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First of its Kind, New Aerospace, Automotive and Defense Event-Collaborate 2006- To Take Place In Huntsville, Alabama

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1 SME Dr., P.O. Box 930
Dearborn, MI, 48121

Press release date: February 17, 2006

DEARBORN, Mich., February 17, 2006 _ The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) today announced a first of its kind new event _ Collaborate 2006 _ designed to foster formal collaboration between automotive, aerospace and defense manufacturing communities. The conference and exposition will take place October 10-12, 2006 at the Von Braun Center in Huntsville, Alabama. SME is partnering with the Alabama Aerospace Industry Association and the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association on this event.

"Collaborate 2006 will connect industry, academia, government and trade associations striving for excellence. This event will address the shared people, process and technology challenges of original equipment manufacturers and their suppliers in the automotive, aerospace and defense industries," said Nancy Berg, executive director and general manager of SME.

The conference and exposition will bring together industry leaders and innovators to share best practices and work together on new technology applications and processes. The three-day program features tours of aerospace and automotive facilities, cross-industry networking opportunities, dynamic presentations, authoritative keynote panels and interactive workshops. Conference sessions will focus on the core enabling components for fast, flexible, and efficient manufacturing performance: o Lean Manufacturing o Supply Chain Management o Predictive Maintenance o Product Lifecycle Management

"Collaborate 2006 will explore important topics such as lean sustainment & how it relates to customer value, the latest trends in lifecycle management and how they affect your supply chain. Exploring innovative ideas from the aerospace, automotive and defense industries can benefit all of us," said Al Sullivan, Chairman of the Alabama Aerospace Industry Association.

Ralph Malone, who sits on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association and is the President and CEO of Triana Industries, Inc. added, "This unprecedented collaboration can lead to the shared benefits of implementing new technology advancements to increase profits, accelerating product development and innovation for each of these key industries."

About the Alabama Aerospace Industry Association: The Alabama Aerospace Industry Association (AAIA) was formed in 2003 to provide a unified voice in the state on issues of mutual interest, especially education, workforce development, and economic development. The mission is to make Alabama the next nationally and internationally recognized "Aerospace State" by identifying and capitalizing on its sustainable competitive advantages.

About the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association: The Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association (AAMA) was formed in 2001 to provide a forum for interaction among automotive companies in Alabama, to share information among its members and to provide an awareness of manufacturing trends, techniques and concerns. The mission is to promote growth and continuous improvement of automotive manufacturing in Alabama.

About SME: The Society of Manufacturing Engineers is the world's leading professional society supporting manufacturing education. Through its member programs, publications, expositions and professional development resources, SME promotes an increased awareness of manufacturing engineering and helps keep manufacturing professionals up to date on leading trends and technologies. Headquartered in Michigan, SME influences more than half a million manufacturing engineers and executives annually. The Society has members in 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of chapters worldwide.

Contact: Alex Yovanovich SME Public Relations (313) 425-3155
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