MCLEAN, VA--Nearly 700 manufacturing leaders gathered at the third edition of The MFG Meeting March 5-8, 2013, in Waikoloa, Hawaii. “Rethink…Refocus…Reinvent…Redefine Convention” was the theme of this year’s event, organized by AMT-The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the National Tooling and Machining Association (NTMA) and the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).  

Sandvik Coromant, the largest worldwide manufacturer of tools for machining and a leading innovator in manufacturing technology, was an MFG Gold Sponsor. President John Israelsson had this to say, “The ability for all of us in these three major associations to learn from each other and with each other through the presentations helps the entire manufacturing industry become more innovative and productive. As an industry leader, Sandvik Coromant is always happy to sponsor these opportunities for education and engagement. The presentations on technology – new technology and getting the most from existing technology--are always a valuable experience, and I look forward to sharing what we’ve learned with the entire industry,” said Sandvik Coromant President John Israelsson. 

Rick Kline Sr., chairman of Gardner Business Media added, "The success of this MFG meeting reflects the remarkable resilience of U.S. manufacturing. Once again, bringing together three organizations that represent technology suppliers, distributors and end users strengthens all of the companies involved. As an industry sector vital to our country, manufacturing is doing well overall. This meeting highlighted the areas that remain worrisome, especially uncertainty in government policy toward spending and taxation. We have to keep pulling together to maintain the encouraging prospects we enjoy in the short term and make the strategic adjustments needed to thrive in the long term." 

The joining of AMT, NTMA and PMA for The MFG Meeting, linked the entire manufacturing chain providing an unparalleled opportunity for collaborative conversations on the most relevant topics affecting manufacturing today. Together, their members comprise more than 4,000 small and medium-sized manufacturers and distributors from all 50 states that provide products and services for aerospace, defense, automotive, construction, energy, medical and many other industries in the United States and abroad.  

PMA President William E. Gaskin concluded, “One of the most positive take-aways from the 2013 MFG Meeting was confirmation from participants that while they are extraordinarily frustrated at the lack of clear and decisive action by the President and members of Congress on tax, economic and regulatory issues critical to manufacturing sector, they have experienced growth – and in many cases, significant growth--over the past year, and they expect to continue to do so in the future. PMA, AMT and NTMA members are almost universally optimistic about business conditions over the next few years, but they are concerned that inept decision-making in Washington, D.C. could derail recovery and creation of jobs.”  

This third annual MFG Meeting got underway with a presentation on Illinois Tool Work’s recipe for success from Roland Martel--ITW executive vice president, automotive, appliance and industrial. Under Martel’s leadership, the division has successfully used the 80/20 rule as a business redesign tool to simplify the business structure. The underlying principle of 80/20 is straightforward: 80% of business sales are derived from 20% of its product offering sold to key customers. Following this concept has lead to simplification and focus on those aspects of the business that are vital toward servicing ITW customers. 

John Walker, chairman of Oxford Economics, and Ken Mayland, president of Clearview Economics, gave their forecasts on what’s ahead for manufacturing over the next couple of years. The two had differing opinions on the effectiveness of measures being put in play by the Administration and Federal Reserve. However they did agree that the manufacturing technology market would not fall off the cliff any time soon. The market will experience some ups and downs but will, in general, remain at the relatively high level of sales experienced over the past three years. They suggested to the group not to expect the U.S. economy to sink into recession, and that manufacturing is positioned to remain strong. 

Scott Klososky, principle at Future Point of View, focused his presentation on using technology and shared his insights on new and future trends in technology. Klososky advised the audience to tap the “mind hive” (crowd sourcing for accelerated innovation), use data and be ready to adapt and take advantage of the latest technological advances in order to stay ahead of the competition.

The MFG Meeting attendees also had the opportunity to attend a variety of interactive breakout sessions centered on current issues. The MFG Meeting concluded with a presentation by Lt. Col. Rob “Waldo” Waldman, a highly decorated combat fighter pilot with over 65 missions in Iraq and Serbia. He took the group’s breath away by likening a fighter plane battle to the daily battles manufacturing leaders face. He taught attendees the importance of “pushing it [the throttle] up” every minute of every day and how to build a culture of trust that results in wingmen who can overcome obstacles, adapt to change and achieve success.

For general information, visit the website here.