The Manufacturing Summit will showcase the latest in technology along with issues related to regulations. This premiere event attracts manufacturers from the Southern California region. The Summit is hosted by the Manufacturer’s Council of the Inland Empire (MCIE) to showcase the latest trends and success stories of the industry.
Now in its 6th year, the annual event typically hosts between 500 and 700 people at the Ontario Convention Center. It will run on Friday, Feb. 3 from 7 a.m. – 2 p.m. Attendees include manufacturers, supporting businesses and vendors, regional colleges, universities, college level students, and agencies.
“There is no better place to learn what local manufacturers think about state policies and regulations,” said Dorothy Rothrock, president of the California Manufacturers & Technology Association. “It helps me do a better job in Sacramento to improve the business climate, and is a ‘must attend’ for me and my team each year.”
The keynote speaker for the Manufacturers’ Summit will be WD-40 Company President Garry Ridge who will discuss the industry from an international perspective. Other event highlights include the Manufacturers’ Innovation Awards, Micro-burst presentations, a panel discussion, exhibit, and “Made in the Inland Empire” display.
Three top manufacturers will discuss innovations implemented within their companies through the Manufacturer’s Innovation Awards portion of the program. During the previous summit Ontario-based Celestica won the “Innovation in Resource Efficiency” category, and Newport Cottages, a minority-owned, family-run business located in Riverside that specializes in children’s furniture, won the “Innovation in Workforce Development.”
The first of two newly implemented Micro-burst discussions will be led by GuardSight CEO John McGloughlin who will explore current cyber security threats and risks for the industry and includes a live hacking demonstration. Scott Melton of FANUC America will lead the discussion on the impact of robotics and automation on manufacturing.
“We are trying out a new format because people wanted to attend multiple presentations last year that were scheduled at the same time,” said Summit Chair Debbie Smith. “Now these shorter Micro-burst presentations will be featured on the main stage allowing everyone to hear them.”
Rothrock will lead a panel discussion on the Technological and Political Future of Manufacturing. The panel includes discussions on cyber security, local economic trends and national changes under the new administration. It will explore issues and solutions on how to manage conflicting agencies. “This program has gotten better every year, which is saying something because it was good from the start,” Rothrock added.
A popular feature of the summit is the large exhibit area where attendees have the opportunity to converse with a variety of vendors who support manufacturing. Past participants include: Brithinee Electric, the largest electrical motor rewinding plant in the southwest, and manufacturer of electric motor controls; Cott Beverages, an international manufacturer and one of the largest beverage producers; California Steel Industries, an international producer located in Fontana; Safariland, producer of high-quality accessories for law enforcement and personal defense; and Vista Metals.
Another popular aspect of the summit is the “Made in the Inland Empire” display. “This is one of the most interesting and popular exhibits,” said Smith. “Last year we had about 30 manufacturers who brought in locally made products to show off.”