Connectivity has for sure already changed the world we live in. But it remains a growing trend; the true potential of connectivity is most likely still untapped. But the growing desire to make more of the technology available came through loud and clear this week as attendees of the Manufacturing Intelligence track at HxGN LIVE 2017 discussed how connected systems will change manufacturing and considered the next steps towards making smart factories a reality.
The Manufacturing Intelligence track opened on Tuesday with a full programme of software training from across the portfolio including the new PC-DMIS Users’ Group track. Also new was our dedicated manufacturing leadership summit, which examined some of the key challenges and trends affecting manufacturing today. Representatives of major players including Microsoft, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Hendrick Motorsports, Red Bull Racing, SME and The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT) joined lively discussions before the main conference cadence got underway with the keynote session. The Zone also opened on Tuesday, so customers could check out new technologies like HxGN SMART Quality and the Composite Inspection System.
Wednesday saw Manufacturing Intelligence President Norbert Hanke take to the stage with Dominic Gallello of MSC Software and Doug Duchardt of Hendrick Motorsports for his keynote ‘Building the Factory of the Future,’ which looked at how the addition of manufacturing intelligence enables continuous improvement in the factory. It was inspiring to see how our technology has the potential to change what we perceive a factory to be, and exciting to hear that we are putting some of these ideas into practice with the new development in Hongdao, China.
But the point that seemed to resonate most strongly with our customers and partners was the idea that the ‘smart factory’ is not a prescribed solution – it’s a flexible, adaptive ecosystem tailored to your individual business needs. And with that point in mind, our track attendees headed to their breakout sessions in search of ideas that could make a difference to them. Highlights included a unique session on how Hexagon technology was used to create a cranial prosthesis for a life-changing medical procedure, an insight into the future synergies of our software portfolio and a high-octane session comparing NASCAR and Formula 1 racing – with Q&A streamed on Facebook Live.
The day closed out with our Manufacturing Intelligence track evening event, where attendees were treated to Western-style networkin’, complete with line dancin’ and bull ridin’… safe to say that a good time was had by all at our Hexagon honky tonk!
By Thursday, the session programme was in full swing, with customer speakers sharing their stories and ideas for the future. There were too many great presentations to call out, but I have to spare a mention for our final session on Friday, ‘Closing the Loop,’ where we were treated to the motivational speaking talents of comedian magician Mark Robinson – a great ending to an inspiring week.
We’ll be back at The Venetian for HxGN LIVE 2018 next June; I look forward to seeing what progress has been made.
Global Marketing Communications Manager, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence
Kate Bailey is 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.