Smart Manufacturing & Industry 4.0 Fuelling Composite Materials Innovation​

Thursday May 5th, 11.30am – 12.25pm, Agora 5

Sponsored by MEDC

With the advanced materials and processes involved in composite manufacturing, it makes sense that suppliers are focusing on smart manufacturing methods to bring these materials and systems to life. The need for smart manufacturing in the composite industry is critical to help ensure product quality and performance. Since composite manufacturing is highly variable compared to machining and other traditional processes that composites are replacing across industries, manufacturers are looking to smart manufacturing to help maximize efficiency across the board and strengthen the supply chain. Many smart manufacturing principles can be applied to composite manufacturing that ensure automotive and other industries of the quality and performance levels of composite product, including additive manufacturing, incorporating advanced technologies like sensors and artificial intelligence, and industrial automation (Industry 4.0, Digital Twin, etc…). The biggest challenge facing the composite materials industry is the ability to scale these technologies that are now available to meet demand.​


Introduction: Eric SHREFFLER, VP Market Development, Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)


  • Ethan ESCOWITZ, Founder & Board Member, Arris Composites​The Problem of “Black Aluminum”- What We Learned From it, and How is it Different this Time?
    • Exploring what we can learn from history to anticipate the future of composites.
    • Partnering with champions when the agents of change sometimes aren’t change agents.
    • Looking at where OEMs will find breakthrough products with composites.
  • Marcus KREMERS, CTO, Airborne​
    How to make Composites Easy, Reliable and Flexible by Going Digital​
  • Automated Programming​
  • On-demand manufacturing​
  • Tailored blank laminates​ ​
  • Hannah DAMMERS, Research Associate, ITA Group International Centre for Sustainable Textiles​
    Composite Factory of the Future – how to flexibly automate composite production through Cobots​

    • Flexible semi-automation​
    • Human-robot collaboration​
    • Cobot tools​

Moderator: Cynthia HUTCHISON, Project Fellow/VP, World Economic Forum/Automation Alley​