Nearly 1,500 business leaders and lean practitioners gathered last week in Covington, Ky., to begin or enhance their organizations’ lean transitions. The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) held its 2009 International Lean Conference October 19-23, where attendees took part in practitioner-to-practitioner and company-to-company educational and networking experiences resulting in journeys to organizational greatness.

 

AME’s pursuit of enterprise excellence began in 1985 with only 100 innovators aspiring to gain shared-learning experiences, lean tools and networking opportunities. Today, with many manufacturers struggling to remain profitable in a highly competitive global marketplace, attendees of AME’s International Lean Conference gathered together to leverage AME’s resources and learning opportunities in order to realize their own success and break through the difficult economic climate.

 

From world-class presentations and inspirational keynote speakers, to engaging workshops and audited plant tours, attendees had access to the insights of industry-leading experts and companies. They discovered innovative ways to make better decisions, enhance leadership skills, save money and create a speedier business process – all lessons that can be immediately applied to improve their own organizations’ bottom lines.

 

In addition, discussions at this year’s conference centered on the plight of today’s manufacturers and AME’s growing effort to support recovery of the industry – the Rebirth of Manufacturing in North America. Millions of manufacturing jobs have been lost in the past three decades, and AME members are leading a campaign aimed at reinvigorating and sustaining the industry with the help of policy-makers and business leaders. With the clear-cut understanding that manufacturing is critical to the North American economy, some 14 Senators, members of Congress and Governors have already signed on, announcing their support of this mounting effort.

 

“The 2009 conference generated an exciting level of energy, enthusiasm and inspiration. Lean practitioners joined together for the common cause of reinvigorating this most vital industry,” said Joe Rizzo, conference chair. “Our gathering in Kentucky was only the beginning of a far-reaching initiative that we hope will play a major role in ensuring the sustainability of manufacturing.”

 

In addition to the shared-learning and extensive networking that took place at the 2009 International Lean Conference, eight companies were awarded with regional honors of recognition for their notable success over the last three years. The following companies received an AME Manufacturing Excellence Award:
    • Canadian Region: Cogent Power Inc.; Burlington, Ontario
    • Great Lakes Region: Daman Products Company, Inc.; Mishawaka, Ind.
    • Mid-Atlantic Region: Currier Plastics Inc.; Auburn, N.Y.
    • North Central Region: Medtronic; Brooklyn Park, Minn.
    • Northeastern Region: HABCO; Glastonbury, Conn.
    • Southeastern Region: Automation Engineering; Greenville, S.C.
    • Southwestern Region: Dresser Wayne; Austin, Texas
    • Western Region: DJO, LLC; Vista, Calif.

 

In addition to receiving the Southeastern regional award, Automation Engineering was also honored with the overall North American Manufacturing Excellence Award.

 

For more information about AME or the 2009 International Lean Conference, visit www.ame.org. To learn more about the 2010 International Lean Conference to be held in Baltimore on November 15-19, visit www.ameconference.org.

 

About the Association for Manufacturing Excellence
The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) is the premier not-for-profit organization dedicated to the journey of continuous improvement and enterprise excellence. AME’s membership is composed of a trusted network of individuals who are committed to leveraging the practitioner-to-practitioner and company-to-company shared-learning experience. Through engaging workshops, seminars, plant tours and industry-leading conferences, AME members are continually discovering and implementing new continuous improvement strategies and best practices. AME offers its members a multitude of valuable resources to help them stay abreast of current industry developments, and improve the skills, competitiveness and overall success of their organizations.