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Smart Manufacturing Experience 2024 Drives Innovation and Collaboration in Pittsburgh

The Smart Manufacturing Experience 2024 event, produced by SME and AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology, successfully concluded its Pittsburgh event, drawing over 800 manufacturers and industry leaders for two days of learning, collaboration and exploration.

Held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, the event fostered a vibrant environment for attendees to discover the latest advancements in smart manufacturing technologies and their potential to revolutionize the industry.

Pittsburgh: A Legacy of Innovation Breeds a Future-Focused Event

Pittsburgh was a natural choice for this forward-thinking event. This historic city boasts a rich legacy of innovation, transitioning from a steel industry powerhouse to a thriving hub for high-tech manufacturing and robotics.

The Smart Manufacturing Experience 2024 tapped into this rich heritage by partnering with key local players like the Pittsburgh Robotics Network, which represents 100+ companies and leaders who make up the Southwestern Pennsylvania robotics community, and AI/robotics trailblazer Carnegie Mellon University. This unique collaboration helped drive a relevant and engaged audience, ensuring the event addressed the specific needs and interests of the region’s robotics manufacturing community.

Partnerships Drive Success: A Collaborative Ecosystem

The event's success was further amplified by strategic collaborations across the manufacturing ecosystem. The support of CESMII – The Smart Manufacturing Institute and AMI – the Advanced Manufacturing International Inc., contributed significantly to the event's reach and influence. Their presence attracted a wider audience and fostered a diverse range of perspectives on the future of advanced manufacturing.

Tooling U-SME, SME's workforce development division, co-located its tuX Workforce Conference at the event. This collaboration brought together experts in training and workforce development to share best practices, bridge knowledge gaps and encourage the adoption of smart technologies. By focusing on workforce development, this partnership underscores SME's commitment to fostering a stronger manufacturing community through collaboration and relationship building.

Additionally, SME championed diversity, equity and inclusion by cohosting the Women of SMART Experience in conjunction with Women in Manufacturing. The program offered leadership workshops, insightful sessions and networking opportunities, highlighting the valuable contributions of women in influencing the future of smart manufacturing.

Compelling Content Fuels Engagement: Keynotes and Technology Hubs

The Smart Manufacturing Experience 2024 offered a compelling blend of content, driving significant interest from attendees. The keynote series explored critical topics like "How (AI) and Other Advanced Technologies Will Improve Your Company's Workforce Performance" and "Driving Productivity and Innovation on Your Smart Manufacturing Journey." This insightful series featured leading industry figures such as David Romero, World Manufacturing Foundation and Tecnológico de Monterrey University; Jeannine Kunz, SME; Joe Barr, Mursix Corp.; John Zappa, ARM Institute; and Paul Boris, Stealth Manufacturing AI.

The content also focused on empowering small and medium-sized manufacturers. For example, a separate keynote series session that covered "Winning Business – Practical Recommendations to Small and Medium Sized Companies in Integrating Advanced Manufacturing Capabilities with the DoD and Large OEMs" provided valuable insights specifically tailored for smaller manufacturers. This session was ran by Todd Royar, VP and program integration lead at Textron Inc.

Furthermore, the event featured dynamic technology hubs. These interactive spaces showcased cutting-edge solutions from industry leaders, cultivating valuable connections between manufacturers and technology providers. The exchanges at these hubs will undoubtedly spark conversations that lead to future smart innovations.

Looking Ahead: Building on the Momentum

The Smart Manufacturing Experience wasn't just about showcasing technology. Attendees actively participated in presentations, technology hubs and networking events, imparting a collaborative spirit that transcended the event floor. This collective energy underscored the importance of partnerships and knowledge sharing in driving advancements in smart manufacturing.

This positive energy serves as a springboard for future events. The success in Pittsburgh paves the way for the 2025 Manufacturing Technology Series, which will feature the Smart Manufacturing Experience technology showcase. With ongoing partnerships and a commitment to encouraging collaboration, SME remains committed to propelling the industry toward a smarter and more innovative future.