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CECE announces congress topics

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World Cement,

How to become more agile in a fast changing environment? This is the core topic for this year’s CECE congress to be held from 16 – 17 October in Antwerp, Belgium.

Despite good signs for 2014, the situation for the construction equipment industry in Europe remains challenging. Many countries are still struggling with debt problems, demand is only slightly picking up, labour costs are high, products are changing fast and competition from outside Europe is growing. It is crucial for the construction equipment industry to be flexible in terms of management of people, demand, new and changing products and volumes, change of construction processes and of customers’ requirements. Companies need to be innovative in marketing, in production processes and product design. “This is the only way to win in Europe," says Eric Lepine, President of CECE.

“At the congress we want to share best practice in our industry and best practices from other industries, like from the car sector,” says Lepine. “We would like to raise awareness among companies for these challenges and would like them to identify the areas where they may explore their potential.”

Manufacturing is now widely recognised as a domain where innovation is critical. CECE has invited an excellent panel of speakers, CEOs of companies like Volvo, Caterpillar, Bosch Rexroth or JLG who will look at the issue of agility and changing patterns from different angles.

One aspect will be innovation in the manufacturing processes and the smart factories.

Major innovation is expected from areas such as additive manufacturing and paradigms like Industry 4.0, including the interaction between the human workforce and the production systems. CECE congress raises the question whether the construction equipment sector is ready to generate the factories of the future.

Secondly, congress participants will also learn how other sectors have established cooperation on production-design-finances-sales collaboration in technology. The question is whether this can be applicable also to the construction equipment industry.

Innovation in product design and in customers’ needs will be another focus. Speakers from different backgrounds will debate on how technologies like robotics, intelligent construction machines or future drives in the context of energy and resource-efficiency have an impact on the construction equipment industry.

HR is an important issue in modern companies and thus also at the congress. No manufacturing or technology company can compete on the global stage without a highly skilled and motivated workforce. Developing, deploying and connecting employees and keeping them engaged, therefore, assumes more importance than ever before. An increasing shortage of high-skilled workers and the aging of workforces in many parts of the world will exacerbate the talent shortage challenge for global manufacturing companies. 

Finally, the construction industry faces new requirements and challenges. Speakers and guests will exchange ideas on future trends in construction processes and the impact these might have on machines of the future.

The CECE Congress 2014 will be held from 16 – 17 October in the Crowne Plaza Hotel, Antwerp. People who would like to attend may register through the dedicated website from 15 July.

Adapted from press release by

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