Former director of General Motors to speak at EMAF

21 April 2008

Jim Caie, retired director of General Motors, has been announced as a keynote speaker at the forthcoming European Manufacturing Automation Forum (EMAF). Organisers, ARC Advisory Group, announced the line-up, also including representatives from ZVEI, T-Systems Enterprise Services and Land Rover, for the May 14 to 15 event in Frankfurt, Germany.

Frankfurt: location of the next EMAF
Frankfurt: location of the next EMAF

EMAF, held at the Mövenpick Frankfurt City Hotel, will incorporate a series of educational sessions designed for professionals in the discrete industries.

Jim Caie, vice president of Consulting, ARC and retired director of General Motors, will present, ‘Key Strategies for Discrete Manufacturers in the Flat World’.

Smart assembly is a concept that provides manufacturers a framework to bring new levels of automation, collective knowledge, and intelligence into production processes, equipment, and workers. Mr. Caie will summarise current best practices in assembly and provide insight on how emerging technology will enable a progression to Smart Assembly. He will also discuss how strategic initiatives (common manufacturing equipment, architecture, and processes; PLM and digital manufacturing; collaborative manufacturing operations; and reliability centered manufacturing) are imperative in supporting Smart Assembly and how they can be used together to provide a lean, responsive, and cost effective manufacturing capability.

Dr. Gerd-Ulrich Spohr, head of technical committee for automation, ZVEI, will present, ‘Five Future Trends in Automation Technology’.

He will illustrate methods with which future developments are predicted and discuss how the requirements for future products are derived. Specific examples of recognized trends in automation technology will also be discussed.

‘The Manufacturing IT Landscape: Modern Architecture Optimize Factory Information Management’ will be presented by Dr. Jörg-Oliver Vogt, senior consultant, Industry Consulting Automotive, T-Systems Enterprise Services.

Globalisation and increasing competition force existing players to change their business objectives, business processes, and even their role in value networks. Dr. Vogt will discuss how existing IT architectures are not flexible and agile enough to support new challenges as a result from these changes and how new, modern IT architectures must be established to enable CIOs to meet their current business objectives as well as create new innovative business opportunities. Dr. Vogt will highlight the current status and trends in the manufacturing IT landscape with an emphasis on the automotive industry. Using examples from current projects, he will outline industry developments and challenges such as the use of SOA and RFID.

Finally, Dave Shaw, manufacturing systems development manager, Land Rover Plant Floor Systems, will present, ‘Automated Finite Resource Scheduling: Optimizing Process Chaos’.

Customers continue to demand even more unique features in the products that they purchase, increasing the demands on the manufacturer. No longer is the ‘any colour so long as it is black’ approach acceptable. Within the automotive industry, this can result in hundreds of millions of allowable permutations to be selected by the customer - but how do you ensure the vehicle is manufactured in an appropriate timeframe, minimising the effect of process disruption, to deliver the customer a premium buying experience?

In this presentation, Dave Shaw will outline a new manufacturing build control solution from initial requirements and ‘visioneering’ to delivery, with lessons learned. Using an off-the-shelf product to create a world best-in-class solution is applicable to most industries, but the ability to convert what may at times seem like process chaos, into an efficient, reliable and predictable machine must be the ultimate goal of every manufacturing company.

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