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108 I-CONNECT007 I REAL TIME WITH... IPC APEX EXPO 2021 SHOW & TELL MAGAZINE by Pete Starkey, I-CONNECT007 What a week that was! I didn't get to endure the 11-hour flight each way, neither did I need my comfy old shoes, but it certainly was a mar- athon event. And real-time-plus-six-hours gave me a few late nights, but it was such a meaning- ful experience, and well worth the effort! Aer my first clumsy attempts to navigate the IPC APEX EXPO website, I soon settled into a practised routine and became reasonably com- petent at finding my way around the vast array of options and an agenda running in as many as 11 parallel tracks. ankfully, IPC has now made the content accessible on-demand so I can go back and review whatever I choose dur- ing the next 90 days. Aer a welcome from IPC President and CEO Dr. John Mitchell, Programme Chair Gene Weiner did a splendid job of keeping the EMS Managers meeting and the IPC's Raymond E. Pritchard Hall of Fame Managers Forum run- ning smoothly. ere was so much to take in. e Managers' Forum theme of "Managing Challenges in Periods of Transition" was rele- vant and appropriate, all circumstances consid- ered, with an impressive array of top industry names discussing strategies for thriving during times of crisis. I made a special point of attend- ing the session on vertical integration, kicked off by Alex Stepinski describing his journey, "From inventor to contractor in several steps of vertical integration," as he looked back over the previous eight years and forward into the future. An inspirational lesson in creative and innovative problem-solving from a true indus- try pioneer. I took copious notes and spent a few hours distilling them down into a realistic review article. Another inspirational event was the "Great Digital Transformation" keynote from Travis Hessman. I admit to having been a bit appre- hensive, concerned that most of the content would probably go way over my head. But the way that Hessman presented the story avoided hype and technological sensation by walking through the process of transformation, with emphasis on process, from a rational and realistic perspective. He outlined the meth- odologies adopted by companies that had used them successfully and explained why companies who had gotten it wrong had failed in their attempted digital transformations. "Put the problems in front of the solutions, and develop processes, not disruptions!" Maybe for reasons of personal familiarity, I was keen to attend the session presented by the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), a high-value-manufacturing technology catapult Highlights on a Rousing Virtual IPC APEX EXPO 2021 Travis Hessman

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