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Hey, doing fantastic.
And do you think the conference, you're going to have to say I it's a it's a leading question. I know what it is. Let me just sort of fill it. Here's a conference going well for you. It's
going in credibly well. Very pleased by all the excitement and enthusiasm over the last couple of days.
I'm enjoying it. I'm just absolutely enjoying it.
A lot of people are enjoying it. Let me tell you, Scott. Yeah, they're working together. They're collaborating, they're communicating, they're talking about manufacturing, they're talking about driving next steps in manufacturing.
So anyway, it never ends. And if you're in the game, if you're having this conversation and yours, you're collaborating with people that are having this, it's exciting.
Indeed it is. And you can feel the buzz as you walk around the different halls here in Atlanta, Georgia.
The only problem with see because we're in a we aren't, it's a time change. When we go over there, we always have to sort of walk and take the time and change the time.
Those who've been to the convention center here before realize it's got its own zip code. It is huge.
It's it's filled to the brim. It is it is
it's the noise, the enthusiasm, the excitement. It is.
So here's one of the conversations that are always happening. I got the tech, got the passion, people are delivering solutions that are satisfying. The challenges that are happening today. One of the things that I want to know and have your insights into is one is is the digital transformation juggernaut available for the small to mid size manufacturers, businesses.
It's a big challenge in our market today. Because clearly, digitalization industry 4.0 connected shop floor activities is driving competitiveness across our industry. But you're absolutely right. And asking that question, because many small to medium sized manufacturers are still asking the question, how do I get there? Where do I start? Who do I see? How do I learn? How do I get there. And as we all know, over 95% of manufacturing done in the United States is done by small and medium sized manufacturers. So if the large guys are going to maintain and grow the competitiveness of the ecosystem, the small and medium size guys got to learn and they got to get on the train.
It's a non negotiable and dated and I think that if you're not truly seeking out that education, that desire to collaborate, because I don't think you have all the answers. I think that is a correct, you know, conversation to have within it. And then if you're not focused on finding innovative solutions, then your business is going to struggle. Because there are companies out there that are doing that. It reminds
04:47urney that many of us started:
So for the listeners out there, we we went right into the nuts and bolts, let's let's sort of back off a little bit. Bob, give us a little sort of 411, your little resume on why you're such an incredible professional. And then I want to talk a little bit about SME, the objective behind SMB, and then we can talk more about what
we were talking about. Sure, Scott, thank you. So I started my career roughly 35 years ago,
feels like 15 years, I was just gonna say you started at age five. You're welcome
way to clients. I'll tell you later. I started as a design engineer working in the manufacturing space. I was working in stampings fixture design, going to school at night, looking at a mechanical engineering degree. Ironically, 35 years ago, SME The Society of Manufacturing Engineers introduced me to my love of manufacturing, through gaining access to different manufacturing plants. And it was cool, it was interesting to see the conversion of ideas, thought and designs into products that we use every day. So over those last 35 years, I've had opportunities to run all sorts of different manufacturing organizations from running factories working on the factory floor being operations managers growing all the way into running different businesses globally, but all based on manufacturing. So my my understanding of this area grew as I went through Lean journeys, I'm at Toyota Production System to cycle through digitalization of factory floor and implementing industry 4.0 connected connectivity across factory floors, factory equipment, driving tremendous strides in competitiveness in a market that is only getting tougher.
I don't even know where to go with that there. I mean, I'm definitely you have the street cred. Now, when we start talking about SME, what what is the objective behind the organization?
07:07floor. But we also can be in:
here's a question. Do you think that the technology if that's number two, I got it on my notes? So don't say it's not because it's on my notes? Oh, and they're not prioritize one over the other? Okay, just number two here? Do you find that there's the speed that it was, I got the technology, it's all good. And then all of a sudden, it just seemed like there was this? This ramp up of just solutions and Foom?
Elevate? Let me answer it specifically. First, let's talk about additive manufacturing. My background includes quite a bit of experience in additive manufacturing, it unfortunately became a technology solution looking for a problem to solve. And instead of being an industry full of that technology needed to address key fundamental issues, product design, product development, light weighting, internal development of products, meaning internal versus out, outside in, it became a solution looking for a problem, people didn't know what to do with it. And so only now are we really starting to understand through D fam are designed for additive manufacturing. How do we look at apart from the inside out to take advantage of what additive manufacturing can do for us? So it had a tremendous growth curve, and it still does, it's growing at probably 20% per year across multiple markets. We really have to step back and talk about where can it best be used. And that's true in other areas and technologies like lean lean became a thing of charts on the walls for a long time before people understood it fundamentally meant that waste minimization variation reduction, then all of a sudden it took off. And so yes, in answer to your question, things get a head start, they slow down, and then they pick back up again, as the industry really understands what it means for
them. See, I found that something similar to, there was this big, big push with IoT, I'm going to collect data, I'm going to get that data off of those assets, and I'm going to be able to mine that data, I'm going to have all this and then all of a sudden, it just becomes a tsunami of data. I don't know what to do with. Right. And, and there were, there were ideas to say, now this is gonna be transformative. I think we're catching up. And everybody's finally realizing, yeah, I do need this, I guess I do need to figure out that solution.
So I came out of different manufacturing arenas, in the aerospace defense industry, the automotive industry. But one thing all our customers were asking us for is tracking traceability. I call it birth certificate of the product, which machine was it used on made by which person at what shift? So obviously, if we have a problem, and now in the industry, we can look more pretty closely where that product came from? What's the root cause behind the failure and go and fix it. So you think about the value of that data, the ability to utilize it to, frankly, save life and limb, but also save money if we don't have to bring back parts that aren't bad? So, yes, there's lots of data out there. The biggest question is what to do
with it. It's, it's massive. And And again, there's gold in it. And let's just be candid, a lot of it is like, okay, it's data, but does it really, like, I don't want to be a data scientist, but you know, data scientists will just continue to Geek geek geek geek right into it. And, and never is it just getting I don't text me and say, Scott, I'm a data scientist. And just FYI, just like I appreciate you deeply. When we start talking about 3d printing, additive manufacturing, talk about traceability. Here's this company, I don't remember the name, sorry. But the company, they were able to take nanotechnology, put it into the material, the added the material and be able to, with light trace that, that product, fantastic. It's cool. It was just like dust,
the industry will screen for that I want to come back just for a second, please. I'll say data is only data until it becomes information, and then it becomes useful. So the challenge isn't collecting the data, the data, the data is there, the understanding is how to collect it and use it. And that's where it becomes information.
And, and I would imagine that again, there's there's the need to I don't know how to do that. I know that it does exist. And then if I'm a manufacturer, I got my own challenges over here, right over here. Oh, yeah. And and there are challenges. And so I want to have simplicity, visibility and saying, green, good, red, bad 100%, you know, and let the analytics take that data. It's a green, good, yellow. Hey, FYI,
as a manufacturing practitioner, I want to reduce variation in my manufacturing process. So I can guarantee every part is good. But you know, if those parts control life or limb, you may have to do it another way. And that's where I think the digital twin concept comes into play. in a huge way, yes, we can create a digital exact copy of a part we have made today. And then we can test it, try it out and understand it without actually destroying the part. Yeah, understanding what it means it's an underdeveloped but rapidly growing technology opportunities.
You said it, baby and it is see this is where the concern happens because you're it's rapidly changing data twin, a digital twin excuse me, got digital twin AI, IoT and all these things are coming at me. You know, five by five they're just hammering me and I'm just a man and I know I I know I need to do it. I'm I just find I need to trust somebody.
So so blatant advertisement press me just for a minute. Here it is. One of the things that we do, we're a nonprofit. I don't know if I emphasize that yet. We're a nonprofit, which means every dollar we make in the commercial side of our relationships, we pour right back into our industry. We don't have shareholders, we don't have stock grants. We don't do any of that. That's the concept of our nonprofit focus. And so we bring people together, we convene them through our technology communities, we bring them together through our membership organizations through our foundation and we can talk about that later with scholarships and programs. But the idea is we can become a resource for for folks to come manufacturers to come who don't know where to go to get information, whether it be on industry 4.0 Smart Manufacturing, we just convened in a large relationship with sesame the Manufacturing Institute on Smart Manufacturing. Together, we are looking to advance rapidly the adoption of smart manufacturing in small and medium sized manufacturers Come to us. How do
I see your your speaking my language? One of the I went to a show and there were there were just clear themes, the technologies, the technology, I got it, it's good spot on. Thank you. But it was always around. Yes, I need to do it. Where do I start? And who do I trust? And is this going to be taken up all my time, which I don't have, but I need to do it. So manufacturers small to mid big ones. They're big, but the small to mid they need help they need and that's why I like sme
well.org.semi.org. Yes, thank you very much for that. So last week, along with sesame, the Smart Manufacturing Institute, we announced the creation of the Smart Manufacturing executive council. So this is 17 large corporations that we are partnering and bringing together 18 individuals 17. Lark, you're saying, Bob, are you going to teach Boeing to be smart? No, of course not. But we're gonna help teach their suppliers to be smart. So the idea is bringing this coalition of 17 companies together to drive forward next generation advancements in education, awareness, knowledge and training and smart manufacturing areas.
which then brings me to the point of saying, Hey, you're talking next gen. inspiring the next generation of, of the workforce? How does how does your organization do that?
In a couple of different ways? What a great question. So first and foremost, our education foundation is just that it's a part of SME, but it's a foundation focused on charitable giving. It's focused on education and next generation education and manufacturing practitioners at a younger level. So for example, we have a very robust scholarship program focused on awarding scholarship monies for two and four year college programs at community college and four year degree programs in in students who are inspired and educated to go be a part of the manufacturing ecosystem. So we've support that every year through endowed scholarships, SME scholarship, focus programs and others. That's one area. The second we have a program called our prime school program, partnership response and manufacturing education. I know it's a it's a funny acronym, prime. It's been around for a number of years. And effectively what we do is we go into high schools, and we establish vocational education programs. So we provide training, we provide assets, we provide the teacher with curriculum, around seven specific pathways, which would include everything from GD and T to additive manufacturing, to learning how to program a tabletop Haas mill to learning how to weld when these kids graduate high school, we give them a certification exam. And if they pass, many of them do, they could go right into industry, if they want, they have an industry recognized certification in these key areas. Or if they want to continue on into a two or four year program, we may end up being able to help them in scholarships report, as long as it's there on manufacturing, engineering, or manufacturing, education, and move forward from that. So our focus is to inspire and educate that next generation of young talent to want to come be a part of the manufacturing ecosystem.
How do you track the engagement?
18:12, in the state of Michigan in:
that is evolving, growing, changing and it's it's global, it doesn't just stop at the wall, your community can you can just sort of hang out there. But But this what you advocate what your organization supports, is a global solution. And it's it's just it's it's an exciting time.
So I have to talk about membership. I talked about our focus. So our membership, our membership focuses on value proposition for Members Current and future members who want to become part of our membership but be a member of SME. They gain access to significant member benefits opportunities. We had a member meet up here where all the members are given access and opportunity, special opportunity to the exhibitors who are here. This is on an individual basis. We have roughly 15,000 members and it's growing 15,000 members Day, we're given access to chapters, networking opportunities, special focus on some career development activities, resume reviews, job boards, opportunity to communicate with their peers across the network, which is SMA. We also have a corporate membership program, which does much the same thing, bringing in big corporations to be a part of part of SME. So we have big corporations like Boeing and Lockheed Martin, or General Motors, our corporate members of SMA, to help contribute to our manufacturing education programs, but also to benefit from what we're doing.
That I like, I like that a lot. And it's really in line with what here's my plug, industrial talk is all about, it's all about the education, you're nailing it. Your organization is nailing it. It's all about collaboration. It's there, because I believe, unlike whenever you have to be able to collaborate with other industry professionals to be able to have that real conversation to solve problems. I don't know what to do, oh, you know, how, and then be able to work on that. And then of course, if you're not going toward the innovation side, then you're you're not making your organization or your your manufacturing process as efficient as it possibly can to be competitive.
And that's, that's a recipe for success in the long term. I'll talk about one other area because you brought it up instead, how do we communicate to people? Let's face it, there are generational differences and how people want to be communicated from tick tock and no, you're not going to see me dancing on tick tock, I'm sorry.
But notice, the Tick Tock
social media is a great way to get a message out quickly. And it's one of the ways we do it. But it's not the only way and generationally there are there are groups of people that don't want to be communicated to that way. So we have a very robust media based program. So every month we publish manufacturing engineering magazine, over 90,000 print copies every month go out in our read, I guarantee you it's on the plant floor of most, most small and medium sized manufacturers in the canteen guys are flipping through it during lunch, great robust articles around next generation technologies, advancements in manufacturing engineering. So over a million of these a year go out and it's huge demand continuing to be seen for this. Every quarter, we put out smart, smart manufacturing, which is obviously a magazine dedicated to both smart manufacturing and next generation cutting edge technologies in these areas. equally high level of readership very interested in these are paper, people see these, we also make them both available digitally on our website, before we even mailed them out. And so very high level of download and interest in these areas. We do four different industry annual call it call it workbooks or we industry reports around additive manufacturing around medical additive manufacturing and others. So we're trying to communicate in different ways, such that you have a variety of opportunities to receive information from SME, whether it's digital, whether it's pushed through social media, or whether you get it in your mailbox, around next generation advancing technologies and manufacturing.
You've had this conversation, but haven't you? What's your advice? To a couple of times? Because it just rolls right off the Oh,
I'm very passionate about the opportunity to give back to an industry. That's been so good to me for the last 35 years.
Yeah, I gotta tell you. There's there's so much, gosh, there's so much. I have one last question because I can continue. Where do you see it going? What's that strategic vision of the organization? But what is it? It's great, what are you gonna go? We just spent a whole
day with our board talking about this. So it's as fresh as it gets, right. There it is. Right also, so ask me aspires to be the preeminent thought leader in manufacturing in the manufacturing ecosystem. And what does that mean? What is thought leader about leadership mean? It means when people think about the right topics we've talked about for the last 20 minutes or so and they think, Where can I go? Who can I talk to SMEs should be rolling off their times. And again, I'll remind everybody, we're a nonprofit. This is not because we want to grow our coffers. It's because we truly want to lift all of the industry up to another level. I believe that the middle class in America was built around our manufacturing prowess to the Industrial Revolution. I'm interested in not only keeping it that way, but by continuing to grow it. So SME will be the preeminent thought leader in manufacturing going forward, we will continue to advance our workforce, we will continue to provide creative insights into education and learning programs such that we bring everybody forward. So we're not a school. We're not a university, but we are is a curriculum development and manufacturing and manufacturing education that can bring everybody forward. And then finally continuing to advance manufacturing technology and help industries pivot. We're never going to get away from the fundamentals of manufacturing, forging, machining, stamping, grinding welding, that's I hope I can help continue to push that forward but also bring next generation technologies forward and into the ecosystem.
It's easy to get that way it
is man I am I mean, yes. cerpen, my chirpy, and I like it, man. All right. This is where we ask how people get a hold on, how
do we get hold. So the easiest way to get us is get a hold of us, it's come straight to sme.org, visit our website, read, take it all in, become a member of SMB start to enjoy the benefits of either an individual membership or a corporate membership and help us grow.
There it is, man. He was fantastic.
Hey, Scott, thank you very much, I'm
a better person because of you. I am I'm a better person law, right, we're gonna, we're gonna have all the contact information for Bob and SME out on industrial talk. So if you're not, if you have a hard time trying to get a hold of them, you're not trying hard enough industrial talk, we'll have all the contact information. So reach out be a member. Once again, we're broadcasting from FABTECH Atlanta, Georgia. This is a this is an event. This is an event that you need to put on your calendar. It is a must attend event. So I'd say there it is Bob. Right there, man. All right, we're gonna wrap it up on the other side. Stay tuned, we will be right back.
You're listening to the industrial talk Podcast Network.
Hey, once again, thank you very much for joining industrial talk that was Bob wheeling CEO, S M E Society of Manufacturing Engineers at FABTECH, on site at FABTECH. must attend event. You got to reach out to Bob, I don't know how else to put it. If you're in the manufacturing space, and you're looking for a way of being able to at least take that first step forward. That's right, you need to be a part of SMA. Without a doubt. It's a great organization. They're pretty passionate about you, and educating and the collaboration and the innovation to help you be in a business that is successful and resilient. Going forward. All right, go out to industrial talk. We'll have that contact information for Bob sme.org as well. And for your not it's all there. All right. Be bold, be brave, dare greatly. We say that all the time. Because you deserve the celebration because you're hanging out with people like Bob and sme.org and you're going to change the world. Thank you very much for joining. We'