Session Descriptions

2017 Manufacturing Advantage Session Descriptions

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    Beyond The ERP: Leveraging Technology To Bridge The Gaps In Your Business

Many companies use a handful of isolated technology solutions that help them conduct business, such as ERPs, CRMs, accounting software, and more. Since these systems are separate from each other, this leads to tasks within the business process where manual input, data manipulation, and other human touchpoints are necessary.

Other companies acclimate their business towards a single solution that promises to do “everything.” This often leaves a company with key features they need missing, features they don’t need present, and workflows that don’t quite match the business. These tools also don’t marry well with marketing and other key departments within a business.

Besides the obvious issues these challenges create (increased labor costs, human error, etc.), they also lead to ineffective and incomplete reporting, making well-informed data-driven decisions difficult.

We’ll explore ways to solve these problems with custom applications. Leveraging APIs, databases, and other tools, gaps can be eliminated and manual processes can be automated. Additionally, we’ll discuss ways to build real-time reports and charts that tie a company’s data together and give a live snapshot of business performance.

    State Of Cyber Security

Attend this presentation and learn why you, as the “human factor," are the weakest link when it comes to internet security. No firewall, no anti-virus, no anti-malware, no technology can completely protect you from yourself when you are on the internet.

Fortunately, there is a way to make yourself, your organization and your family a stronger link in the chain that forms internet security. It is through education. Learn what you should or should not do on the internet to ensure you do not "unknowingly" click on a nasty link or attachment that then steals your identity, money or livelihood. But, how do you know that you and your users or family really understand internet security? Consistent education and training is key to being cyber smart and secure. Living in the cyber world can be very risky and scary, but it doesn't have to be that way. During this session you will learn in simple, “no-geek" language, what it takes to make sure you are not the weakest link – instead, discover how your human factor can be the stronger link.
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    The ROI of UX Research: Engaging Users to Improve the Bottom-line

Many fields, industries, and organizations already recognize the value of user experience (UX) to illuminate how people interact with technologies—those that they develop as products, those they use as part of daily operating procedures, and those that serve to drive revenue through consumer engagement (e.g., marketing efforts). Yet, many industry leaders struggle to justify the expense associated with doing UX research by hiring an outside party to complete the work.

This session, lead by John M. Spartz, Director of the UW-Stout User Experience Center (UXC), will highlight approaches to this human-centered research that can benefit your organizations while evidencing the ROI—practical, fiscal, and humanistic—of UX research for a host of organizations and a wealth of user interfaces. Ultimately, attendees will take away a better understanding of the importance of UX for organizations and the relative merits associated with putting “things” (technologies, interfaces, products, etc.) in front of human users as part of the iterative design process. 

    Export Panel Discussion

Join us for a panel of seasoned exporters as they discuss organizational changes, challenges and how they determined which new international markets to add to the list of countries they sell to. They will also talk about resources available for those new to exporting, as well as those who are looking to expand their export markets. This session will be conversational and will allow for questions to be addressed.

    Family Business Succession Planning - Your Legacy For The Future

Family Business Succession Planning discusses the importance of planning in family business businesses. The presentation discusses the four plans necessary to be a successful family business and how to create a legacy for the future. The presentation also highlights best family business practices that have been shown to maintain successful family business.
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    Enhancing the Value of your Business

This presentation will provide business owners with an introduction to the factors that play a key role in driving overall value from a market standpoint. Receive an overview of what your financial statements say to investors, and how they interact to represent normalized operational values which can be compared to your industry as a whole. Discover how benchmarking your company against industry standards can identify key value drivers. Explore the application of those performance indicators to develop and monitor a business strategy to build on your current successes.  
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    Plastics Material Science Fundamentals

Have you ever wondered why some plastic materials behave differently than others? The materials science behind plastics behavior, including molecular structure, molecular weight, thermal transition temperatures (Tg and Tm), and crystallinity will be discussed. An overview of how these fundamental properties affect how plastics are processed and how they function in their environment will also be presented.
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    Micro Molding Incredibly Tiny Devices

Micro molding is the enabling technology for many medical and drug delivery devices in the past decade. Parts the size of a grain of salt have robust validation strategies and are a scalable and economically viable manufacturing method. This session will cover many challenges and solutions using actual case studies for micro molding and micro assembled medical, implantable, and drug delivery devices.

    Topology Optimization for Additive Manufacturing

Additive manufacturing (AM) has opened new opportunities for fabricating geometrically complex parts. Unfortunately, traditional design methods are incapable of exploiting these opportunities. In this talk, participants will be introduced to topology optimization (TO), a design method that is particularly well-suited for AM. Various TO methods will be discussed, followed by examples and case-studies that illustrate the synergy between TO and AM. The talk will conclude with open research issues and current trends in TO.

    Ultra-Precision Machining & Manufacturing For Design

Many industries practice DFM (Design for Manufacturing) to reduce design-to-manufacturing iteration. Designs are compromised by manufacturing capability and thus shapes, tolerances, functions, etc. are also compromised. However, in many cases, those manufacturing constraints are no longer an issue with advancement of manufacturing technology. MFD (Manufacturing for Design) is a reverse concept of DFM to provide an ultimate design freedom by removing all the possible manufacturing constraints. Of course, not all the challenges can be resolved but there are many enabling manufacturing technologies available. One of them is ultra-precision machining technology. Mechanical CNC machining can achieve semi-conductor level of precision while handling much wider spectrum of materials. This presentation introduces advancement of ultra-precision technology and sapphire machining will be shown as an example.

    Kata-Style Continuous Improvement

Do you have action lists that are seemingly endless and difficult to get done, or feel like continuous improvement is sort of hit or miss between events? Kata-style thinking provides a structured pattern of action that smooths out the improvement process and creates a more natural, continual flow of improvements. The Kata system is effective with both big improvement events and daily efforts.
The Kata system is not a difficult, technically structured, hard to get going, or a hard to use system. Quite the opposite; it is surprisingly easy once you see the thinking behind it. When “the lightbulb comes on”, it has a natural flow to it. We have found this system develops team members to become better “ongoing difference makers” rather than just being good at implementing an action item.

This presentation will show you the key elements of a Kata system, see how companies are using it, and provide you with enough details to go back to your organization and test it out.

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    The Future of Manufacturing

Bob Oliver, a UW-Stout Manufacturing Outreach Growth Advisor, will present a view of the future and what is driving exponential change. He will discuss why it is one of the best times to be in manufacturing along with some of the current and future challenges businesses face.  Bob will then discuss how manufacturers can succeed in the 21st century including how to manage your changing workforce.


    Employer Roundtable on Investigating Creative Healthcare Solutions

This interactive discussion will share how to drive down healthcare costs while helping employees take control of their health. Through this effort to provide an on- or near-site primary care clinic to their employees, employers can take control over one of biggest expenses and, more importantly, engage their valuable employees to be healthier! Attendees will learn and weigh in on innovative ideas around healthcare plan design with a focus on on- and near-site primary care clinics, how a clinic can improve overall health and wellness of employees; how an on- or near-site primary care clinic can reduce healthcare spend; and primary reasons it is one of the most well received of all employee benefits.

    The Power Of STEM Education

During this presentation participants will learn what true K-12 STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) education looks like and how it can help create the innovative thinkers and doers of the 21st century. The term STEM has become a buzz word in education over the past few years and is driving change in schools across the United States and the world. Come to this presentation to gain a better understanding of what STEM education is, how it can lead to a more knowledgeable, skilled, and passionate workforce, and gain tips on how you can work with local schools to implement sound programs. Concrete examples and success stories will be given in this dynamic and humorous presentation.

    Engage & Recruit UW-Stout: Insight Into Best Practices For Building A Co-Op/Internship Program

Plan to attend this presentation to learn about opportunities to engage with UW-Stout and best practices on how to structure a co-op/internship experience. Participants will learn successful techniques to source talent early and insights into trends in the field of college recruitment.

    Innovative Solutions to Workforce Challenges + Central WI Metal Manufacturing Alliance

The single largest challenge that fabricating and machining companies in Central Wisconsin face in growing their business is an on-going and projected lack of available skilled welders and machinists. The Central Wisconsin Metal Manufacturing Alliance (CWIMMA) is a voluntary organization of manufacturers in advanced metal manufacturing industries dedicated to promoting educational and career opportunities in the welding, fabricating, and machining trades. This workforce labor shortage will adversely affect all types of businesses in the years ahead. Learn how the CWIMMA group came to be and the efforts that are being developed to build a worker pipeline for these industries.  


    The Value of Engaging Your Workforce

Your company is made up of people who, in addition to being employees of your company during two-thirds of their waking hours, are busy living their lives in a very challenging and turbulent world filled with many highs and lows, joys and stressors. There are Millennials, Generation X-ers, and Baby Boomers who all bring various talents and motivations to your workplace. How do you appropriately engage your workforce in a way that values them as not just employees, but people who have issues and challenges going on in their personal lives that affect their focus and productivity in your workplace? We will tackle those subjects and more in this breakout session called The Value of Engaging Your Workforce.
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