Using the past 25 years as a foundation to ignite continued success in manufacturing, the Illinois Manufacturing Excellence Center (IMEC) is looking to the future to further support the Illinois manufacturing community.
Peoria, IL. – September 7, 2021: IMEC was founded in 1996. It was the same year the DVD debuted, Microsoft introduced Windows NT and NASA launched its Mars Global Surveyor to map the planet from its orbit. The vibe of ‘96 included people moving to the Macarena and hoarding Tickle Me Elmo stuffed animals. All the while, IMEC saw its mission, which remains intact today: to drive growth through enterprise excellence for Illinois manufacturers.
To honor Illinois manufacturers and partners, IMEC plans to give back to its manufacturing family by highlighting the industry moments, people, trends and future predictions. From now until mid-December, IMEC will feature 25 unique perspectives about the Illinois manufacturing story. These original compositions will take the form of historical essays, videos, intimate conversations with manufacturing veterans and Friday Fun postings with a twist.
What Manufacturing Will Look Like in 2050
Manufacturing by 2050 will become more technology driven, according to David Boulay, IMEC president. “The average machine tool will be fully automated and more capable, multitasking will be nearly universal and 3D printing will play a more prominent role on the manufacturing floor.”
Manufacturing will see more digitization and connectivity in its processes and raw materials will play a lesser role because of 3D printing, said Boulay. Today, manufacturers rely on blocks, sheets and bars while 3D printing is not limited to those raw materials, nor is it limited to shapes it can create.
“In reality, however, the next 25 years will be driven by our manufacturers and their customers,” said Boulay. “Technology will play an important role, which it has done since the industrial age, but it’s the men and women inspiring manufacturing who will make the biggest difference. We look forward to helping them achieve greater global success, in whatever shape that takes.”
IMEC’s Humble Beginnings of Collaboration
What started as an innovative idea among a few college campuses and universities has evolved into a game-changing solution for Illinois. Every year, IMEC meets a critical need for manufacturers across the state, providing trustworthy, reliable and sustainable services.
Bob Weinstein, former associate provost and dean of Bradley University’s Graduate School, was an early proponent of IMEC and saw its potential to help manufacturers navigate and become leaders in the global marketplace. “We had the opportunity to draw on strong expertise,” said Weinstein, who became IMEC’s first president, “and that became one of the key assets of IMEC. We were able to work with each other to really understand manufacturers’ needs and develop highly effective services to meet those diverse and sometimes common needs.”
IMEC Board Chairman and Vice President of Technical Sales at Gilster-Mary Lee Corporation, Tom Welge had this to say about IMEC’s upcoming 25th anniversary: “We can’t celebrate 25 years of IMEC without celebrating how Illinois manufacturing has changed in the last 25 years, and will continue to change for 25 more. As both Board Chairman and an Illinois manufacturer, I have had the great opportunity to see first-hand how IMEC has consistently and effectively assisted small and mid-sized manufacturers in navigating change and how the organization is prepared to offer even more to Illinois manufacturers in the future.”
IMEC assists manufacturers of all sizes in creating sustainable competitive futures, with special focus on Leadership, Strategy, Customer Engagement, Operations, and Workforce. IMEC assists more than 1100 companies each year with successful business improvement projects and demonstrates a return on investment that exceeds 19:1.
With a solid foundation of collaboration over competition, IMEC continues to be nimble and able to evolve with its manufacturing partners.
IMEC is a team of improvement specialists and technicians dedicated to providing organizations in Illinois with the tools and techniques to create sustainable competitive futures. The experienced hands-on team at IMEC works closely with its clients to plan critical business improvements in the areas of Leadership, Strategy, Customer Engagement, Operations, and Workforce. IMEC, Illinois affiliate of the U.S Commerce NIST Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) National Network, has demonstrated a return on investment that exceeds 19:1. This is made possible as organizations become more effective and efficient – and together with IMEC – excel toward enterprise excellence. For more information, visit imec.org.
Kristy Johns – Marketing Manager