August 22 – 25, 2018

Georgia World Congress Center | Atlanta, GA| USA


Industry 4.0 –
The Future of Manufacturing


Friday, August 26th from 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM 

Session Code: MFG13

Location: B312 (located in Building B - Level 3)

Presented by: Virginia Tech

Speakers: Urs Buehlmann, Professor: Virginia Tech; Omar Espinoza, Assistant Professor: University of Minnesota; Mathias Schmitt, Management Consultant: White Rocks LLC and David Mauer, Project Sales Manager, Stiles Machinery, Inc.

This workshop will explain the basics of the future or manufacturing, often described as "Industry 4.0," for describing the coming fourth industrial revolution. Industry 4.0 promises to create smart factories where information and communication technologies together with digitized processes lead to improved quality, lower costs, and increased efficiency. In those future factories, repetitive processes and production lines that produce large volumes of similar products are being automated, including production-related functions such as receiving, shipping, or invoicing. The workshop will illustrate those concepts using real-world examples and will feature industry speakers willing to share their insights with the audience.

About the Speakers:  




Urs Buehlmann: Professor, Virginia Tech Department of Sustainable Biomaterials, focuses on manufacturing systems and on assessing industry competitiveness. Urs has given special focus to the impact of foreign competition on the wood products industry and its relationship with the U.S. housing market. He practices and promotes Lean Principles as a way to improve business results.

Urs has more than 15 years of experience working in industry, including serving as General Manager of Enkeboll Designs, Carson CA.




Omar Espinoza holds a Bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering. He worked for seven years as manager of a medium-sized wood products manufacturing company. He obtained a Master in International Business, and a Master of Science and Doctoral degrees in Wood Science and Forest Products. He joined the University of Minnesota’s Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering as Assistant Professor and chairs the Forest Products Management Development Institute; an initiative to support the Forest Products Industry.

His past research work focused on several aspects of forest products manufacturing, such as lumber drying, process improvement, quality management, supply chain management, energy efficiency, and performance measurement. He is interested in investigating how to incorporate market performance, process excellence and environmental sustainability into development and management of wood products, to improve the competitiveness of the industry.


Mathias Schmitt is Managing Partner, White Rocks LLC, which focuses on company turnarounds/restructurings and Lean transformations across industries. Mathias has been actively involved in lean transformation projects around the world – throughout Asia, Europe, and North America. Additionally, he worked with executives of Fortune 200 companies on M&A and divestiture activities as well as strategic initiatives. He also has led the establishment of business, market, and competitive intelligence programs to drive organizational understanding of the business environment.

Mathias has more than 10 years of experience working in industry and management consulting. He currently serves as a Regional Continuous Improvement Manager with Yanfeng Automotive Interiors and is the global lead on Value Stream Flow.





David Mauer, Project Sales Manager, Stiles Machinery David has over 18 years of experience in the woodworking industry and has been an employee of the HOMAG Group for the last 8 years. He has recently joined Stiles Machinery as Project Sales Manager where he is responsible for developing optimized production concepts for mid-size to large scale manufacturing environments. Prior to Stiles, David was the Senior Project Manager for HOMAG Group in Canada where he was responsible for the HOMAG Automation and Schuler Consulting business for the Canadian market. He is specialized in intelligent material handling systems and batch size 1 manufacturing solutions with extensive experience in cut2size, edge banding, drilling and assembly systems.