The 10th Manufacturing in America event showcased the ongoing increase in interest and expansion of sustainable business in the Detroit area on March 23 & 24th. Siemens and Electro-Matic have held the event at Ford Field for the past four years. With ongoing presentations, the two-day event included nearly 2,500 attendees, high-caliber speakers, and the latest technology, and organizations on hand to help companies, managers and executives learn how to finance and benefit from the implementation of the showcased upgrades.
The show has changed over the years, from its 200 attendees to over 2,400 for the past 2 years. Electro-Matic’s strong partnership with Siemens allows for the huge community recognition for the event, with next year promising the evolution toward the focus on energy efficiency and sustainability programs for the second day. This event is attracting leading energy companies like DTE and Consumers Energy along with other larger sponsors to further expand it’s innovative mission.
Both partners feel great about bringing this opportunity to the community at no charge, educating students alongside small and large businesses. Showcasing over 100 seminars and exhibitors, the organization wants to create a continuous conversation for attendees.
Alisa Coffey, Senior Marketing and Communications Specialist for Siemens, sat down with me to discuss the development of the Automotive Manufacturing Summit that kicks off the symposium and the impressive list of expert speakers with topics intended to drive collaboration after the event. “It’s all about Thought Leadership within Community, Collaboration, and Innovation seeking to revitalize the Michigan Economy.”
Raj Batra, President Digital Factory Division Siemens USA, kicked off the Summit, talking about digitization and how far it still has to go, stating “the future of manufacturing will depend on game-changing innovations” that are happening right now.
Gregg Sherrill, CEO of Tenneco, Inc. and Chairman of NAM, inspired the audience with his thoughts on invocation and stated that they are “Changing what we make and how we make it,” in regards to their manufacturing and international market distribution.
From the Department of Commerce, Michael Molnar, informed attendees of how the Government can partner with businesses on proposals for financing and creating new organizations like LIFT and DDMI.
Keynote Jim Carroll, Futurist, Trends and Innovation Expert, clearly stated that the key is “thinking big, starting small, scale fast”. He discussed autonomous vehicles, and the current implementation of the increased new technology.
The presentations were varied from specific information about products and their technological upgrades and breakthroughs to energy conservation and upgrades within facilities.
In one of the paneled discussions, Bob Mattler of PACE Equity spoke about the upcoming boom of full turn-key Property Assessed Clean Energy, (PACE), and the ability to use this type of financing as a stimulus for building long term savings and economic growth for larger businesses.
Mary Templeton, Executive Director of Michigan Saves talked about the non-profit that finances improvements with smaller loans and smaller rates for all efficiency upgrades that saves energy on smaller projects that cannot be associated with PACE.
Dan Lipman, DTE Energy Adviser, gave a detailed program review of their Energy Incentives Program which has paid out approximately $127 million since 2009.
Outreach Professional David Kirk of Consumer’s Energy states that Consumers Energy has the same type of program as DTE with payments coming at the same 4-6 week period of time.
In one of the most eloquent and understandable talks about understanding the evolution of technology in the marketplace, Dave Scaglione, President of Electro-Matic spoke on the increased business that the artistic-based design and technology LED signs and message boards that his company provides.
Scaglione stated that his presentation was inspired by the book The Profit Heroes by Bob Rickert, explaining the benefits of the versatile and durable outdoor and indoor message centers and animated signage through increased sales, improving profit margins, and showcased studies which proved increased business and more customers who see and remember the advertised information on LED signs by an average exceeding 40 percent.
LED Lighting also lessens electricity usage, provides better color output, is dark sky compliant, reduces light spillover, while using far less wattage, thus reducing operating costs for physical businesses. If one includes rebates offered by the energy companies and reduction of maintenance costs, the businesses bottom line can be improved quickly with a surprisingly high return on investment.
We look forward to seeing who is chosen as the lead partner next year as the event creates a larger audience in the energy efficiency marketplace.
Cathleen Francois is Asst. Executive Director, COO and sometimes writer for GreeningDetroit.com
She can be reached at Cathleen@GreeningDetroit.com