DEARBORN (WWJ) — The Dearborn-based Society of Manufacturing Engineers will gather thousands of manufacturing professionals from across the heartland next year for a new event called The Big M.

The event will be held June 9-12 at the Cobo Center in Detroit.

The Big M aims to connect people with technology and expertise; affirm the industry’s importance and provide a powerful and unified voice to industry and education policymakers about the issues facing manufacturers today.

Debbie Holton, director of events and industry strategy for SME, said manufacturing — and this event — will include “the entire manufacturing enterprise from innovation and ideas, through design and production to sustainability and everything in between. We will be harnessing the power of industry leaders to work toward real solutions to industry challenges — the skills gap, global competition, new technologies like 3D printing, cyber security, supply chain and more. The Big M is about cool technology and research breakthroughs. We want to engage the creative thinkers, problem solvers, technical experts and business people and invite them to be part of the change.”

Together, SME and participating exhibitors and partners will present manufacturing as a knowledge industry where creativity is sought and valued.

Additionally, The Big M will focus on shaping the future of manufacturing and will engage those industry leaders who will solve the challenges around energy, environment, transportation, longevity and progress.

The exposition and conference will present dynamic, hands on and interactive learning experiences. In addition to in-depth conference sessions, the event will offer one-on-one consultations, collaborative opportunities and gathering spaces on the exhibit floor to encourage interaction between attendees, exhibitors and industry leaders.

SME said several other industry events will be held alongside The Big M, including the Rapid Conference & Exhibition, a 3D printing and scanning event, the International Manufacturing Research Conference, hosted by the University of Michigan, the premier international forum for manufacturing research and industrial applications, and the Industrial Network Cyber Security Conference from the International Society for Automation.

More at

A nonprofit organization, SME has served practitioners, companies, educators, government and communities across the manufacturing spectrum for more than 80 years. Through its strategic areas of events, media, membership, training and development, and the SME Education Foundation, SME shares knowledge to advance manufacturing.


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