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What it Takes to Move Advanced Manufacturing Forward

Everything in the built environment, including the device through which you are consuming this article right now, has passed through a complex design, manufacturing and distribution process. And all along the way, numerous experts with deep experience oversee a dizzying array of technologies and processes to ensure quality and customer satisfaction.  Imagine connecting with all of these experts to share the vision for where manufacturing, in all of its applications, is going next. That opportunity is now a reality with the inaugural GSAM conference. Here’s a sample of some of the manufacturing thought leaders you’ll meet at GSAM.

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Featured Right: Gregg Whited, researcher at DuPont Industrial Biosciences

Being a biologist, Gregg Whited, researcher at DuPont Industrial Biosciences, has a unique perspective on electronics manufacturing. What if engineers, designing the next generation electronic devices, looked beyond the silicon-based supply chain and considered integrating proteins into electronics? As odd as it sounds, from an engineering perspective, proteins can be designed to perform much like traditional electronics components. Furthermore, they’re very inexpensive, having their own large-scale manufacturing techniques, supply chains, standards and suppliers. In other words, engineered proteins have moved beyond the lab and into mass production. In fact, there are highly engineered proteins in your laundry detergent.

So, what will it take to get electronics engineers to consider biomaterials as components?

Programs like DARPA’s 1,000 Molecules initiative seek revolutionary research in unconventional approaches specifically outside the mainstream. As a result, DARPA hopes to build a scalable, integrated, rapid design and prototyping infrastructure for engineering biology.

But beyond DARPA, it takes an open mind, not just in the laboratory but in conversation. Gregg sees engineers that began their careers in electronics starting to become interested in these new tools and processes to further their own disciplines. By joining scientists and engineers from completely different backgrounds, intersections are created which are essential for imagination to flourish and new thinking to occur.

“People who will bring this technology forward are people who reach beyond their comfort zones because things happen at intersections. Life happens at intersections.”

That’s why the GSAM conference is so important. Natural intersections dominate the conference as a broadly diverse mix of global industry scientists, engineers and academics come together to learn, share and brainstorm the future of advanced manufacturing.

 

The Big Picture and Connecting the Dots

Girish Wable

Girish Wable, Advanced Technology Manager at Jabil

According to Girish, the key to the future of manufacturing is the ability for companies to develop a deep appreciation for all that goes into making great products. This is no small task. These pieces include understanding materials, processes and automation technology to name a few. Then, manufacturers must nurture business relationships with partners and suppliers across the supply chain to build trust. That’s what it will take to build and deliver a truly scalable manufacturing process.

“Trust and relationships lead to real understanding of what the customer needs next and when, sometimes even before the customer realizes it. That’s the power of relationships.”

-Girish Wable

Building these relationships isn’t always easy and it does take time, but manufacturing must seek ideas and engagement beyond the core skill sets normally found in the manufacturing environment. Instead, Girish believes that people from diverse backgrounds with a wide variety of skills and experiences provide valuable insight that will lead to faster thinking in the industry. Next, encourage cross-pollination of ideas by breaking down silos and replacing them with seamless pipelines for manufacturing solutions. Ultimately, diversity, inclusion and engagement just might be the secret ingredient to create manufacturing process solutions for a rapidly changing world.

Thinking about solutions in new ways requires new kinds of thinkers. Sharing expertise across disciplines with others who deeply understand manufacturing processes is what GSAM is all about. Connect with some of the brightest minds across manufacturing today. Attend GSAM.

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