Cox to keynote NMW

By Plant Engineering Staff January 13, 2006

Mary Frances Cox, senior vice president of operations at The Schneider Electric North American Operating Division, will deliver the keynote address at the 2006 National Manufacturing Week Conference, March 20-23, in Rosemont, IL.

Cox’s remarks on Tuesday, March 21 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. will focus on “Shaving Significant Cost Reductions Out of the Manufacturing Cost Base.” Since being named to head up operations in North America, she has led Schneider Electric’s operations improvement initiatives, which has reduced manufacturing costs in plants in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.

“Large-scale cost reductions are of critical interest to manufacturing executives today,” said Cox, who joined Schneider Electric in 2002 as director of manufacturing strategy. “The operations arm contributes significantly to growth through efficient improvement strategies that enhance a manufacturer’s ability to price products competitively in the marketplace and to reinvest in the business.”

Cox is responsible for advanced manufacturing, manufacturing operations, purchasing, logistics, safety, health and environmental issues. Before the manufacturing excellence initiative was put in place, Schneider Electric spent more than a decade implementing advanced manufacturing techniques at the company’s plants.
The manufacturing initiative implementation spurred the rethinking of processes and products and yielded productivity gains, which led to the reduction of production times from days to hours.

According to Cox, operations are central to achieving competitive lead times and to being consistent with on-time deliveries. “The connection between operations, growth and superior customer satisfaction is more evident at Schneider Electric North America than ever before,” she said. “Ultimately, operational effectiveness is centered on the ability to produce better results for the customer in the way of cycle times, on-time deliveries and overall product quality.”

National Manufacturing Week is the nation’s largest event for executives and engineers responsible for the design and manufacturing of finished goods. For information about the event, go to