News from PLANT ENGINEERING: Week of February 6

By Plant Engineering Staff February 6, 2006

NAM study warns of innovation gap

Downward trends in U.S. manufacturing innovation pose a serious threat to America’s long-term economic growth and living standards, according to a new report released today by the Council of Manufacturing Associations and The Manufacturing Institute of the National Association of Manufacturers.

“Our nation can not afford to lose its manufacturing innovation edge and the wealth that it generates throughout our economy,” said Jerry Jasinowski, president of The Manufacturing Institute, at a press conference Feb. 1.

“One bright ray of light is U.S. manufacturing’s tremendous productivity gains,” Jasinowski standards for U.S. workers.  Higher productivity growth also allows for lower interest rates as the economy grows faster without generating inflation.”

The report’s author, economist Joel Popkin, stated:chines,” Popkin continued.

  • Manufacturing output since the last recession lags that of earlier economic recoveries — its 15% growth is only half the pace averaged in recoveries of the past half-century.

  • Manufacturing capacity remains underutilized, slowing investment in new plants and equipment.

  • The U.S. share of global trade in manufactured products has shrunk, falling from 13 percent in the 1990s to 10 percent in 2004.

  • U.S. manufacturing offers rewarding and desirable careers for highly skilled workers.

  • America’s long-standing leadership in R&D is being challenged.

    • “If the innovation process goes offshore, America will lose much of its capacity to generate wealth and a decline in long-term economic growth is assured,” Dr. Popkin said.

      Top industry leaders to keynote NMW

      At a pivotal time in American manufacturing, attendees at National Manufacturing Week will get insight from some of America’s top business leaders and some of the world’s top business analysts. From a look across the Pacific to a candid assessment of America’s own problems and opportunities, keynote speakers at this year’s NMW will offer some perspectives on the state of global manufacturing

      Colin Wu, president of China Business Sources, will kick off the keynotes on Monday, March 20 from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. with a program titled, “What’s Behind Chinese Competitiveness?” Wu will examine the issues of Chinese labor costs, social and political factors and how those cost factors impact American manufacturing. He will also offer his perspective on how American manufacturing’s traditional emphasis on innovation and quality can help America compete and succeed in the emerging global landscape.

      Former Health and Human Services Secretary and former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson and Doug Engel,ll speak on Tuesday, March 21 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

      While companies have taken most of the‘extra” costs out of manufacturing, the focus now is managing those costs that are always present but most complicated to address. These include rising healthcare costs and pension cost management, costs related to regulatory compliance, such as Sarbanes Oxley Tax management, energy cost management and litigation costs. Such costs are 22% higher than other global trading partners. Engle and Thompson, who is now chairman of the DeloitteCenter for Health Solutions, will discuss the impact of these costs on business and to learn more about cost cutting initiatives and solutions for theexecutives dealing with ways to manage the costs.

      Another perspective on cost management will be offered by Mary Frances Cox, senior vice president of operations for Schneider Electric, at her key note on Tuesday, March 21 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. Cox’s presentation, “Manufacturing Excellence: Shaving Millions Out of the Manufacturing Cost Base,” will discuss how focusing on a combination of levers in the areas of manufacturing, purchasing, materials, logistics and people can reduce costs and improve performance in all areas of the value stream in operations.

      Automation is one of the crucial areas facing every plant operation, and Mike Santori,facturing to validation. Machine designers must integrate control and control theory into their early mechanical models and prototypes, manufacturing lines must get smarter to detect and fix production problems before scrap is created, and product testing and validation must become an integral partof the production line, not an after thought.

      James Owens, chairman and CEO of Caterpillar, will start the show’s second day with his keynote from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. Entitled, “Manufacturing Leadership in the Global Marketplace,” Owens’ address will look at how the expansion of free trade and market-based business practices provides both challenges and opportunities. How can U.S.-based manufacturers compete in this global environment and succeed? How can the growth and expansion of free trade with countries like China benefit the U.S. economy? Owens, whose company has turned the challenges of the global marketplace into record-breaking business success, will address these subjects and provide insight on Caterpillar’s strategies.

      Another key global business leader will discuss the ways to get to multiple markets. Gilles Bouchard, executive vice president of global operations for Hewlett Packard, will address the NMW audience on Wednesday, March 22 from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. “It’s About Customer Choice: Managing Multiple Routes-to-Market on a Global Scale,” will look at the challenge of operating across diverse geographic regions where buying behaviors and preferences can differ significantly. Bouchard will discuss the balancing act of striving to continually optimize multiple routes-to-market while, at the same time, building customer loyalty and beating the competition.

      Jack Perkowski, the founder and CEO of ASIMCO, one of the most successful Western-owned businesses in China, will address NMW on Thursday, March 23 from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. on China’s opportunities and challenges. While the market in China is rife with opportunities, doing business in China poses unique circumstances and problems. Perkowski offers his perspective on being successful in this environment, and how others can navigate the path to success in the world’s largest nation.

      All keynote speeches will be held in Room 1 at the StephensConvention Center, site of the 2006 National Manufacturing Week. The speeches are open to all badges holders, and doors will open one-half hour before each event. For more information, go to

      Voicing your views

      How do you spend your day on the plant floor? Go to now and voice your views on this month’s PE Poll question:

      “As a plant manager, what do you spend the majority of your day dealing with: technical issues, mechanical issues, maintenance issues, personnel issues or corner-office issues?”

      Check out the February issue of PLANT ENGINEERING for the results of January’s PE Poll question.

      NA 06 to look at supply chain achievements

      When the 2006 Material Handling & Logistics Show and Conference (NA 2006) opens it’s doors on March 27 at Cleveland’s I-X Center it will include an Educational Conference featuring a free Executive Forum that will provide expertise from industry leaders on breakthrough achievements in high performance supply chains. In addition, over 60 free show floor educational seminars, an RFIDEducationCenter, two detailed educational workshops and a two and one-half day short course outlining leading-edge equipment and technology solutions will be offered during the NA 2006 Educational Conference.

      Featuring top supply chain executives from Lucent Technologies, The Limited and Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the NA 2006 Executive Forum will detail how they successfully transformed their supply chain and the bottom line achievements they attained as a result. Topics will include strategic decision-making, assessing and managing risk; and how to define and measure the returns from capital investments in supply chain infrastructure.

      Astronauts to headline SME events

      Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin will headline The Total Manufacturing Experience at the Los AngelesConvention Center on March 27. An SME member, Aldrin will present an award to the winning team of the WESTEC Manufacturing Challenge. At the subsequent “Sky’s the Limit” reception, Aldrin will talk about his passion for space and NASA’s new technologies.

      Astronaut Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, will appear at the Educator Summit VIP Dinner on Wednesday, March 29. Her company Sally Ride Science is dedicated to supporting girls’ interests in math, science and technology.

      The Total Manufacturing Experience takes place March 27-30 in Los Angeles. Attendees will be immersed in a 360-degree learning experience, highlighting new technology applications, continuous improvement, automation and assembly and more. Participants will move from classroom, to exhibit floor, to networking, professional development, and industry recognition activities.

      The SME International Awards Gala on Tuesday, March 28 at 7 p.m. pays tribute to those who have contributed significantly to the manufacturing industries through technology, process, design, research and more. Dr. Ronald Sugar, chairman, CEO and president, Northrop Grumman Corporation, will be recognized as the 2006 SME Honorary Member.

      WESTEC 2006 Advanced Productivity Exposition, will feature the latest manufacturing equipment reflecting emerging technologies. Exhibitors include leading equipment and tooling manufacturers, regional distributors, technology products and supplier services from 150 categories representing 2,500 international product lines. WESTEC also includes a Technology Theater, and a Product and Process Design & Management Pavilion-featuring free “Hot Topics” presentations on lean manufacturing and other process management issues. A Student Summit will introduce young people to the exciting possibilities of a career in manufacturing.

      Accenture partner to speak at PLANT ENGINEERING dinner

      Dean Teglia, a partner in Accenture’s Chicago practice, will discuss Accenture’s new report, “Going for Growth — Engineering high performance in the industrial products industry,” and provide an overview of global manufacturing at PLANT ENGINEERING magazine’s 2005 Product of the Year dinner Monday, March 20 at 6:30 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Rosemont, IL.

      The dinner, which honors 48 products that have received this year’s Product of the Year honors as voted on by the magazine’s readers, is the annual kickoff to National Manufacturing Week. Also honored this year is DaimlerChrysler’s Belvidere, IL plant, named the 2005 Top Plant.

      Teglia is responsible for Accenture’s civic presence and for managing and growing its local business.During his 23 years at Accenture, Teglia has held numerous leadership positions, including managing its North American Automotive and Industrial Equipment Practice.

      Teglia is an industrial engineer who specializes in various improvement areas, including manufacturing, service management, enterprise systems and IT strategy. He has worked at many types of manufacturing companies around the world, helping to improve performance.

      He is currently working with several product companies, helping them shift their focus to increase the value of their service operations. He has led related efforts involving embedding “smart product technology” in industrial products to improve their value to the customer and manufacturer.

      Tickets for this year’s black-tie event are $150, and can be obtained by contacting Pat Mustari of PLANT NENGINEERING magazine at

      In other award news at National Manufacturing Week, Control Engineering magazine has bestowed its Editors’ Choice Award on 45 products covered by the magazine’s staff during 2005. Winners are based on service to the industry, technological advancement, and market impact. This is the 19th year editors nominate, discuss, and select the products they feel best meet those criteria.

      Control Engineering subscribers again are being asked to vote for their own favorites among the editors’ 45 selections to determine the winners of the third annual Engineers’ Choice Awards. They will choose the top winner in each of eight product categories. The winners will be revealed during the Editors’ Choice awards ceremony, to be held Tuesday, March 21 at National Manufacturing Week. View Control Engineering’s 2005 winners.

      FLIR plans free infrared open house series

      FLIR Systems’ series of Infrared Open House Events will be held across North America throughout 2006 — giving everyone interested in infrared an opportunity to attend. Admission is free, but registration is required as space is limited. Topics covered will include the latest in thermal imaging technology, the newest in high-quality affordable infrared cameras, and the ABC’s of selecting the best IR camera to meet specific application requirements.

      “We’re very excited to be rolling out this series of events,” exclaimed David Francoeur, Director of Marketing, FLIR Systems. “We’ve continued to make great progress in adapting technological advances into products for market and are constantly striving to inform the public about not only the latest product and technology innovations, but the real-world application experiences as well.”

      Open House details, including the calendar of events, along with complete registration information may be found by visiting: .

      Interphex adds pavilions to conference

      Interphex2006, the world’s largest pharmaceutical conference and exhibition, has added new show pavilions this year to address the increasing globalization of the biopharmaceutical industry and the expanding roles of contamination control and RFID. The pavilions concentrate the industry’s leading technology suppliers in these markets to help industry professionals target pharmaceutical solutions faster.
      “Our aim is to help drug companies stay one step ahead of the game by showcasing tomorrow’s solutions today,” says RJ Palermo, event director at Reed Exhibitions. “The breadth of technologies and services highlighted at Interphex makes it a `must attend event’ every year. These three new pavilions will make the attendee and exhibitor experience more targeted and productive.”
      In its 27th year, Interphex will take place at the
      JavitsConvention Center in New York from March 21-23. Approximately 950 leading global companies serving the pharmaceutical and biotechnical industries will showcase the latest lines of equipment, technologies and services in the areas of pharmaceutical manufacturing, sourcing and services, IT and facilities. To learn more about Interphex, go to