The Future of Manufacturing
This is one of two editorial reports about current events shaping the Manufacturing Industry. This event took place during the month of May, 2001. These article are about the current industrial revolution, but most of the innovations will soon be standards in the industry.
A visit to Chicago's Association for Facilities Engineering Chapter:
The month of May I visited Chicago's AFE Chapter. Attending their May 3rd Symposium, I met a lot of great people, but it was a special pleasure meeting Michael Doyle (Mikie) in person. It was also great to meet Joel Leonard (VP of National Membership) in person for the first time. Mikie, as Chicago's webmaster, has been instrumental in the creation of our great AFE-St. Louis web site. Mikie and Joel have been a great help the the rejuvenation of our St. Louis Chapter.
The symposium was all day long, held at Lucent's new Lisle building. The architecture was amazing, sporting a giant sun roof constructed in the shape of a satellite dish. This location will house the Bell Research Labs, inventors of great toys like the Text-to-Speech Synthesis.
You can use it on-line for free! Check it out, it's fun. I want to thank Lucent for being such a great host.
Being relatively new to AFE, I was able to learn a lot about how AFE functions are held. AFE symposiums are a great way to meet leaders in our industry and learn about new technology. You'll find not only local business attend these seminars, but leaders from a far. I met key members from our Indiana Chapter, even the Chief Editor from Plant Engineering Magazine. There was AFE members from 6 different chapters representing 4 regions, present.
So why add this meeting to our "Future of Manufacturing" series? At AFE seminars you are presented with classes on the latest technology, crucial to remaining competitive in today's industry. At AFE Chicago's symposium, we had speakers from many disciplines. Starting out, Lucent spoke about the kind of team work it took to construct such an impressive building, and keep it in budget. A big part of this accomplishment was a result of Ragner Benson Inc.'s. RBI started a Facility Improvement Team division this year and spoke at the Symposium. Wise words; "Facilitating good communication and achieving productive working relationship among all team members lie at the heart of RBI's requirements."
ONDEO Nalco empowered us with the information needed to improve our
learned about "Value Engineering" and how we use it to our benefit? Scott
Calkins, Joel Leonard (on right in picture) of
Grainger was there to teach us how to use their online Internet based total
MRO solution software. There where a couple items that stand out from the vast
Internet MRO search solutions, that need mentioned. One, their partnership with FindMRO.com, that not only has many online databases, but if you can't find
something, submit it to them, and they will find it for you. When asked what was
the response time, "typically, less than 24 hours", was the reply. The
other innovation was their local office working on integrating their online
billing/history database with customer's CMMS software. Now that's the future,
more power from information with less management interaction.
In the future, more and more of industry's management will realize the necessity to belong to AFE, to keep current on the latest technology. We learned in this one day seminar, new efficient management techniques, all vital equipment will have wireless battery powered sensors, and the internet will integrate most of the vast industrial information we need to remain competitive. Through AFE we don't have to wait until the technology is standard, we can be the leaders in our respective markets.
Would you like to know more? With AFE, you have direct contact!
AFE Chapter 26 - Serving Greater St. Louis Area, USA