Attendees: Dennis Bray, Doug Genord, Bob Rowen, Rod Jones, Dean Bartles, Carl Williams, Boris Fritz, Susan Sackman, Debbie Holton (SME staff), Margaret Satoh (SME staff), Joe LaRussa(SME Staff) Meeting began at 5:08pm
1. Manufacturing Update
Bureau of Labor Statistics report that manufacturing hit its low in Feb/March 2009. Trends were up until September but then declined until February. Jobs supported by exports rose 500,000 from 2003-2008. Manufacturing supported 3 million jobs in other industries.
SME Technical Community updates/status
Carl reported that educational institutions were downsizing due to budget cuts.
Bob R. reported that the Industrial Laser Community (ILC) was supporting their technology and SME by attending applicable trade shows. They are also working on production of webinars.
Doug explained that Product, Process, Design and Management (PPDM) is focusing on the development of Manufacturing Summit Conference that will be held in Illinois this September. Content development continues to be key to this focused event. They also continue work on finalizing their mission.
Is the work PPDM doing a model for new revenue going forward? Possibly
Boris reported that the Micro/Nano conference is this week in Phoenix. The tech groups will be reviewed at the RAPID conference located in Anaheim in May.
Which community lines up with our current tech groups?
Laser in Medical Instruments
PPDM with Lean – they are not focused on an industry but the principals can help solve problems within all industries.
Have there been any new tech groups formed?
There have been consolidations and revitalization efforts but no new tech groups lately. Work is being done to draw in people that use the technology but are not in the SME’s core businesses e.g. Rapid has sessions on art and jewelry that if there is enough interest could lead to new tech groups.
What are the most active communities?
Rapid and PPDM. ILC is slowly growing, PCC has a very active Composites group but the others are not as strong, ILC and FF work together to support FABTECH, Nano and Micro are part of Rapid. Nano leans towards additive while Micro is the removal of material; due to the differences in audiences there may be a need for a Micro tech group
Are there tech groups focused on processes? Currently there is only a technology focus in the tech groups. Is this a possible opportunity?
A suggestion was made to look at the validation of process traceability. Medtronics has thousands of suppliers and validation is an issue. Susan will send information on IQOQPQ (Installation Qualification, Operation Qualification, Process Qualification) A. I. 1-4/12/10
Machines have ANSI standards however there are no standards for validation or protocols – this may be an opportunity for SME.
The CASA tech group resides in AMA. Paul Nutter is the chair of the community while Mike Burstein is the CASA tech group chair. Dennis will talk with Mike about traceability A.I. 2-4/12/10
Effectiveness of Webinars
Webinars have proven to be successful for those that can’t get away to attend conferences, helps keep people current, providing high level content, having the ability to review the archived information at a later time, saves money for all involved, high quality for affordable costs.
Conferences are able to provide the face to face networking that can not be accomplished any other way.
Each business model is valid. There are different price points dependent on content and many times on if the employer or employee is paying. Webinars are fairly new and people are getting used to them – we do have to be aware of content that is free and available on the internet. SME is still determining when attendees will go for a higher priced conference rather than a lower cost webinar. Currently free webinars test the market for subject interest, paid for webinars take the content quality to the next level and help determine if a full conference would be of interest, conferences then may build into table top exhibits or full expositions. We can’t jeopardize the conference market and we can’t webinar folks to death.
Does SME have a program that allows senior level folks to bring junior folks at a reduced rate? No, we have member/non-member, student, educator and group rates today.
Currently about 25% of SME webinars are paid for, the balance is no cost.
Can SME provide the same type of content in other formats such as podcasts that can be downloaded and listened to at anytime? Mp3 files are inexpensive to produce providing good profit margins.
SME may want to consider converting content into on-line learning with tests on the topic. This has been successful other places. CEU’s may be offered dependent on the content. Powerpoints can be converted easily. Rod has used The Learning Company to assist Mori Seiki University.
Please remember to register for the SME Annual Conference. The MEC meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 8.
Next meeting is May 10
Meeting adjourned at 6:55pm
Action Items A. I. 1-4/12/10 Susan
Susan will send information on IQOQPQ (Installation Qualification, Operation Qualification, Process Qualification)
A.I. 2-4/12/10 Dennis
Dennis will talk with Mike Burstein about traceability.