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Novermber 16-18: AeroDef Manufacturing Keynote Speakers to Discuss Aerospace & Defense Operational Transformation, Smart Manufacturing

SME’s AeroDef Manufacturing 2021 conference will bring together the brightest, most strategic minds in the aerospace and defense industries in Long Beach, CA, November 16-18. The event will examine critical volume-production issues, transformative digital-manufacturing processes and large-scale composite structure scaleup.


The annual event typically attracts over 2,500 global industry professionals and will be co-located with SME’s WESTEC event for Small and Medium Manufacturers (SMMs). It will feature 338 exhibiting companies, an Integrated Solutions Center showing a complete Industry 4.0 solution platform, 26 conference sessions, two A&D focused keynote addresses, three thought-leadership panels and two workshops.


“Some of the most insightful and innovative leaders in aerospace and defense manufacturing will share their knowledge at AeroDef with a broad range of industry manufacturers,” said Robert Willig, Executive Director and CEO of SME. “A&D manufacturers are critical to the security of our country, and it is the one event that brings together high-concept, advanced solutions and real-world applications. In addition, A&D manufacturers make up a significant portion of our SMMs, which are responsible for the majority of industrial production in America. The synergy with our WESTEC show will help ensure that all links in the value chain are prepared to embrace digital transformation to address common challenges.”


Keynote Speakers at AeroDef Manufacturing 2021

Leading off Tuesday at AeroDef Manufacturing will be Paolo Dal Cin, Senior Vice President of Operations & Supply Chain for Raytheon Technologies. In his remarks, “Transforming the Future of Aerospace & Defense,” he will address the operational transformation the aerospace & defense industry is undergoing to leverage new technologies, implement digital tools and increase automation to drive efficiencies and reduce cost. He will discuss how this transformation also will require a continuous focus on operational excellence.


Jim Simpson, the Chief Strategy Officer of satellite air-launch service Virgin Orbit, leads off day two on the topic, “Essential Manufacturing Applications and Lessons Learned in Production of Virgin Orbit LauncherOne.” He addresses the key manufacturing processes that enabled Virgin Orbit to go from vacant factory to a successful launch within four years and will talk about Virgin Orbit’s philosophy of automated factory flow versus hand lay-up in producing launch vehicles. The success of the last launch and the attributes of the air-launch system will be covered.


Panel Discussions Focuses on Digital Transformation Strategies

AeroDef Manufacturing 2021 will feature three thought-leadership panels, all focused on the future direction of A&D manufacturing technologies.


These include:

“How Does 4.0 Data Impact Lean Manufacturing?” This discussion on Tuesday is moderated by Kelly Dodds, Advanced Manufacturing Tech Director for Raytheon Intelligence & Space. It examines the new technology-laden manufacturing landscape and how Industry 4.0 and lean manufacturing are evolving – sometimes in synergy, sometimes in conflict/disruption. Expect “spirited discussion.”


“Turning Factories to Smart Factories.” This panel, moderated on Tuesday afternoon by Avner Ben-Bassat, President & CEO of Plataine Inc., will discuss experience gained and how panelists see recent industry progress, including which technologies manufacturers need to invest in to remain competitive. Panelist will provide insight on how they will measure the benefits and ROI.


“Make it Right the First Time: Data Model Systems.” Wednesday’s only panel is moderated by Dean Bartles, PhD, FSME, FASME, CEO and President of MTDG – Manufacturing Technology Deployment Group. It will feature a discussion of the various tools and practices associated with data model systems and their application to aerospace and defense manufacturing. This session will feature a look ahead on where A&D is going related to defining requirements and technical implementation of physical data.


A link to the AeroDef Manufacturing digital conference brochure with additional detail on the keynotes, panel and conference offerings is available at the following URL:




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