HOUSTEX 2017: Cybersecurity, Manufacturing Skills Gap, Automation, Oh My!


HOUSTON, Feb. 14, 2017 – SME’s HOUSTEX event returns to the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston from Feb. 28 to March 2. The event brings together Southwest manufacturing leaders to explore and evaluate new technologies. Focusing on the key issues affecting manufacturing throughout the region, attendees will discover groundbreaking techniques to prepare them for the future.

This year’s show explores key industry topics, including a variety of in-depth, industry-specific sessions and presentations trending in the Southwest, such as 3D printing in the oil and gas industry, 3D printing in robotics, cybersecurity and workforce challenges stemming from the skills gap.

Tuesday’s Hot Topics
Tuesday’s educational session will focus on cyber-incident risks within manufacturing. John Romero, program director of the Knowledge Engineering Center at Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service, will discuss the importance of emphasizing and integrating cybersecurity awareness. The number of reported cyber incidents in the U.S. each year is increasing, and the nation faces persistent challenges with a widespread, growing, and ever-changing threat of cyber-attacks and an insufficient number of cybersecurity professionals.

Also on Tuesday, HOUSTEX will feature a discussion on 3D printing opportunities and challenges in the oil and gas industry. As this industry is under pressure to maintain profits despite low oil prices, the 3D printing market is expected to quadruple over the next decade to $12 billion, moving from its main use today of creating prototypes to manufacturing the most complex of production parts, according to Lux Research. Three-dimensional printing/additive manufacturing in the oil and gas industry is expected to completely transform the way components are produced.

Richard Neff, market development manager, Cincinnati Inc., will moderate the panel of industry experts sharing production benefits and applications now and going forward.

Wednesday’s Hot Topics
Wednesday’s panel discussion will focus on the skills gap and how it can be filled in the future as it relates to the current economic conditions and aging workforce. Over the next 10 years, it is predicted that 3.5 million manufacturing jobs will become available. But, without the right skilled workers for those jobs, estimates show that 2 million of those jobs could go unfilled. The panel, sponsored by KellyOCG®, will include Dan Turner, vice president, Strategic Accounts and Operations Recruitment for Kelly Services®; Michael Moncada, founder of San Antonio-based 3D Veterans; Nick Graff, executive director of Advanced Manufacturing Technology Centers; and John Hindman, director, learning and performance improvement of Tooling U-SME.

“Constant technology advances in the manufacturing industry require equally advanced skills and knowledge in a talented workforce,” said Turner. “Jobs are available and ready to be filled; it’s now up to us to develop multifaceted workforce programs that address the full spectrum of the skills gap.”

Following the group panel on Wednesday, Dan Alford, president and owner of Houston-based company ARC Specialties, will discuss the integration of 3D technology and robotics. Advances in technology allow robots to capture more material removal applications.

To register, visit houstexonline.com.

HOUSTEX, produced by SME, is dedicated to displaying the customized technologies and processes that help manufacturers become more efficient and innovative. Featuring hundreds of exhibitors, the show floor will feature the latest products and services designed to help manufacturers meet the demand for better quality, tighter tolerances and lower cost in several key industries. The Heart of Manufacturing is this year’s theme, showcasing the importance of Texas as one of the largest manufacturing markets in the country and a key contributor to the critical oil and gas industry. Follow @houstex on Twitter or facebook.com/houstex.

About SME
SME connects all those who are passionate about making things that improve our world. As a nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME is uniquely dedicated to the advancement of manufacturing by addressing both knowledge and skills needed for the industry. Learn more at sme.org, follow @SME_MFG on Twitter or facebook.com/SMEmfg.

Source: SME


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