May 16-18, 2017 | Eastern States Exposition | West Springfield, MA

Complimentary Keynote Presentations

Tuesday, May 12, 2015
9:30 – 10:30 am

Sponsored by:


What’s Next: Mobile & Wearable Technology’s Impact on the Manufacturing Industry

Today’s manufacturing environment is an increasingly complex integration of engineering, manufacturing, supply chain, information and technology systems. The perception that factories are monolithic, inflexible is inaccurate and outdated. In fact, today’s manufacturing environments are technologically advanced and innovative.

Join us as Plex discusses the significant impact that technology has had on today’s manufacturing environment and how cloud, mobile and wearables are paving the way for the future of manufacturing.

Jason Prater
Vice President of Development
Plex Systems


Jason Prater is the vice president of development for Plex Systems, overseeing a 120 member team that specializes in the development of industry-leading Cloud ERP software for manufacturers. He drives the process from concept to creation with the philosophy that agile development only matters if it is coupled with an agile deployment process.

This unique focus on swift and continuous deployment ensures that the Plex Manufacturing Cloud drives plant floor success for organization’s more than 400 customers worldwide.

With more than 15 years of combined business applications management and manufacturing operations experience, Prater is passionate about making software work across an entire enterprise from the plant floor to the C-suite.

He is a graduate of Albion College with a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science.

Thursday, May 14, 2015
9:30 – 10:30 am

The Factory of the Future is Up and Running Today

After more than 50 years since the first industrial robot was installed at General Motors, manufacturing is on the cusp of yet another major breakthrough. Today, more than 90 percent of tasks performed in manufacturing environments still can’t be automated — for practical or economic reasons – but that number is poised to drop dramatically as smart, collaborative robots make their way into more and more factories around the world.

By providing manufacturers with unprecedented degrees of safety and flexibility, these revolutionary solutions can be deployed – and re-deployed – quickly and easily, in areas where automation was previously considered off-limits. As a result, companies of all sizes are driving process improvements, boosting efficiency and realizing ROIs of less than one year in many cases.

While these collaborative robots are certainly a catalyst for innovation, robots are only a part of what tomorrow’s factories will look like. Technologies such as machine learning, AI, Big Data, 3D printing and the Industrial Internet have matured to a point where we are beginning to see their true potential, and the convergence of these technologies is redefining the concept of advanced manufacturing around the world.

This keynote will examine the opportunity for smart, collaborative robots as they become more commonplace in production environments, and as they are increasingly integrated with other advanced technologies that are laying the foundation for the Factories of the Future.

Carl Palme
Applications Product Manager
Rethink Robotics, Inc


Carl Palme is responsible for developing new manufacturing applications for the Baxter robot and for leading the collection, description, and analysis of requests for new product functionality from customers and prospects. He has also installed a number of robots in the field in order to better understand what it takes to have a successful deployment and how to improve the process.

Prior to Rethink Robotics, Carl was the founder and General Manager of Palme Precision Machining, a high-precision machine shop that produces components for a variety of industries. Carl also spent several years as a Manufacturing Engineer setting up, moving, and supporting manufacturing lines for the Medical Device and Aerospace industries. Carl received his B.S. in Manufacturing Engineering, M.S. in Information Systems, and MBA from Boston University.