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SME Conference offers data solutions from Wal-Mart and Boeing.

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August 13, 2008 - To help manufacturers make sense of data, SME is bringing experts in RFID and other automated data collection technologies to Manufacturing Data Management Conference, November 11-12, 2008, at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, Boeing, and others will share their best practices. By learning from leaders like Wal-Mart, manufacturers can develop their own processes for increasing productivity, controlling inventory, and managing supply chains.

New SME Conference Offers Data Solutions from Wal-Mart, Boeing, Tyson and Others

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

Press release date: August 5, 2008

DEARBORN, Mich., August 5, 2008 - Manufacturers around the world have turned to automated identification technologies for inventory control and material handling functions. However, many find themselves with more data than they know what to do with.

To help manufacturers make sense of this data, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) is bringing the world's foremost experts in RFID and other automated data collection technologies to its first-ever Manufacturing Data Management Conference, November 11-12, 2008, at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville. Wal-Mart, Tyson Foods, Boeing and others will share their best practices and attendees will learn how to transfer these successes into manufacturing solutions.

"RFID has entered a new era. We're no longer talking about just how the technology works, but what challenges it will help us solve." said SME's Executive Director and General Manager Mark C. Tomlinson. "By learning from leaders like Wal-Mart and others, manufacturers can develop their own innovative processes for increasing productivity, controlling inventory and managing supply chains through the use of technology."

The conference was developed by SME members and representatives from Wal-Mart, Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc. the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville, the University of Texas-San Antonio, RFID Global Solutions, RFID Switchboard and Baxter Healthcare.

Day One: Technology Day will address tracking high-value tooling, parts and products in the factory, inventory management and time and temperature sensitive materials. In particular, Boeing has developed a system to track high value government property and tooling throughout their facilities and will present an innovative project for tracking materials in a below zero environment.

A key session will position technology as a lean sustainment tool. RFID automates the gathering of shop floor information - helping manufacturers to more easily identify Work in Process (WIP), excess inventory, transportation and other waste in their operation. Delegates will see how this automatic information flow from inception to delivery allows dynamic input to lean initiatives and 'live' value stream mapping and kanban systems.

The Business Case for Technology luncheon is a high level view of the investment in technologies like RFID and how to ensure an adequate ROI. RFID may only be part of the technology picture, attendees will learn how to realize savings and continuous improvement by starting with a good business case.

A tour of the RFID Research Center at the University of Arkansas-Fayetteville - the largest of its kind in North America - will give participants an interactive look at how the University develops RFID-based solutions for dozens of companies. The RFID Research Center spans 10,000 square feet and covers many disciplines including retail, supply chain, industrial engineering, and computer science.

A total view of production depends upon collecting accurate data in real time from the shop floor, then making it visible and actionable Day Two: Tools & Technology Day, will follow the flow of information from the shop floor to the top floor. Beginning with mobile data collection technologies and moving to the use of multiple sensors for data collection and predictive maintenance, to the role of MES in improving part quality - attendees will see how technology aids at each level of their operation.

Manufacturers struggle to integrate numerous data formats from multiple sources, link legacy and manual systems and get varying systems to 'talk to each other'. This will be the focus of the session: "Linking information from Inception to Delivery" - featuring Walmart and JB Hunt Transport.

Learning from other people's mistakes is the focus of the Luncheon session: "Avoiding Pitfalls of Technology Implementation". This is followed by concluding workshops on value stream mapping and asset management.

"Data by itself can be overwhelming and paralyzing - especially in complex supply chains. Information, however, is what you can act upon," said Tomlinson. "This conference provides the tools to turn real-time data into actionable information that will improve productivity and quality."

SME News Feed: To receive the latest up-to-the-minute SME news, subscribe to RSS.

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 practitioners and executives annually. The Society has members in more than 70 countries and is supported by a network of hundreds of technical communities and chapters worldwide.

SME Manufacturing Data Management Conference Steering Committee:

George N. Bullen
Northrop Grumman Corporation

Mike Caracciolo
Lockheed Martin Corporation

Helen E. Cherry
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

Peter Geurtz
Lockheed Martin Aeronautics

Bill C. Hardgrave, PhD
University of Arkansas
Sam M. Walton College of Business

Ken Mangold
J.B. Hunt Transport Services, Inc.

Herbert Markwardt
Tyson Foods

Ron Rose
RFID Global Solution, Inc.

Can (John) Saygin, PhD
The University of Texas-San Antonio
Mechanical Engineering Department

Tim J. Shinbara, Jr.
Northrop Grumman Corp.

Chad Vincent
Baxter Healthcare Corp.

If you have any questions or comments, please contact SME Public Relations by phone (313) 271-1500, e-mail, or Fax: (313) 425-3403
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