CHICAGO (AME) — The Association for Manufacturing Excellence will welcome 2,500 manufacturing practitioners from around the world to Chicago October 15 to 19, 2012, to gain insights from keynote speakers, share best practices with other professionals and explore world-class facilities. Central to the success of the AME 2012 Annual Excellence Inside International Conference in Chicago is its outstanding line-up of special interest sessions designed to inspire adaption and excellence throughout rapid change. This year’s special interest sessions include:

Idea Exchange Café—Tuesday, October 16, and Wednesday, October 17—Share your ideas with friends and colleagues. Moderated by Robert Hafey, there will be six sessions over two days on a variety of topics shared over coffee. Come for the coffee – stay for the ideas!

North America Consortia Program—Tuesday, October 16—This year AME announced its formal creation of a Consortia program, this special interest session will address those interested in learning more about the program.

Revitalization of Manufacturing Initiative—Tuesday, October 16—Join AME and three noted panelists in an interactive session that looks at the issues, problems and roadblocks experienced by manufacturers trying to revitalize manufacturing in North America. Send your successes, issues and questions to the session facilitator and AME President, Paul Kuchuris, at, prior to the session so that we can include them in the discussions.

Discovering Lean Certification: Pathways to Success—Tuesday, October 16—Lean Certification components can provide the opportunity to present knowledge and experience as well as showcase continuing growth and development. It can also help evaluate and accelerate professional lean development. This session and its panel of practitioners will explain the benefits of Lean Certification.

Using an Employee Ownership Plan for Business Continuity—Wednesday, October 17—Loren Rodgers of the National Center for Employee Ownership will discuss the Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) general rules and benefits, and Patrick Ormsby and Norm Kocol will discuss how using ESOPs led to highly successful transitions for their companies. ESOPs are an extremely successful business organization model, and they are highly tax-favored.

Using the Voice of the Consumer and the Application of 3P in the Redesign of the Squeeze Machine—Wednesday, October 17—Learn how to use Lean tools for innovative new product development, listening to what customers truly want and designing a product to meet those needs.  AME practitioners, autism experts and employees of Therafin Corporation came together in two workshops. There, they used voice of the customer information and applied 3P methodology to develop lower-cost alternatives and improve the design of Temple Grandin's Squeeze Machine for those with autism.

Come see a prototype model of this "new and improved" Squeeze Machine and learn how voice of the customer and 3P new product development techniques can be used to improve manufacturing processes.

For details or to register for the AME 2012 Annual Excellence Inside International Conference, visit, or contact Veronica Ceaser, registration coordinator, at (224) 232-5980, ext. 223. Additionally, follow the hashtag #AMEConf2012 and @AMEConnect for updates via Twitter.


About the Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME)

The Association for Manufacturing Excellence (AME) is the premier not-for-profit organization dedicated to the journey of continuous improvement and enterprise excellence. AME’s membership is composed of a trusted network of volunteers who are committed to leveraging the practitioner-to-practitioner and company-to-company shared-learning experience. Through engaging workshops, seminars and plant tours, and industry-leading conferences, AME members are continually discovering and implementing new continuous improvement strategies and best practices. AME offers its members a multitude of valuable resources to help them stay abreast of current industry developments, and improve the skills, competitiveness, and overall success of their organizations. Join AME in leading the “Revitalization of Manufacturing in North America.” For more information, visit or email