Assembly industry enthusiasts will connect at The Assembly Show, taking place October 24-26 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. Returning for a fifth year, the event will offer three days of educational sessions, hundreds of exhibiting companies, thousands of industry professionals—including buyers and users of assembly equipment, products or services in manufacturing plants—a dynamic keynote speaker, and two networking receptions.

Exhibition and Networking

The expansive exhibit hall will host nearly 300 booths this year, where companies will have their latest products, services, solutions, and equipment on display. The hall will be open all three days of the event: from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on Wednesday, and 10 a.m.-3 p.m. on Thursday.

The Assembly Show will also host two networking events: the Taste of Rosemont Welcome Reception takes place from 4-7 p.m. on Tuesday, and the Pub Night Networking Reception will run from 5-7 p.m. on Wednesday. The Welcome Reception on Tuesday evening will highlight flavors and cuisine from local area restaurants and bars right on the show floor. Participants will have the opportunity to sample local fare, as well as get a sneak peek of the various exhibits, tools, and displays. Pub Night allows both attendees and exhibitors to gather in the adjoining ballroom to kick back and relax over a pint, chat over burgers, and make new connections while participating in pub-style games.

Conference Overview

The conference will take place in two theaters at one end of the exhibition hall. Tuesday will offer two workshop tracks. “Workshop 1: The Fourth Industrial Revolution—Industry 4.0” will discuss the increasingly smart and connected world in which we live. The number of physical devices or “things” connected to the Internet now exceeds the total number of people on the planet.

For manufacturers, the implications of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) are huge. According to a recent McKinsey Global Institute report, the IIoT has the potential to unleash as much as $6.2 trillion in new global economic value annually by 2025. McKinsey also projects that 80-100% of all manufacturers will be using IIoT applications by then, leading to a potential economic impact of as much as $2.3 trillion for global manufacturing alone. In this workshop, attendees will learn how the IIoT can transform their assembly operation.

“Workshop 2: The Road to Operational Excellence” will discuss how manufacturers are increasingly embracing operational excellence to gain and sustain performance improvements throughout the enterprise. Much of this management philosophy is based on earlier continuous improvement methodologies, such as lean thinking, Six Sigma, OKAPI and scientific management. The focus of operational excellence goes beyond the traditional event-based model of improvement toward a long-term change in organizational culture. In this workshop, attendees will learn how to achieve operational excellence in their assembly plant.

Keynote Speaker

Presenting as this year’s keynote speaker is Derek Harper, vice president of information technology at Faurecia North America. In this role, Harper leads a team of more than 200 professionals located in 50 sites in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada. Harper’s responsibility includes development and execution of the company’s IT strategy, with special focus on digital transformation, manufacturing execution systems, SAP, and IT operations.

Harper began his career as a controls engineer at Canedus Engineering in Oak Park, Mich. He then moved to General Motors, where he spent 17 years in various positions, including controls engineer, engineering manager, regional IT manager, Mexico IT launch manager, and senior IT manager in charge of IT operations and all North America vehicle assembly plants.

With more than 103,000 employees in 330 locations in
34 countries, Faurecia is reportedly one of the largest tier-one automotive suppliers in the world. In Harper’s presentation, the audience will learn how Faurecia is capturing and analyzing data to prevent equipment failures, correct inefficiencies and increase productivity. They will also discover how automated tracking of components via RFID tags is simplifying logistics and enabling real-time management of inventory flows and quality. In addition, attendees will see how real-time on-screen monitoring of production is replacing manual intervention, freeing employees for more valuable and rewarding work. Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn how smart automation and collaborative robots are improving ergonomics and optimizing manufacturing. ASI

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New Tech Talk Sessions

New to The Assembly Show this year are “Tech Talk” sessions, taking place on the show floor in Booth 2423. These sessions are intended to provide an opportunity for manufacturing professionals to share solutions to common problems in product assembly. The 20-min sessions will be facilitated by the editors of ASI, ASSEMBLY and other manufacturing publications and organizations.

Wednesday, October 25

1:40-2 p.m.—TECH TALK #1

“Broken Bonds— Challenges in Adhesive Bonding”

Moderator: Teresa McPherson, editor, ASI

2:40-3 p.m.—TECH TALK #2

“My Robot Won’t Do What I Say—Challenges in Robotic Assembly”

Moderator: Jim Beretta, president and CEO, Customer Attraction

Thursday, October 26

11-11:20 a.m.—TECH TALK #3

“We’re Screwed—Challenges with Threaded Fasteners”

Moderator: John Sprovieri, editor in chief, ASSEMBLY magazine

1-1:20 p.m.—TECH TALK #4

“Our Kanban Canned—Challenges with Lean Manufacturing”

Moderator: Austin Weber, senior editor, ASSEMBLY magazine

Schedule at a Glance

Tuesday, October 24

1-1:35 p.m.—Parallel Learning Tracks

Industrial IoT Drives Innovations in Product Engineering

Escape the Improvement Trap: Five Ingredients Missing in Most Improvement Recipes

1:35-2:10 p.m.—Parallel Learning Track

Beyond the Edge of IIoT

Operational Excellence: Lean’s Next Frontier

2:10-2:25 p.m.—Break

2:25-3:00 p.m.—Parallel Learning Tracks

Creating the Future of Manufacturing

Lean Implementation in High Mix, Low Volume and Other “Unique” Environments

3:00-3:35 p.m.—Parallel Learning Tracks

How to Leverage Today’s IIoT Technology to Drive Immediate Benefits

The Smart Factory: Industry 3.5, Productions Vital Role in Manufacturing’s Journey to Success

3:35-4:00 p.m.—Open Discussion and Q&A

4-7 p.m.—Exhibit Hall Opens

4-7:00 p.m.—Taste of Rosemont Welcome Reception

Wednesday, October 25

9-9:05 a.m.—Opening Remarks

9:05-9:10 a.m.—Assembly Plant of the Year Award Presentation

9:10-10 a.m.—Keynote Presentation: Faurecia’s Digital Transformation

10 a.m.-5 p.m.—Exhibit Hall Opens

11-11:40 a.m.—Parallel Learning Tracks

Find Your First (or Next!) IIoT Win with IO-Link

What's Driving Assembly Line AGVs?

12-12:40 p.m.—Parallel Learning Tracks

Smart and Cyber Safe Production Environments

The Starting Point for Robot Automation: A Beginner’s Tour

1-1:40 p.m.—Parallel Learning Tracks

Digitalization & the Future of Intelligent Pneumatics

Finding Leak Testing Success Through Calibration and Validation

1:40-2 p.m.—Tech Talk

Broken Bonds—Challenges in Adhesive Bonding

2-2:40 p.m.—Parallel Learning Tracks

Roller Forming—A Viable Assembly Solution

Industry 4.0: Comau’s Open Sourch Approach

2:40-3 p.m.—Tech Talk

My Robot Won’t Do What I Say—Challenges in Robotic Assembly

3-3:40 p.m.—Parallel Learning Tracks

Location Context for IIoT Platforms

4-4:40 p.m.—Just Smash It!

5-7 p.m.—Pub Night Networking Reception

Thursday, October 26

10 a.m.-3 p.m.—Exhibit Hall Opens

10:20-11 a.m.—Just Smash It!  

11-11:20 a.m.—Tech Talk

We’re Screwed—Challenges with Threaded Fasteners

11:20 a.m.-12 p.m.—Learning Track

How to Choose the Right Transfer System for Your Assembly Operation

12:20-1 p.m.—Learning Track

Solving the OT-IT Systems Conflict for IIoT Deployment

1-1:20 p.m.—Tech Talk

Our Kanban Canned—Challenges with Lean Manufacturing

1:20-2 p.m.—Learning Track

Ensure 100% Traceability and Quality of Your Products using Microscan Automatic Identification and Machine Vision Systems