Sep 29

Manufacturing professionals from across Northeast Ohio gathered at La Centre in Westlake on September 26 for Future Factories 2019, a symposium of manufacturing talent, technology and tactics. The full-morning session included a dynamic keynote presentation from EOS Worldwide visionary Mike Patton, two rounds of breakout workshops, and networking with IIoT vendors and manufacturing 4.0 leaders from across the sector.

Nearly 300 people registered for the 8th annual event, co-presented by Greater Cleveland Partnership (GCP), MAGNET, EDGE, Cleveland Engineering Society and Manufacturing Works with generous sponsorship from KPMG, Bank of America, BNY Mellon, First Federal of Lakewood, Sikich, Middough, Hitachi and IndustryWeek.

Breakout sessions included a “Deep Dive” into the EOS Model—a session focused on the tools and disciplines used to strengthen the Six Key Components™ of any business—an Industry 4.0 session all about connected machines and IIoT for companies of every shape and size, a session on how to engage employees to achieve operational excellence, a session on the new Manufacturing Sector Partnership and a look at legislative issues titled “From Columbus to Cleveland,” presented by GCP’s own Marty McGann, senior vice president of advocacy and strategic initiatives. This popular session covered topics ranging from industry standards to tariffs and EPA compliance, helping manufacturers prepare to adjust to a changing landscape.

In addition, a host of innovative companies, including Clear Process Solutions, Ectobox, MakerGear, Alloy & Bellows, Lakewood Automation, NovaStar, The Technology House, THORS eLearning Solutions, Rhino Tool House and Horsburgh & Scott were represented at the vendor expo, where participants had the opportunity to see 3D printers and robots in action as well as try their hand at assembling and disassembling a part using an augmented reality system developed by OPS Solutions.

As the region’s second-largest employment sector after health care, manufacturing is tremendously important in Northeast Ohio. It is also an industry facing some unique challenges, including a talent gap, an aging workforce, difficulty attracting new and qualified candidates, wage pressures and more. Learn why manufacturing matters and about the work being done by the Workforce Connect Manufacturing Sector Partnership.