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May 20

New Product Development & Engineering Conference XXX

Thursday, May 20, 2021 @ 12:00 am - Friday, May 21, 2021 @ 11:59 pm

$500.00 – $1,300.00

People Collaborate to Achieve Innovation and Speed

May 20-21, 2021 | Minneapolis and Virtual

Economic growth in 2021 energizes high-performance product development and innovation engineering managers to address current situation challenges, find emerging technologies, try new initiatives, and apply proven methods that serve customers with greater energy on shorter timelines.

Savvy Conference XXX features presentations by product development and innovation engineering leaders. They present their challenges. They describe the emerging technologies and new knowledge they develop. They show how they applied their expertise to various initiatives to improve people, processes, and methods. Their successes will help you to break out into a product-driven economic growth pattern.

Register today to “continuously advance science and technology for the betterment of your customers, colleagues, and communities” (Savvy motto).

Thursday, May 20

Bob Melvin, Vice President, Engineering

Teledyne Benthos

Innovations are fueling economic recovery in many industries. Some disruptive technologies are happening at “warp speed.”  Bob Melvin describes his blue ocean project that injects knowledge thinking into the lobstering industry, helping to protect endangered whales. Bob describes the three success factors: disruptive innovation, knowledge-based product development, and the ‘one chance.”

Discovering disruptive innovation requires critical thinking. Bob will describe how his highly successful knowledge-driven product innovation system works to get the design right with the customer interest in mind. He discusses the risk factors in bringing to market and that ‘there is one chance to get it right.’  He shows how up-front knowledge capture of the customer and the engineering needed will allow you to nail it the first time and avoid unnecessary “pivots.”

David Gregor, Director of Security and Reliability Engineering Excellence

Case New Holland, Inc.

What technologies make your product designs function and perform reliably and safely? Who are the persons with the technical knowledge needed to mentor your product design, development, and innovation engineering teams? How are these persons and their knowledge accessible, timely, and handed on in a professional way?

David Gregor presents the Functional Knowledge Expert program he initiated to enable people possessing in-depth functional technology knowledge to collaborate in critical knowledge areas: product engineering, technology development, and innovation engineering.

Chad Mitchell HDD R&D Engineering Director at Western Digital

Timothy Schmalz HDD R&D Principal Engineer at Western Digital

Engineer lockdown and distancing fosters team communication for persons and collaborative teams in different time zones, other countries, and diverse cultural practices. The focus is project communication: people knowledge, project decision making, and the tasks resulting from decisions made to speed up workflow. The flow depends on making visual:  the right people, the right (timely) knowledge, right decisions, and integrated workflow. A robust visual management system enables collaboration so the team can see, learn and act.

Chad Mitchell and Tim Schmalz will describe a few essential use cases that Western Digital Development has seamlessly allowed for in-person teams to switch to full remote.   They will share the ongoing transformation of their team as well as examples of scaled-Agile.  Virtual boards & software tools integration have allowed WDC to continue with the human engineering aspects without co-location.   This interaction method continues to enable personal ownership, decision enablement, and self-organizing teams whose true virtue is a highly functional team whose members can all work from home.  Along with their colleagues from Western Digital, Chad and his team are continually improving usability and functionality that high-performance teams rely on for their work.

Katie Dixon, Continuous Improvement Engineer

STERIS Corporation

Midway through Katie Dixon’s development timeline, before commercial launch, she assembled everyone in the organization who touches the project to conduct an NPD self-assessment.

Each functional group crafted their problem statement, conducted a root cause analysis, and identified the top 8 criteria for improvement. Katie facilitated small teams to achieve quick wins in their improvement goals. A first win was to enable the teams to interact with the product development people.

The unexpected but critical benefits of the exercise were to:
  • create new knowledge of the product development process.
  • visualize the work of cross-functional product development.
  • foster new appreciation, trust, and respect for the persons who get the job done.

Make sure you have this critical problem-solving savvy, motivation, and person-to-person interaction that integrates your product development operations’ work to meet your 2021 deadlines.

Wendell Short, Director of Product Development

Sauder Corporation

What drives your system for utilizing your resources?  Do you have a system? Wendell Short designed the Sauder system to serve customers with impossibly short deadlines for big-box customer concept approval, concept development, experimentation, assembly verification, product launch, and shipment. Wendell presents his experiences and insights for using tools, methods, and thought processes to adapt to markets that involve end-users who were not served until recently.

Friday, May 21

Mike Hess, Vice President, Corporate Technology & Innovation


In 2005, Mike Hess led a team of innovators at Medtronic to identify a medical device modification they believed would result in better patient outcomes. A key customer pushed to try the modification, and after it was completed, patented, and integrated, the results for patient improvement prove to be outstanding to this day. Mike and his team received Medtronic’s Patent of Distinction in 2020 for their contribution to patient well-being.

Now, as Medtronic innovators look to “overcome inertia” in current product designs, they face similar challenges with the addition of new technologies, regulations, and risk tolerances.

Mike will show how he and his team push through the inertia and prevent valuable innovations from getting “squashed” on their way to fruition.

Dean Testa, Manager of RDE&Q, Knowledge Management Office

Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company

How do you capture the knowledge of your retiring functional experts? How do you transfer knowledge within your organization and make that critical knowledge both searchable and accessible? Where is the “single source of truth” in your product design and engineering operations?

Dean Testa shows Goodyear’s remarkable system for knowledge management and transfer. He describes how to start a knowledge management program and shows Goodyear’s best practices/resources that you can use now, whether you are just getting started with knowledge management, or you need to take your current system to the next level.

David Augustine

PMO Industries

How will electric motor technology impact your product design and business development? Whether or not your products depend on internal combustion engine power, electric motor technologies are now emerging. Dave Augustine presents and demonstrates an emerging technology and functional motor and its impact on a variety of transportation sectors.

Dave shows a visual of the technology innovation process and how it drives product design engineering.


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Thursday, May 20, 2021 @ 12:00 am
Friday, May 21, 2021 @ 11:59 pm
$500.00 – $1,300.00
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Optima Associates
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