Digital transformation seems to be increasingly on the minds of our customers. I guess the more we digitise (and digitalise) our own lives via our smartphones and social networks, the more we expect our professional lives to follow the trend. But even knowing where to start on the road to digital transformation in manufacturing is a challenge that can seem insurmountable. Fortunately, help is on hand at HxGN LIVE, Hexagon’s digital solutions conference, which attracted 3,500 attendees this week to discuss how technology can transform the way we work.
This year’s Manufacturing Intelligence track opened on Tuesday with an expanded programme of training from our manufacturing software portfolio. In addition to the returning PC-DMIS Users’ Group training programme and classes from FTI, the offering included MSC Software for the first time with sessions on MSC Apex and additive manufacturing with Digimat and Simufact among the highlights. Our Manufacturing Intelligence Leadership Summit also returned after its successful debut in 2017, with representatives of major players including Waymo, Linamar and Red Bull Racing taking part in a day of project presentations and discussions on overcoming the major challenges in manufacturing today.
Following Tuesday’s opening keynote address, which featured the Xalt announcement, attendees moved into the Zone for the ‘Leap into the Night’ evening event and their first look at the technology showcase. Among them were around 500 Manufacturing Intelligence track delegates – an all-time high for our track – and our customers were keen to see what’s new in the Hexagon technology offering and what Xalt will mean for manufacturers. The new Tech Highlights programme featured three of our manufacturing software packages: HxGN SMART Quality, Edgecam Inspect and Adams Real Time – the latter forming part of an interactive driving simulator demo that proved a star attraction on Tuesday night.
Wednesday is track keynote day at HxGN LIVE, and this year, the Manufacturing Intelligence track challenged attendees to ‘Rethink Quality’. Manufacturing Intelligence President Norbert Hanke was joined by special guest speaker Michael Grieves, Executive Director of CAMID at Florida Tech, who spoke engagingly on the need for our perception of quality to change. As it went on, our track keynote dug deeper into the topics referenced in Ola Rollen’s general session, exploring how we can use quality to connect silos in manufacturing and build intelligence into the process to create Autonomous Connected Ecosystems (ACE) for manufacturing – also known as Smart Factories. Finally, Brian Shepherd, our Senior Vice President of Software Solutions, showed some very exciting projects that are taking place right now as we continue to develop our portfolio of solutions for the Smart Factory.
The Wednesday night Manufacturing Intelligence track evening event is always a highlight for our attendees. This year our record numbers swelled even more with the addition of over a hundred waxworks as we moved in to Madame Tussauds to hang out with the stars at ‘Rethink the Red Carpet’. The event was an eclectic experience that ended with enthusiastic karaoke from our employees and guests alike.
Breakout sessions ran throughout Wednesday and Thursday along three subtracks: Design and Engineering, Production and Metrology. There was far too much great content to call out everything, but we had some amazing customer presentations including Bombardier, Safran and Adient. Highlights for me were our two sessions on autonomous vehicles, which offered incredible insight into the not-too-distant future.
Speaking of the not-too-distant future, we’ll be back at The Venetian for HxGN LIVE 2019 next June; hope to see you there!
Global Marketing Communications Manager, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence
Kate Bailey is the Global Marketing Communications Manager at Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence. She spent several years working as a creative agency copywriter before moving to Hexagon, where she gets to combine her writing skills with a long-standing fascination with engineering and technology.