manufacturing setting.

Attendance is limited—the hope of direct networking between tech and manufacturing leaders is one of the event’s aims. Indeed, the insight underlying the event is the recognition that tech and manufacturing should not be such separate cultures any longer. Learn more about MT360 and register to attend at mt360conference.com.