Engineers can learn about community at first Digital Transformation Forum

Digital transformation is becoming a major concern for engineers across industries.
Digital transformation is becoming a major concern for engineers across industries. Source: Adobe Stock

Over the past year, I’ve spent a lot of time speaking with manufacturers about their digital transformation projects. They all have very different stories to tell because their application needs are distinct. But whether it’s a food manufacturer, a beverage producer, an automaker or a machine builder, they all have one thing in common: The need for community.

Turns out, digital transformation can be a lonely road where engineers are given a directive to “go digital,” and then left on their own to figure it out.

This exact scenario is happening at a large consumer packaged goods (CPG) company that makes many things, including toothpaste and dish detergent. An individual in charge of plant systems told me that he needs help sorting out where to start, what technologies to use, and who to involve in the process.

“Having a connection with people to bounce ideas off, or just understand what others have done to solve common digital transformation problems, would be helpful,” he said.

Attendees of Design World’s first annual Digital Transformation Forum, happening May 1-2, 2024 in Boston, will get that personal storytelling from some major manufacturers. Two of those in attendance include Sikorsky Lockheed Martin and ALTA Refrigeration, both sharing technology implementations that solve engineering and business problems while optimizing the way they work.

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Sikorsky’s digital transformation story

Sikorsky makes commercial and military aircraft, including the best-in-class Black Hawk helicopter. It needed to correct years of manually setting thresholds that have contributed to alert fatigue on operators. The company needed a way to streamline actionable alerts in a busy production environment.

Together with technology partner Strategic Maintenance Solutions, Sikorsky built a machine learning tool that automates the threshold-setting process for industrial metric data and delivers the right information to the right user at the right time. One of the key takeaways from this session is that you don’t have to be a data scientist to take action and find value with AI tools.

ALTA Refrigeration will outline a very different scenario that includes the adoption of an edge control architecture and the message queuing telemetry transport (MQTT) machine-to-machine communication protocol to completely change its business model.

The company has been designing and installing refrigeration systems across the U.S. for more than 45 years. For a long time, they were large, custom-designed systems that used a central machine room to deliver refrigerant to various facility areas through long, overhead piping runs.

Now, with modular refrigeration control units, ALTA can monitor its entire install base in minutes and energy usage per unit. When an alarm occurs, the system creates an interactive timeline of events. Using data analytics with remote monitoring improves serviceability, scalability, customer support, and operational efficiency.

Connect with more engineers at co-located events

Those are just two examples of the presentations at this live event. Attendees will also be able to interact with thought leaders from Intellic Integration, MIT, Deloitte, Siemens, PTC, and more. Networking is encouraged via a welcome reception and a mix and mingle with attendees from the two co-located events, the Robotics Summit & Expo and DeviceTalks Boston, to provide ample opportunity to meet engineers from other industries.

You can freely exchange ideas and make new connections at this forum. More importantly, it’s the start of your new digital transformation community. If you’re an engineer, technology decision-maker or an executive on a journey to modernize manufacturing, you need to be here.

The inspiration from your peers can lead to new ideas for your organization and, ultimately, innovation that will make your organization more competitive in the market.

Editor’s note: This article is syndicated from Design World, a sibling site to Mobile Robot Guide, and the Digital Transformation Forum is co-located with the Robotics Summit & Expo. Registration is now open.

Stephanie Neil, WTWH Media
Written by

Stephanie Neil

Stephanie Neil is an executive editor at WTWH Media specializing in digital transformation, automation, AI, analytics, IoT, cybersecurity, robotics, simulation, and workforce issues. She shares the end-user perspective on the business value of operations processes.

Neil previously worked at CPG Next, OEM Magazine, and Automation World. She is based in Scituate, Mass.