Technology takes center stage at Annual ConferenceBy Dennis Slater, AEM President

What we once considered future technology is no longer hype. It now exists in every sector of our industry, leaving us wondering, where are we now? And where should we be headed?

In case you haven’t noticed, it’s no longer sufficient to just build equipment that is bigger and more powerful. Now, it must be smarter, connected, maybe even autonomous. In addition, companies once thought to be on the periphery of the equipment industry are suddenly mainstream.

So it’s no accident that the 2016 AEM Annual Conference puts technology at center stage.

Our line-up for this year’s conference includes three sessions on technology that you, as an industry leader, don’t want to miss:

  • A quartet of tech industry leaders will share their knowledge and predictions for our industry, from machine positioning and telematics systems to data management and self-driving vehicles.
  • Three top experts will discuss the latest developments in robotics and how human robot interaction (HRI) and mobile-customized applications in low-volume settings are changing the face of manufacturing.
  • Another trio will share information on how manufacturers can blast beyond their competition by taking advantage of NASA’s Technology Transfer program with its more than 1,400 patents available for commercialization.

Finally, a fourth session will highlight three projects that are using technology to move our industry forward: 

  • HeroX is using crowdsourcing to advance initiatives, including AEM's highly successful Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge
  • Project AME is the first large-scale application of additive manufacturing of steel, challenging us to reimagine the entire manufacturing process
  • Reimagining is the idea behind the addition of a new space at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2017 dedicated solely to technology

Putting technology front-and-center at this year’s annual conference is a clear statement of where we feel the industry is headed. At AEM, we are working hard to remain relevant by providing you, our members, with opportunities to learn what’s new and what’s coming that may disrupt your businesses.

Please join us at Bacara Resort & Spa in Santa Barbara, California, November 16-18 for the 2016 AEM Annual Conference. And while you’re there, don’t be surprised if a telepresence robot approaches you to ask a few questions about AEM or how you see tomorrow changing!