AFG Final Networking for 2015


The final networking evening for the dynamic Automotive Focus Group (AFG) was held at the Nova Platinum in South Pattaya. With sponsorship from Siemens, the lecture area was made available to Kai Lacher, the senior Business Development manager for the Americas, England, Turkey, Africa and SE Asia.

He introduced the AFG members to the concept of Industry 4.0 and then touched upon the significance of the digital world today, showing that even a camera now has 296 terabytes of information and the world is heading to 40 zetabytes, a figure that is beyond most people’s wildest imagination.

Grant Kelly.

Kai ran the AFG members through the developments in the virtual manufacturing today, where designing and optimizing can be done with virtual equipment, and when deemed ready, can have all the data transferred seamlessly to the ‘real’ physical manufacturing side.

Robots are a very important part of modern manufacturing which comes under the heading of Smart operation, and Kai showed just how two robots could be used to produce balanced cutting, more accurate.

In Additive Manufacturing he spoke on 3D printing and its use in making quick prototypes and spare parts. This technology is becoming more prevalent, and affordable.

Kai Lacher finished by confirming that, “The future? Nobody knows where it goes.” However, it was obvious that Siemens would also be there.

The second speaker at the AFG meeting was Grant Kelly, a motivational expert who gave a talk while just oozing with excitement, pacing up and down with the enthusiasm for it all.

Kai Lacher.

He admitted that when he goes to work, he looks forward to it as he does “love my job.” He has delved deeply into his subject and shared his knowledge with the AFG members, including the Japanese ‘Kaizen’ which is continuous improvement.

Another concept was encapsulated in the idiom, “To go fast – go alone. To go far – go together.”

He proposed that the leaders in industry need to be visionaries who will engender loyalty. A concept that will eventually produce concrete results.

While money is often held up as the reason for lack of loyalty, Grant disagrees, saying that motivation is more important and money isn’t everything. (A personal aside – I have read that is nicer to cry in a Mercedes than in a Daihatsu!)

Grant’s message was simply Leadership and Safety Culture results in Operational Excellence.

Incidentally, Grant gave his lecture using slides that had the data down to less than 10 words per slide. This resulted in keeping everyone’s interest up, right to the end.

The AFG has continued to grow as it has quality and merit to its members. AFG President Frank Holzer says, “My intent has been to help develop a professional team and deliver to the members both relevant information, functions and an environment where we are able to network with other organizations.”

If you wish to contact the AFG email [email protected]