Almost 300 experts in improving manufacturing are gathering this weekend at Lawrence Technological University to exchange best practices in the growing field of industrial engineering.
The Industrial Engineering and Operations Management Society’s Detroit 2016 conference has drawn attendees from 42 countries around the globe.
The event is co-chaired by Ahad Ali, associate professor of engineering at LTU, and Steven Sibrel, senior supplier quality engineer at Harman International, a Novi-based supplier of connected vehicle technology.
LTU President Virinder Moudgil provided a welcoming address, telling attendees about Lawrence Tech’s history. The university was founded in 1932 on the campus of Henry Ford’s world-changing Highland Park assembly plant as a place where working adults could earn engineering degrees. Today, the university serves a diverse student body of 4,500 students, offering both a traditional university experience for young people, as well as night, weekend and online courses for lifelong learners.
Carlo Materazzo, head of global world class manufacturing at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, provided the opening keynote, outlining his company’s continuing efforts to boost quality through Kaizen continuous improvement techniques.
Among the many achievements of the automaker through the effort are nine straight years of reduced incidence and severity of workplace injuries; a massive waste and loss reduction program; redesign of systems to eliminate places where machine operators could make mistakes; and reducing the impact of operations on the environment through reduced waste and resource consumption. For example, FCA reduced the amount of water it takes to produce a car by 38 percent between 2010 and 2015.
Other keynotes will be presented by quality executives at Ford Motor Co., General Motors, Airbus, Eaton Corp., Siemens, and Accuride Corp., and researchers from the University of Iowa and the University of Johannesburg in South Africa. There are also a wide variety of breakout session tracks – engineering education, lean operations, energy conservation, construction management, modeling and simulation, sustainable manufacturing, project management, data analytics, and more.
Industrial engineering a branch of engineering that deals with the optimization of complex processes or systems. Industrial engineers work to eliminate wasted time, money, materials, energy and other resources, eliminating parts of processes that do not generate value.
Ali, director of LTU’s bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in industrial engineering, reports that enrollment is rising in the program – by a third this year in industrial engineering, from 50 students last fall to 75 this fall.
The IEOM Detroit conference provides a forum for academics, researchers and practitioners to exchange ideas and recent developments in the fields of industrial engineering, service engineering, manufacturing engineering, systems engineering, operations research, engineering management, operations management and more. There are also student and professional paper competitions, with selected papers published in the International Journal of Industrial Engineering and Operations Management.
The conference continues through Sunday evening. More at www.ieomsociety.org/ieomdetroit.