Plant Engineering editor to moderate Smart Factory World Symposium Oct. 26

FORCAM-sponsored event to highlight importance of IIoT for American manufacturing


Bob Vavra, Content Manager, CFE MediaFORCAM will host the third Smart Factory World Symposium on Thursday. Oct. 26 at the Digital Manufacturing Design and Innovation Institute (DMDII) in Chicago.

Plant Engineering editor Bob Vavra will moderate the event, which will include speakers and panels focused on how the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) will impact manufacturing as a whole and maintenance practices in particular.

The Smart Factory World Symposium is sponsored by Hannover Fairs USA, Infor, Predictronics, Orion Quality Software, The Manufacturing Leadership Council and WAGO Corporation. Registration for the day-long event is now open by clicking on this link

or by going to the homepage of

“If we give our manufacturing maintenance personnel everything they need to analyze, assess, repair, and replace equipment, we must also give them the power to make these decisions and the confidence their decisions will be supported,” said Mohamed Abuali, PhD., Managing Director Americas, FORCAM, Inc., who will open the Smart Factory Symposium with a welcome alongside the Master of Ceremony. “We must also train them thoroughly in how to make these choices and how those choices affect not just operations, but also the entire enterprise.

Focusing on IIoT’s impact on manufacturing, the day’s events will feature panel discussions from some of the top industry experts from companies like FORD, Maxion Wheels, The Dow Chemical Company, Pratt & Whitney, Metalsa, and many more.

The panels will look at issues such as:

  • Opportunities and Challenges of Manufacturing 4.0 and IIoT

  • Is American manufacturing still competitive?

  • Manufacturing 4.0 in automotive and aerospace

  • How can manufacturing unlock the value of data?

  • Strategies for successful digital transformation

There also will be tours of DMDII’s 20,000 sq. ft. innovative shop floor, which has brought together manufacturing leaders in industry, academia and the federal government to create unique learning lab featuring a true smart factory environment in Chicago’s Goose Island manufacturing hub.

Tom McDermott, Executive Director, DMDII Chief Program Officer at UI LABS, the location host of the event, will discuss the role of DMDII in North American manufacturing. One of the keynotes will be delivered by David Brousell, co-founder of the Manufacturing Leadership Council at global consultancy Frost & Sullivan. Brousell will talk about the opportunities and challenges in the Manufacturing 4.0 and the IIoT environment.

The day will include dialogue-driven sessions and discussions, how-to insight for novices and experts for any level of transformation, live production and demonstrations, and problem finding and solution discussion.

Lunch will be served and will include a workshop discussion on the rules for Manufacturing 4.0 from the perspective of manufacturers navigating the manufacturing environment today that will lead in a spontaneous solution showcase by the conference organizer, FORCAM.

The afternoon will teach manufacturers on how to plan their future with scalable technology and data-driven insights.

The event can be followed on Twitter, hashtag #SFWS2017 and will be supported by the CrowdCompass app ( Look for the name: 3rd Smart Factory World Symposium, for premier networking and insight for all registered attendees.

Bob Vavra is the Content Manager for Plant Engineering at CFE Media.

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