The Center for Trends and Technology to Address Critical Issues

Aug. 21, 2015
The educational sessions at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2015 will help prepare manufacturers for the technology trends that will impact their operations.

As technology evolves, so must manufacturing processes. But it’s not easy to keep up with the ever-changing technology landscape that includes the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), cloud computing, and cybersecurity tools. Moreover, there are regulations to adhere to, like the Food and Drug Administration’s Drug Supply Chain Security Act (DSCSA), which has pharmaceutical companies scrambling to meet serialization deadlines. As a result, companies are often playing catch-up with internal operations while trying to maintain a competitive position in the global marketplace.

Understanding the need for manufacturers to stay in front of industry trends, the Center for Trends & Technology (CTT) taking place at PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2015, to be held Sept. 28-30 in the Las Vegas Convention Center, will conduct daily sessions addressing a range of topics including safety, virtualization, and asset management, according to show owner and producer PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies.

CTT is a PACK EXPO-exclusive educational forum that uses a series of displays and seminars to address critical issues around productivity, sustainability, agility and other key components of manufacturing success.

“CTT is about the cutting-edge technologies that can lead you to new levels on your production lines,” said Cheryl Lange, commercial program manager of CTT sponsor Rockwell Automation. Rockwell Automation, together with its partners Cisco Systems, Grantek Systems Integration, Interstates Controls, Microsoft and Stone Technologies, will be leading the sessions and providing a practical perspective of how to implement new technology.

“The speed at which automation technologies change makes staying abreast of developments in hardware, software and industry drivers absolutely critical,” Lange said. “Our goal for CTT is for every attendee who visits to leave with a new understanding of what’s available and how their choices affect their operations.”

In addition to the educational sessions, CTT uses kiosks and an interactive display to present ways automation technologies help companies achieve their operational objectives.

The eight presentations-- which will be repeated daily-- include:

  • Achieve Operational Excellence by Combining Safety & Operational Projects – This presentation outlines the financial, operational, safety, and engineering benefits of combining safety and automation projects.
  • Drug Supply Chain Security Act Compliance – Serialization ePedigree & Potential Benefits to Manufacturers - Achieving a return on regulatory compliance serialization ePedigree investments requires an interoperable data solution that connects all five serialization system data layers together with the Connected Enterprise. Once a business is connected with real-time visibility to both its customers and its products, the data created can be used to optimize a business in several key areas. This presentation provides an overview of the three key challenges to an interoperable serialization ePedigree system, and highlights the benefits and potential return on investment that can be achieved.
  • Ensuring Machinery Safety, Compliance & Productivity -- Contemporary safety solutions not only help keep workers safe and companies in compliance – they also improve machinery operation and productivity by reducing the need to shut machinery down during routine operations, and providing diagnostics that reduce mean time to repair and help improve line operations. This session discusses what to look for in machine builders and the machinery they provide, including reviews of the engineering procedures, techniques, technologies, and the questions to ask to get the best value.
  • Improving Operational Productivity with a Modern Approach to Distributed Control – To continually reduce costs, decrease time-to-market, and improve inventory velocity, adopt a modern distributed control system (DCS) that provides the technology to enable plant-wide control, seamless skid integration, ready access to information-rich production data, and easy modifications as demand changes.
  • IoT and Plant Floor Virtualization – Emerging Technologies Accelerating Lean Manufacturing - The Internet of Things (IoT) and plant-floor virtualization provide a fundamentally new infrastructure that enables plant managers more flexibility, modularity and speed to change operations. Having this flexibility is enabling lean initiatives to achieve greater results faster because now technical challenges hindering flexibility are gone.
  • Line Optimization – Leveraging Data at all Levels of Your Organization for Continuous Improvement - The information required for decision-making at various levels of an organization differs. Operations needs immediate information to make changes to the process. Corporate and plant management need a broader perspective to identify trends and implement modifications to improve future operations. This session will discuss how to uncover the hidden potential within a manufacturing facility using actionable information presented in a useful context for the consumer.
  • Remote Asset Management in the Cloud – There are new ways to drive a whole new level of collaboration between machine builders and their customers. This session outlines how machine builders are leveraging cloud technology and the Internet of Things to differentiate their offering and to partner with their customers to improve the performance of their machines.
  • Securing The Connected Enterprise -- Historically, plant automation and business networks have been segregated and isolated using different communications technologies. Cisco and Rockwell Automation have partnered to provide a common network and security environment on a single unified network infrastructure. This session discusses how the two companies are delivering technology for security, which includes unified security policy management and layered security functionality appropriate for the industrial environment.

A stop at CTT will help attendees better understand what’s here today as well as what’s on the horizon, said PMMI president and CEO Charles D. Yuska. “PACK EXPO Las Vegas combines top-tier exhibitors and high-quality educational opportunities, so attendees can see new technology and equipment in action and learn more about it from industry thought-leaders. CTT’s seminars and displays exemplify that philosophy,” Yuska said.

To register for PACK EXPO Las Vegas, visit

About the Author

Stephanie Neil | Editor-in-Chief, OEM Magazine

Stephanie Neil has been reporting on business and technology for over 25 years and was named Editor-in-Chief of OEM magazine in 2018. She began her journalism career as a beat reporter for eWeek, a technology newspaper, later joining Managing Automation, a monthly B2B manufacturing magazine, as senior editor. During that time, Neil was also a correspondent for The Boston Globe, covering local news. She joined PMMI Media Group in 2015 as a senior editor for Automation World and continues to write for both AW and OEM, covering manufacturing news, technology trends, and workforce issues.

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