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WesTec returns to Los Angeles with a focus on the future of manufacturing technology and the workforce

WesTec returns to the Los Angeles Convention Center September 12-14. 

WesTec is a manufacturing forum presenting the latest in advanced manufacturing technology including precision machining, additive manufacturing and 3D printing, software and digital technologies, advanced materials, tooling and more.

Produced by SME and the Association For Manufacturing Technology, WesTec will showcase and provide hands-on interaction with the latest cutting-edge technologies, global industry leaders addressing the hottest topics and major manufacturing companies bringing their best products, technology and services. 

What’s next for manufacturing?

Additive manufacturing continues to disrupt industries, creating places for innovation, opportunity and challenge.

From 3D printed shoes to flight qualified metal parts, panelists Eric Fodran, global operations manufacturing technology development, Northrop Grumman, Roger Kelesoglu, director of sales enablement, Stratasys, and Joe DiSimone, CEO, Carbon, will discuss the latest applications, materials and machines currently transforming manufacturing.

WesTec attendees will also get an in depth look at how manufacturers are using advanced manufacturing technologies to develop and execute big ideas on a smaller scale, such as the Local Motors-manufactured Mouser Strati, the world’s first 3D printed electric car.

The printing took 44 hours to complete and consists of 50 individual parts – far less than a traditional vehicle, which is manufactured with roughly 30,000 parts.

Another new addition to WesTec this year is the Smart Manufacturing Hub, a new show floor feature that will showcase the latest in automation, advanced materials, additive manufacturing and the Industrial Internet of Things.

Spotlight: California

The State of California recently released new funding for manufacturing training and workforce development.

Blake Konczal, executive director of the Fresno Regional Workforce Development Board, discusses how manufacturers can take advantage of the new initiative to develop a highly skilled, technically-trained workforce.

California is home to almost 36,000 manufacturing firms that employ nearly 1.3 million people and in 2015 the state exported almost $144 billion in manufactured goods.

The state is a leader in several key industries including aerospace, medical devices, industrial machinery and consumer goods.

Debbie Holton, vice president of events and industry strategy, SME, says: “The west coast, and particularly California, is one of the most productive manufacturing regions in the US.

“WesTec serves as a prime opportunity for manufacturers to understand how the manufacturing industry is changing and to equip themselves with the right technology and talent to succeed.”

Who you’ll hear

This year’s WesTec keynote speakers include:

  • Krish Dharma, global director cognitive solutions for electronics and manufacturing at IBM;
  • Justin Fishkin, chief strategy officer for Local Motors; and
  • Titan Gilroy, star and producer of Titans of CNC.

Kevin Mack and “Horny” Mike Henry of Count’s Kustoms – stars of the reality show Counting Cars, will host a meet and greet and a “shop talk” session.

In addition to the high level keynote presentations, there are various panel sessions addressing additive manufacturing, smart manufacturing, apprenticeships and even a supplier session to understand how to better work with manufacturers.

Co-locating with WesTec this year, the smart manufacturing seminar series will feature three educational sessions on advanced manufacturing technology topics:

  • Automation and Robotics
  • Digital Transformation
  • Prototype to Production: How Additive Will Influence Manufacturing
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