Still Time to Register for the R&E Council of the NAPL's 7th Annual Digital Smart Factory Forum
Press release from the issuing company
June 7, 2005 - (WhatTheyThink.com - by Cary Sherburne - The Digital Smart Factory Forum will be held June 15-17, 2005 at the Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach, FL)
The Digital Smart Factory Forum, a conference focused on Computer Integrated Manufacturing (CIM) for print, is entering its 7th year this month. After the 2004 Digital Smart Factory Forum, an attendee reported, “I enjoyed hearing about successes of the Digital Smart Factory. After 5 years of talking about futures, we are actually talking about implementations. Bravo!”
The goal is streamlined production, automation, interoperability, customer-facing systems—connecting computers used for business and manufacturing, and then using them to analyze performance data and improve processes. Improving processes based on this data ultimately leads to improving the overall business: growing the top and bottom lines .
WhatTheyThink spoke briefly with EFI's Chuck Gehman, the chairman of this year’s conference.
WTT: What is the Digital Smart Factory Forum?
Gehman: Ideas like Lean and Just In Time Manufacturing, Six Sigma, and TQM, are really gaining ground in the printing industry. So is the concept of CIM (Computer Integrated Manufacturing), which has become the focus for all of the industry’s major manufacturers in terms of new product development, from the prepress through finishing. CIM isn’t just JDF, although that is an important part of it. CIM needs to look at more than the shop floor, and so the Digital Smart Factory also looks at business systems and customer-facing systems, with a truly end-to-end perspective.
The purpose of the conference is to help printers sort all these things out, and to help vendors understand what their printer customers are looking for in these areas. The conference began in the nineties as an industry “user’s group” for some of the larger companies who wanted to implement the idea of CIM for Print, to help influence the vendors to build products that provided the features and benefits that CIM can provide. We’ve broadened it out in the last couple of years, and added much content to appeal to the NAPL’s core constituency, medium-size sheetfed commercial printers.
WTT: What is the format of the conference?
Gehman: The forum is an interactive, workshop-like environment. Attendees learn from industry leaders, as well as their peers, how they can expand their business into value-added services, increase customer satisfaction and provide better efficiency with less waste and fewer mistakes. There are case studies of companies that have successfully implemented CIM and Digital Smart Factory concepts.
WTT: Can you describe some of the speakers and sessions at this year’s conference?
Gehman: This year, we’re honored to have Barb Pellow, industry luminary and Chief Marketing Officer and Vice President of Eastman Kodak Company’s Graphic Communications Group as the keynote. Barb is always thought-provoking and I’m sure we’ll all learn something from her talk.
Some key sessions include:
“The Digital Smart Factory: Where to Begin”, which features case studies from leading companies like RR Donnelley and JohnsByrne
“Commercial Printers Move to Digital Print: Enabling Value-added Services”, chaired by John Hamm from Xerox, and featuring owners and senior managers of commercial print operations that have HP Indigo, Kodak Nexpress and Xerox IGen gear.
" Selling The Digital Smart Concept, " a session that helps technical and business managers understand how to get “buy in” from all the important constituencies: from senior management, from employees, from the CFO. It is also targeted at helping printing companies understand how to communicate the value proposition of these technologies to customers. This session features Ted Hagler from Papa John’s, Bill Jacot from LA Graphico, as well as Drew Sechrist from SalesForce.com.
Another great session features Howie Fenton from the NAPL talking about how to achieve the benefits of the Digital Smart Factory, while keeping legacy gear—without making major new capital investment-- a hot topic for the industry.
Additionally, since the Digital Smart Factory Forum is co-located with EFI”s Connect user conference, attendees will be able to hear the final Connect General Session on Wednesday morning, June 15th, where NAPL’s Andy Papparozzi’s will give his state of the industry report.
There’s much more exciting and leading edge content on the program that I’m sure you don’t have time or space for in this short interview!
WTT: Anything else you’d like to add?
Gehman: Even though we’re only a week or so away, there’s still time to register and rooms available. The Fontainbleau recently underwent an $80 million renovation and is now a Turnberry resort. However, the rooms are very reasonable and flights to Miami are cheap, so don’t miss “one of the hottest conferences of the year!” I’d also like to thank our sponsors. Platinum Sponsors are Agfa, Creo, EFI, Heidelberg, HP, KPG and Silver Sponsors are Enovation , MAN Roland and Xerox this year.
WTT: How does one register for the Digital Smart Factory Forum?
Gehman: The Digital Smart Factory Forum is an NAPL event… for a detailed description of conference sessions, visit www.napl.org, or call 800-642-6275, option 5
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