A virtual Manufacturing Innovation Summit is scheduled for March 18, 2021- focused on telling the stories of Pennsylvania manufacturers who have successfully navigated challenges through innovation. The event is a collaboration of PA Industrial Resource Centers, including NWIRC and hosted by MANTEC, and will provide education and networking opportunities. The program will run from 11:00 am – 6:30 pm, with sessions spaced through the afternoon. Featured Keynote Speaker is John Sicher, Vice President of Innovation and Brand Management at Zippo. Sicher oversees brand management and innovation for all ZipCorp brands globally, where he and his team sets overall brand strategy and positioning. Zippo has made great progress in its innovation efforts globally and it continues to optimize their processes daily. From understanding its consumers and competitors better, to developing a disciplined stage-gate process, to cloud-based project management, Zippo is improving its speed-to-market and seeing very strong results. The challenges Zippo has overcome, and those it is in the process of overcoming, will be shared. Attendees can look forward to some of the key learnings, successes, and failures that have helped Zippo accelerate its innovation efforts. Happy Hour Keynote Speaker is Chad Butters, Founder and CEO at Eight Oaks Farm Distillery. The event offers the opportunity to engage with top manufacturing professionals, discover with on-demand virtual plant tours, and network with breakout video chats and a virtual happy hour.

Virtual tour videos can be submitted for the on-demand event library until March 5. The focus of the 15-20 minute tour should be on unique practices or processes in your plant that you’d like to share with others. What things do you typically focus on when you are giving in-person plant tours? The video doesn’t have to be professionally produced and you can use equipment readily available – like your iPhone, tablet, or GoPro. It’s a great opportunity to share best practices with your manufacturing peers across the Commonwealth. The $25 registration fee to attend the virtual event will be waived for companies offering a virtual tour. If your manufacturing company is interested in submitting a short video tour of your plant, send an email to lknoll@nwirc.org.

Visit the event registration page for more details here and to register.