Automation Federation, Manufacturing Extension Partnership Collaborate to Improve Competitiveness

Hope to spread word about the importance of automation

The Automation Federation announced on Jan. 2 an agreement with the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) to begin formal collaboration discussions focused on the identification of projects and opportunities to improve manufacturing productivity and competitiveness.

The Automation Federation, comprising ISA, OMAC, WBF and WINA, is focused on discussing the importance of automation professionals in the manufacturing sector. MEP, a program coordinated by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, is a nationwide system to help manufacturers grow and thrive by improving efficiency and converting emerging trends into new opportunities.

Through this collaboration, the Automation Federation plans to bring education, training, and professional development opportunities to local MEP centers, which numbers about 440 centers and field offices across the country. The Federation also will continue its efforts to promulgate standards that help manufacturers develop more efficient processes.

As part of the Federation's government relations strategy, the organization will serve as an advocate for manufacturers. In addition, the Federation's workforce development program will give the MEP centers an outlet for their work to develop the next generation of automation professionals in their own states.

"The alliance between the Federation and the MEP is an important step forward in our effort to be the voice of automation. It will spread our message about the importance of automation professionals to a broader and more focused audience," said AF Board Member and ISA executive director and CEO Patrick Gouhin. The Federation will participate in the 2008 MEP national conference in Orlando, and MEP Director Roger Kilmer will serve as a keynote speaker for the WBF North American Conference in 2008. With its theme of "Shaping the Future of Manufacturing," the 2008 WBF North American Conference will provide a greater understanding of current and upcoming manufacturing management, integration, and control methods and technologies.

For more information about the Automation Federation, visit www.automationfederation.org.

For more information about MEP, visit www.mep.nist.gov.

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