Maintenance, safety and systems get attention at 2011 Summit

With a focus on maintenance, systems management and safety, the 2011 Manufacturing/Automation Summit will deliver a wide range of content with some of manufacturing’s top experts


With a focus on maintenance, systems management and safety, the 2011 Manufacturing/Automation Summit will deliver a wide range of content with some of manufacturing’s top experts.

The 2011 Summit, hosted by Plant Engineering and Control Engineering and sponsored by IBM and Hannover Messe, will be March 20-22 at the Hotel Sofitel in Chicago. Registration is now open by going to

The Summit includes presentation of the 2010 Engineer’s Choice Awards from Control Engineering on Sunday March 20, the 2010 Product of the Year awards on Monday, March 21, and the 2010 Top Plant award to Toyota Material Handling on Tuesday, March 22. Douglas Woods, president of the Association for Manufacturing Technology, will deliver the keynote at Monday’s Product of the Year dinner.

The true value of the Summit is in the knowledge sessions, and this year’s event delivers some of the best knowledge on key issues facing manufacturing professionals. The sessions include:

Monday, March 21, 9 a.m.: Maintenance as a profit center

Presenter: David Cline, Harland Clarke

You have just acquired a competitor and are absorbing its work in-house. Suddenly, you find yourself unable to take on all the work because you don’t have enough equipment capacity. To make things even more difficult, your CEO and Board of Directors reject your request to purchase additional machines and proclaim, “You have to get better with what you have.” This is the scenario that played out for Harland Clarke, but Lean thinking brought the company success. In fact, the company’s Lean journey allowed it to not only meet and exceeded the needed capacity to complete the acquisition, but gain an additional 23% efficiency over the next two years.

Monday, March 21, 10:30 a.m.: The way back for Detroit

Presenters: Vishal Shah, Ford Motor Company; Dave Reiber, General Motors; Mary Bunzel, IBM

How do you change the world’s two most famous automobile brands? The first step on the road to recovery for Detroit’s auto industry was to recognize the depth of the problem. It wasn’t just about making better cars; it was about making cars better. That forced fundamental changes in the way Ford and GM worked with their employees – and, as it turns out, with each other. Representatives of those two car companies will offer a frank assessment of the challenges and achievements in that recovery.

Monday, March 21, 1:30 p.m.: The intersection of automation and maintenance

Presenters: Augie DiGiovanni, Emerson Process Management; Sloan Zupan, Mitsubishi Electric

The intersection of automation and maintenance is where information from intelligent equipment can inform and guide maintenance activities. Enabling greater connection between equipment and people delivers actionable knowledge that can be used to improve uptime and productivity. Among the issues to be discussed are work processes, metrics, use of smart devices and approaches for gathering information and analyzing data.

Tuesday, March 22, 8 a.m.: Global Manufacturing Forum

Presenters: Marco Siebert, Hannover Messe; Mary Bunzel, IBM; Richard Clos, Accenture

In a growing global manufacturing environment, U.S. manufacturers must grow. At the same time, the world is taking another look at U.S. manufacturing as it searches for quality products and efficient operations. How should U.S. manufacturers reach out to the global audience? And how can they better compete on the world stage?

Tuesday, March 22, 10:00 a.m.: Arc Flash LIVE

Presenters: Lanny Floyd, DuPont; Joe Weigel, Schneider Electric

An extension of Plant Engineering’s successful Arc Flash University series brings together two of the nation’s most respected experts to discuss the regulations, trends and issues surrounding arc flash. It promises to be a fascinating and important presentation.

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Annual Salary Survey

After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.

The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.

Read more: 2014 Salary Survey: Confidence rises amid the challenges

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