SME Announces a Premiere Manufacturing Event — THE BIG M

An entire industry will converge, collaborate, innovate
and re-imagine the business of manufacturing, June 9-12, 2014

DEARBORN, Mich. (Sept. 30, 2013) — Thousands of professionals from Michigan and the Great Lakes states will gather at an unprecedented event to celebrate manufacturing next year.   THE BIG M — to be held at the newly renovated COBO Center in Detroit, June 9 through 12, 2014 — was announced at the recent Annual Automation Alley Awards Gala.  Automation Alley is a strategic partner of THE BIG M.

THE BIG M event will 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.  THE BIG M is designed as a springboard for organizations and potential new partnerships in business. 

“When manufacturers talk about our industry, they often say, `Not just manufacturing, but THE BIG M,’ which includes the entire manufacturing enterprise from innovation and ideas, through design and production to sustainability and everything in between,” explained Debbie Holton, director of events and industry strategy for SME. “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,” Holton elaborated. “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.

A number of well-respected industry events will be co-located with THE BIG M, including:

RAPID –Conference & Exposition
Known worldwide as a must-attend event for the newest technologies and materials in additive manufacturing — also known as 3D printing — and 3D scanning, RAPID has been the industry’s leading forum for nearly 25 years. Recently featured in The Economist and Fast Company, additive manufacturing has been heralded as the “next-step-change” in manufacturing.

International Manufacturing Research Conference including NAMRC/MSEC/ICM&P
Hosted by The University of Michigan in 2014, this is the premier international forum for manufacturing research and industrial applications.  Here, global academic and industrial leaders in manufacturing collaborate, debate and advance the field.

Industrial Network Cyber Security by ISA – The International Society for Automation
This conference will cover the technologies, business relevance, workforce issues and the impact on safety of industrial network cyber security solutions. The industrial control systems security landscape, best practices and relevant standards will be presented to help manufacturers deal more effectively with outside cyber threats.

More information can be found at Like THE BIG M page on Facebook at or follow on Twitter at


About SME  

SME connects all those who are passionate about making things that improve our world. As 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. At SME, we are making the future. 


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Vanessa Denha Garmo
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Tommy Franz
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