Automation in Manufacturing – Opportunities and Challenges

  • Learn about current and coming technological developments in the industry
  • Build your understanding of what’s possible and where you might start
  • Learn how to spot the opportunities for automation and the barriers that might block it
  • Hear System Integrators explain what they need to know to reduce the risk of a problem
  • Hear (via a Q&A session) how Iowa companies have used automation to solve problems and boost production 

Iowans understand that if you build it, they will come. But how can you build anything new when you can’t find employees? This daylong event will help production managers, manufacturing engineers, and company decision makers understand the basics of industrial automation – both how it works and how to prepare. You’ll hear both from the companies who create industrial machines and the businesses who have used them successfully. You’ll learn what’s possible and how to guard against mistakes.

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    Offering six hours of professional development!

    Event Details
    Date: December 5, 2017
    Time: 9 AM - 5 PM
    Location: Gateway Hotel, Ames, IA
    Fee: $150 


    Loran Balvanz
    Brian Hill
    Gary Simpson
    Carl Kirpes
    Daniel Moore
    Loran Balvanz
    Mr. Balvanz established USM Wear Technologies (USM Wear Tech) in 1993 and has served since as president, chairman, and a member of the board of directors.  Under his leadership, USM Wear Tech has consistently set new standards in the wear parts business, developing innovative new products and improving on our existing product line to include our newest products to serve the agricultural industry.  Loran is also co-inventor of the 11 patents that USM Wear Tech holds, as well as several trademark registrations. Mr. Balvanz has an extensive background in the wood waste, environmental and agricultural industries.  He received his formal education at the University of Maryland and has served in the Air Force. 
    Gary Simpson
    Gary Simpson is Co-owner of Technical Services Incorporated (TSI) and has been involved with the company for over 35 years. Gary is currently in charge of customer relations, sales, and marketing at TSI. He is a lifetime resident of Iowa, married and father of two. Gary attended DMACC, ISU, and William Penn University and holds a degree in Ethics and Leadership. 
    Carl Kirpes
    Carl works for and with GENESYS Systems Integrator helping clients design, build, and install their production and assembly lines. For the past 5 years, Carl has served as the Vice President of Operations at GENESYS, and has spent this past year working actively with GENESYS clients such as Tesla, Mercedes, Owens Corning, Johns Manville, Caterpillar, and Tyson, while growing GENESYS’ international presence. Carl played football while at Iowa State, and graduated with honors and bachelor’s degrees in both mechanical engineering and industrial and manufacturing systems engineering. He also holds a masters in systems engineering. Carl is a licensed Professional Engineer and Project Management Professional. He has been recognized as a Tau Beta Pi Laureate, a Marshall Scholarship Finalist, and Mortar Board Fellow. He has a passion for systemic, holistic engineering and people systems and their ability to transform industry and academia. Carl serves on the Board of the Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers to fulfill this passion, in addition to consulting for TPG Companies and helping individuals discover the “treasure map” created by Vision Pursue. People often remember Carl via the saying “Kirpes with a Purpose” as Motion with Purpose is an ideal Carl strives to live by.
    Brian Hill
    Brian works at Kreg Tool, located in Huxley, Iowa, where he holds the title of Senior Industrial Engineer.  He has 20 years of industrial automation experience ranging from assembly equipment for wood products to high speed liquid and powder packaging machines.  He has a strong focus on injection molding processes and injection molding automation as well.  Brian is an Iowa State graduate with a degree in Industrial Engineering.  He also has his Master Molder I certification from RJG Inc and Plastics Technology and Engineering Certificate from the American Injection Molding Institute.    
    Daniel Moore
    Daniel Moore is a Technical Support Engineer at Universal Robots. His focus is on Technical Instruction, pre-sales support, and application troubleshooting.  Universal Robots has reinvented industrial robotics with flexible, collaborative robot arms.  Programming is intuitive; simply grab the robot arm to teach the desired movement, or use the touch screen. Daniel has spent eleven years in automation, with a focus on robotic laser welding and cutting, and has a degree in Electrical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis.
    Quality Manufacturing
    Quality Manufacturing Corporation is committed to solving all of your manufacturing needs. From prototype development to full scale OEM supply contracts, Quality Manufacturing Corporation is a full-service fabricator. The company was started in 1995 with the idea of producing high quality products. Production is run 24 hours each day with highly skilled employees dedicated to meeting their customer's manufacturing and delivery goals.


    9:00 – 9:30am: Check-In
    9:30 – 9:45am: Welcome Presentation
    9:45 – 10:30am: Automation System Integrator Presentation
                                     Carl Kirpes, Genesys Corporation
    10:30 – 11:15am: Custom Automation Equipment Manufacturer Presentation
                                     Gary Simpson, Technical Services Incorporated
    11:15 – 11:30am: Break
    11:30 – 12:15pm: Machining Area Robotics Presentation
                                     QMC Team, Quality Manufacturing
    12:15 – 1:00pm: Lunch – Universal Robotics Presentation
                                     Daniel Moore, Technical Support Engineer
                                     Universal Robots USA, Inc.
    1:00 – 1:45pm: Robotic Welding Automation Presentation
                                      Loran Balvanz, USM Manufacturing
    1:45 – 2:30pm: End of Arm Tooling Automation with Inspection Presentation
                                      Brian Hill, Kreg Tool
    2:30 – 2:45pm: Break
    2:45 – 3:45pm: Challenges with Automation: What is holding manufacturers back from implementing                                          automation?
                                      Panel Discussion – All presenters
    3:45 – 4:00pm: How CIRAS can help?
                                      Mike Willett, CIRAS
    4:00 – 5:00pm: Robotic Systems Demonstration

    Register Here!
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