DEARBORN, Mich., March 19, 2013 — Small is
Manufacturing professionals gather to discover, be inspired and be prepared to incorporate micromanufacturing processes
DEARBORN, Mich., March 19, 2013 Small is really big in manufacturing these days. From developing micro structures that become heart stents, to adding micro features to enhance the functionality of existing products, the world of micromanufacturing is opening new opportunities for product developers and manufacturing professionals.
To meet the growing interest in this smallest of technologies, the Society of Manufacturing Engineers  will bring together industry professionals to discuss the latest developments and to improve processes at its annual MicroManufacturing Conference and Exposition  in Minneapolis, April 16-17, 2013.
While the electronics and medical device fields have led the way in micromanufacturing, were now seeing its use in aerospace and defense, automotive and energy, said Lauralyn McDaniel, event manager. Micromanufacturing is solving problems such as improving part quality and lowering production costs in all these industries.
Three keynote presentations  will explore global issues facing manufacturing. Keith Guggenberger, senior vice-president of operations at Starkey Hearing Technologies will share best practices in adopting new technologies and innovation for growth. William Strauss, senior economist and economic advisor for the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, will focus on the economic outlook and what that means for manufacturing and technology. Dale Wahlstrom, president and CEO of the LifeScience Alley and the BioBusiness Alliance of Minnesota, will discuss the impact of American Healthcare Act and changing regulations on medical device manufacturers ability to innovate.
Conference sessions will cover a wide range of topics, including: combining micromanufacturing technologies for new processes , laser and mechanical micro machining , micro additive manufacturing , forming , metrology  and surface micro machining .
Premiering at this event is SMEs Medical Manufacturing Innovations (MMI)  series which looks to help facilitate technology exchange and improve the product development cycle. The conference will include an MMI track with live, interactive panel discussions and new technology displays and demonstrations.
Additionally, there are several pre-conference options . Workshops include: MicroManufacturing Fundamentals, Introduction to Lithographic Micromachining, and Metrology: Quality Control for Medical or Micro Components.
Attendees can also choose to go on one of the following tours :
- Starkey Hearing Technologies where participants will see the innovative technology used to manufacture hearing aids driven by software including new wireless devices that allow people to listen to TV and radio like never before.
- The Nanofabrication Center at the University of Minnesota (NFC) where participants will enter the clean-room facility to see examples of NFC capabilities, including thin film deposition, photolithography, wet and dry etching, and e-beam lithography with state of the art nanoscale resolution. (Very limited availability.)
Throughout the event, industry experts will share real examples that not only illustrate how to use the technologies, but also what not to do. The conference offers many opportunities for attendees to network with experts and peers, have specific problems solved and find vendors for nearly every micromanufacturing challenge.
To get a head start on the conference, SME also offers several free on-demand webinars at sme.org/medical-webinars.
Note to Media:
Visit the SME Media Center  for for the latest Society news, one-stop access to SME Events, Manufacturing Quicklinks, SME social media sites, SME News Feed and more.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME)  is the premier source for manufacturing knowledge, education and networking. Through its many programs, events, magazine, publications and online training division, Tooling U , SME connects manufacturing practitioners to each other, to the latest technologies and to the most up-to-date manufacturing processes. SME has members around the world and is supported by a network of chapters and technical communities. A 501(c)3 organization, SME is a leader in manufacturing workforce development issues, working with industry, academic and government partners to support the current and future skilled workforce.
Lori Ann Dick, APR
Society of Manufacturing Engineers