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Quality Digest


CESMII and SME Form Smart Manufacturing Executive Council

Better manufacturing processes require three main strategies

Published: Thursday, November 17, 2022 - 11:18

(CESMII and SME: Los Angeles) -- Recognizing the urgent need to accelerate the adoption of smart manufacturing in the U.S., CESMII, (the Smart Manufacturing Institute) and SME (the Society of Manufacturing Engineers) are announcing the launch of the Smart Manufacturing Executive Council (SMEC). Described as “a national think tank of smart manufacturing leaders,” SMEC has been created to engage business and technology executives, thought leaders, and visionaries advocating for the transformation of the U.S. manufacturing ecosystem.

“As we transition from one manufacturing era to another, it’s clear that legacy behaviors, business models, and technology architectures must make way for new ones,” says CESMII CEO John Dyck. “It’s the charter of this Smart Manufacturing Executive Council to advocate for this transformation, and the practical steps, investments, and policy recommendations that will help this ecosystem cross this digital divide.”

The SMEC will focus on these strategic initiatives:

1. Ecosystem: Collaborative strategies enabling plants connected to the enterprise and supply chains for real-time, data-driven business orchestration. Goal: flexible and agile processes and supply chains easily reconfigured for changing market demands, empowering collaboration between OT and IT.

2. Technology: Accelerate evolution from proprietary, closed systems, enabling interoperability to eliminate data silos, stovepipe architectures, and vendor lock-in. Goal: drive down costs, improve agility.

3. Workforce: Aligning education, training, and continuous improvement strategies to develop people with the skills needed to accelerate smart manufacturing and create data-driven cultures. Goal: organizational structures and capabilities that align resources and people for SM success.

“The Smart Manufacturing Executive Council will act as ambassadors for the vision of smart manufacturing in the U.S., working to accelerate the transformation of the entire manufacturing ecosystem and to inspire a vision for the future of manufacturing,” says Dyck.

The SMEC members represent a diverse array of companies and industries:

• Antoine Dhennin, ArcelorMittal (NYSE: MT)

• Alpen Patel, Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT)

• Venu Pillai, Corning Inc. (NYSE: GLW)

• Craig Sutton, Eaton (NYSE: ETN)

• Scott King, Ford (NYSE: F)

• Michael Bastian, Ford (NYSE: F)

• Lisa Zasada, General Mills (NYSE: GIS) 

• Jeff Abell, General Motors (NYSE: G)

• Jon Hobgood, Honeywell (NASDAQ: HON)

• Ken Creasy, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ)

• Audrey St. Onge, Lallemand Baking Solutions

• Jesus Flores-Cerrillo, Linde (NYSE: LIN)

• Don McCartney, Oshkosh Corp. (NYSE: OSK)

• Jeff Kent, Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG)

• Rick Van Dyke, PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP)

• Kelly Dodds, Raytheon (NYSE: RTX)

• Sudhi Bangalore, Stanley Black & Decker

“Both CESMII and SME are laser-focused on accelerating the democratization of smart manufacturing,” says SME executive director and CEO Robert Willig. “SME and CESMII are excited to engage with this remarkable assembly of industry leaders to lift the entire ecosystem. From large organizations and their supply chains to small and midsize organizations, they’re all essential to creating a more competitive manufacturing environment here in the U.S.”

The SMEC will convene for its inaugural session in December 2022 to affirm the charter and set strategic priorities for 2023.


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For 40 years Quality Digest has been the go-to source for all things quality. Our newsletter, Quality Digest, shares expert commentary and relevant industry resources to assist our readers in their quest for continuous improvement. Our website includes every column and article from the newsletter since May 2009 as well as back issues of Quality Digest magazine to August 1995. We are committed to promoting a view wherein quality is not a niche, but an integral part of every phase of manufacturing and services.