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Minnesota’s Manufacturing Annual Summit

11 October 2023 //


Manufacturing in Minnesota: Insights from Minnesota’s Annual Manufacturing Summit

The annual Manufacturing Summit hosted by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce event brought together industry professionals to explore the latest legislative updates and automation’s impact on modern manufacturing.

The day began with a panel moderated by Brooke Lee of Anchor Paper Company featuring Robin Loftis of Clow Stamping Company, Ross Widmoyer of Faribault Mill, and Tom Radovich of Sappi.  They delved into discussions about manufacturing challenges impacting Minnesota businesses, including updates on labor laws and workforce shortages in the industry, and panelists shared strategies their companies have implemented to combat recent challenges.

Jeff Hohn, CEO of Massman Companies the morning keynote speaker was undoubtedly a highlight. His presentation focused on the transformative potential of automating packaging processes in manufacturing. Hohn discussed how companies that embrace automation in their packaging operations can achieve significant returns on their investments. He emphasized that by reducing manual labor, minimizing errors, and optimizing efficiency, automation can result in substantial cost savings, increased production capacity, and improved product quality. Hohn also highlighted the broader impact of automation on a business. By automating packaging, companies can enhance their competitiveness in the market, respond more swiftly to changing customer demands, and maintain consistent product quality. Additionally, he pointed out the positive effects of automation on employee morale and safety by minimizing repetitive and physically demanding tasks.

The afternoon keynote featured Mike Speetzen, CEO of Polaris Inc., to share this Minnesota company’s impressive history and how the company is innovating to lead the power sports industry.

The event emphasized the significance of aligning automation decisions with sustainable manufacturing practices and promoting industry collaboration throughout the state. It also addressed key legislative concerns and showcased the strategies companies are implementing to ensure a prosperous manufacturing sector across Minnesota.


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