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Conference recap: Ultrasound World XII

The twelfth-annual Ultrasound World Conference wrapped up a few weeks ago on May 13, 2016. This year’s conference continued the string of successful, well-attended events at sunny, beautiful Clearwater Beach, Florida. Let’s take a look back at Ultrasound World XII and point out some of the highlights.

Both Ultrasound World and its sister conference, Reliable Asset World, began on Tuesday, May 10, with Doug Waetjen’s opening remarks, during which he established the overall theme for the week: Solve problems using the right people, the right processes and the right tools.

Keynotes: Leadership and reliability
Both keynotes started by taking a broad view of reliability centered maintenance – by showing how reliability speaks to more than just maintenance. The two presenters, Bob Kazar and Ron Bitely, wanted each of the attendees to bring back principles they could use to be better leaders and communicate with managers and technicians alike.

First, Bob Kazar detailed his time with The Wonderful Company and delved into the Reliability Pyramid – a valuable way to visualize the hierarchy for reliable maintenance. On Day 2, Ron Bitely discussed how each person in attendance should recognize his or her “north star” – the common goal that everyone across the company should share.

Both of these speakers will be featured in upcoming interviews, so make sure to check back soon for those transcripts!

Leadership and the north star were salient themes in this year's conference.Leadership and the north star were salient themes in this year’s conference.

The presenters: From (nearly) impossible missions to pet care
As our subhead suggests, the presentations at this year’s conference ran the gamut of topics. Our live summaries from the conference have each presenter in greater detail, so here we will look at the themes that connected the presentations.

Problem-solving: As UE System’s Doug Waetjen, CMRP, pointed out, problem-solving was the prevailing theme. Each presenter talked through an issue he faced. For example, Jack Miller and Larry Hoing of Wells Dairy spoke about how to reduce loss and downtime in an ice cream manufacturer during their talk, “Mission Almost Impossible.”

Education: The best ultrasound technicians are constant learners. Several of the presenters harped on that idea – both how they can educate those around them and how they themselves can continue to learn. In particular, David Carter – who is not in maintenance at all, but rather, is a professor at Kansas State University – touted how interns can provide fresh eyes and hard work to any facility. Meanwhile, Barry Sperling discussed his own learning process in “Steam Trap Savings Discovery: A Novice Auditor’s Journey.”

Efficiency: At its heart, reliability is about making people, process and tools work better together and with fewer resource expenditures. Several presenters kept efficiency as a central component of their talk, including Richard Yarmouth from Clearwater Paper. His presentation was titled “Doing More With Less: Using Ultrasound in Route-Base Programs.” Michael Macsisak of Neslte Purina PetCare was also tasked with a similar goal undertaking, implementing predictive maintenance tools at the massive Purina facility.

The exhibits: Demonstrations and education
Every year, one of the most popular exhibits at the events comes from the conference host, UE Systems. At that table, maintenance technicians demonstrate ultrasound technology in the form of Ultraprobes and Grease Caddies. Attendees get the chance to see ultrasonic tools in action!

Another conference veteran company, Eruditio LLC, specialized in adult education and training programs. Their services can help manufacturers develop in-house reliability knowledge. Perficient, a digital transformation consulting firm, was also in attendance to help maintenance professionals implement a software strategy for collecting and trending PdM data.

We will go into greater detail on each of these presentations throughout the remainder of the year, so remember to visit our news page and stay tuned for presentation write-ups – not to mention the recap for Reliable Asset World and our keynote Q&A’s!