EASTEC, a Manufacturing Technology Series event, will focus on providing small and medium manufacturers (SMMs) the knowledge and resources they need to successfully navigate an evolving technology landscape and a rapidly shifting post-pandemic business environment. The event, scheduled for Oct. 19-21, 2021 at Eastern States Exposition in West Springfield, Massachusetts, is part of the four-event Manufacturing Technology Series sponsored by SME and AMT.

Among the key factors for SMMs’ survival in the coming decade will be adjusting for the impact of a changing supply chain, successfully addressing the labor shortage through both attracting new talent and training existing workers on new technology, and successfully integrating smart and digital technologies as part of their businesses’ digital transformation.

“Too often, SMM owners and workers may perceive these issues as too big, too complex, or too costly for them to address,” said Robert Willig, executive director and CEO of SME. “But as the majority of manufacturers in the United States are classified as ‘small businesses,’ the industry’s success relies on making low-cost, high-efficiency solutions for manufacturing’s transformation available across the board, not just to its biggest players. EASTEC will focus on these solutions at the local and regional level.”

Willig said that perhaps no aspect of manufacturing will be as important to the industry’s future as digital transformation and the adoption of smart technology in the production environment. To demonstrate a practical, low-cost enablement of digital transformation for small and medium manufacturers, EASTEC will feature an Integrated Solutions Center, demonstrating a $3,000 option that begins to integrate smart manufacturing technologies into existing manufacturing operations. At EASTEC it will be clear that digital transformation is not only a competitive minimum over the next decade, for both big companies and mom-and-pop shops, but also that it is neither financially nor technologically out of reach for the SMM manufacturing base, he added.

This event also incorporates resources that can help companies train their workforce in how to implement a digital transformation strategy and operate more efficiently. These Manufacturing Technology Series shows help manufacturers make connections at a regional and local level with the organizations and people who can help them integrate this transformation in a way that makes sense for their business.

The events will feature a panel discussion entitled, “Digital Transformation for Small to Large Manufacturers: Optimizing the Factory Floor,” which will discuss which smart digital technologies are accelerating results and outline practical solutions on how and why integrating operational technology using real-time data enables speed and agility to protect your customer and your bottom line.

Also featured at this year’s EASTEC event will be a Student Summit that will help deliver a student-centric introduction to manufacturing for 300 area high-school students. The 2021 program includes keynote speakers from local industry; a hands-on, autonomous-vehicle competition administered by Ten80 Education; and guided show-floor tours that showcase the high-tech nature of modern manufacturing, courtesy of EASTEC’s exhibiting companies.

For more information, visit www.sme.org.