President of Balluff Participates in Smart Factory Panel

The panel covered topics ranging from automation to data analysis.

Balluff Inc. President Tony Canonaco participated in a Smart Factory panel discussion hosted by Northern Kentucky Tri-ED on August 25, 2017. Mr. Canonaco was joined by Hahn Automation President John Baines and Amend Consulting CEO Craig Todd. The panel was moderated by cofounder of Start Something Bold Paul Miklautsch. The discussion focused on how smart manufacturing, robotics and automation are changing manufacturing in America.

The discussion opened with the topic of how companies can benefit from automation. Mr. Canonaco commented, “If you look at our history, we started as a repair shop for sewing machines, bicycles, air compressors, those types of things. As Balluff progressed, we went into more sophisticated things that would add more value.” Mr. Canonaco added that automation has created a safer working environment for employees by automating some of the more dangerous aspects of manufacturing.

When asked about the importance of data and analytics in automation, Mr. Canonaco responded, “The more data points that you have, the more predictability that you can apply to your processes.” He also said, “You may already have a lot of data points, so it is important to be smart about what data is the most important to your business.”

The panelists later touched on the topic of how to get more people engaged and interested in manufacturing. Mr. Canonaco acknowledged the fact that there are preconceived negative notions of what manufacturing is and how the community views it. He went on to speak about Balluff's efforts to improve the image of manufacturing, such as participating in Manufacturing Day. “We believe that these kinds of events and activities affect people and help everyone realize what we in manufacturing have to offer as a career path.”

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