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Annual Conference Brings Manufacturing Expertise to ODU

Since 2009, Old Dominion University has hosted an annual gathering for engineers and business leaders about innovations and opportunities in advanced manufacturing, seen as one of the keys to economic growth in the Commonwealth of Virginia.

The eighth Future State of Advanced Manufacturing Conference 2017, sponsored by Old Dominion's College of Continuing Education and Professional Development (CEPD), will be held Tuesday, May 16, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Webb University Center.

"Many organizations already have plans in place to utilize more disruptive technologies in their businesses, to accelerate digital transformation and boost their competitiveness," said James Shaeffer, founding dean of the CEPD. "Changing customer expectations and new and less expensive technology requires companies to look for new ways to transform processes."

The 2017 conference will focus on the future of advanced manufacturing. In a recent report from the McKinsey Global Institute, titled "Manufacturing the Future: The Next Era of Global Growth and Innovation," the authors note that the manufacturing industry of the future will look much different than that of yesterday or even the present.

The report says that mobile equipment will leverage "man-machine interactions and mechanics, roboticists, designers, engineers, and software programmers" - which will further be transformed by breakthroughs in nanotechnology, biotechnology, artificial intelligence, big data and other frontiers of science. Automation will encourage mass customization, reduced waste and increased efficiency.

The future of advanced manufacturing, or disruptive and high-velocity manufacturing, will hinge on the alliances between academia, government and industry, strengthened by events such as this conference.

Discussion topics include:

  • How alternative realities such as augmented reality can be applied to manufacturing to reduce downtime, quickly identify problems and maintain processes;
  • Understanding how the digitization of manufacturing will increase competitiveness;
  • Discovering how greater human-robot collaboration will affect quality and productivity; and
  • Recognizing the latest cybersecurity technologies.

The one-day conference is $195 and includes a continental breakfast and lunch. To register, see the conference website.

Participants can also earn continuing education hours (CEUs) for professional licenses and other certifications.

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