The Savvy Consortium's

New Product Development & Engineering Conference XXVI

Usability, Agile, Lean, Innovation, Time to Market, & Value

Wednesday-Thursday April 24-25, 2019

Chicago, IL

Emerging Technology and Product Development Engineering that addresses customers’ wants, needs, problems and practices happens only through the engineering people working collaboratively. 

The Strategy: “…by our Work, we continually advance Science and Technology for the Betterment of Mankind (customers)…” 

Purpose of Improving this Work:

+ to augment real improvements in solving problems,

+ collaborative learning and understanding customer Usage economics,

+ understanding valuable/critical knowledge generation and flow,

+ focusing on  customer value in their work flow,

+ prioritize ‘time based’ resources that generate $ revenue at launch.

This Savvy Conference centers on the people that enable this strategy and make the “body of work” successful.  People and individuals.  Principles, processes and tools are vital, but people and teams do the tasks. 

This Savvy Conference uniquely conveys valuable learning. Learning is a function of beliefs, principles and practices. Seeing how others’ practices, noticing their enthusiasm, how they are engaged, and their economic language is vital for all NPD&E people.

Seeing the speakers practices and their process economics is convincing.

Speakers are engineering managers themselves engage in leading passionate  technical  knowledge people , are passionate in problem solving , and enthusiastic in collaborating with customers, end users, and economic users.

Some of the processes, practices, tools and methods presented, demonstrated and practiced at this Savvy Conference include:  Economics language, People centered work,  Customer USE and Interests, Emerging Technologies, Collaborating Design Engineers,  Smooth Flow Processes and "Customer Interest Satisfied”.

Wednesday, April 24

9:00 a.m.
People Make NPD&E Operations Successful
  • Mark Fleigle
  • Vice President Technology and Product Development
  • Rosemount Magnetic & Vortex Flowmeters
  • Emerson Automation Solutions
Principles, practices, tools and processes are the vital factors that produce new products to satisfy customers and grow the business. Mark Fleigle gives a high-level view of the most important factor: People. The high-level view of people: Mark describes people and individuals who contribute. They contribute at a variety of levels ranging from technology creation to innovative problem solving to commercial launch. People whose ‘body of work’ exhibits passion; true engagement, and enthusiastic collaboration. Q&A discussion following Mark Fleigle’s presentation engages the audience in best practices that generate passion, enthusiasm and engagement in NPD&E work.
10:45 a.m.
Set Based Design – Effective Approach to Innovative New Product Development
  • Joe Mrva
  • Sr. Engineering Manager
  • US Endoscopy (a subsidiary of STERIS Corporation)
  • Cleveland, OH

During new product development, decisions that are made throughout concept development and design have significant impact on a product’s success in the market.  Customer needs, design engineering problems and corresponding design requirements are not fully known at the beginning of a project.  This presentation will describe a method of exploring multiple, simultaneous requirements and design options for as long as possible to allow for the most desirable design choices to be made over time. Using set based method for design problem solving is the “wheel house’ of talented design engineers and innovators.
1:00 p.m.
Engineer’s Innovation Work: Growth or Stable or Decline
  • Steve Heinecke
  • Corporate Scientist (ret)
Steve Heinecke is Savvy Conference’s first Inspirational Speaker. Before retiring in 2018, Steve Heinecke contributed over many years creating 3M’s technology development of 3M’s Tagaderm© business. Steve now presents his experiences in motivating people and energizing their work. Steve’s interactive presentation will engage the Savvy Conference participants in their challenges to improve engineers’ motivations and energizing their work. Steve’s observations and experiences improving ‘flat line performance’ and processes are relevant in today’s product development innovation organizations. Steve’s motivating principles, essential practices and honest work standards apply in people performance, problem solving, value creation and team collaboration operations that strive for excellence.
2:45 p.m.
Crisis Project Management-Collaboration Enables NPD&E Operations
  • Steve Van Zee
  • Engineering Manager
  • Vermeer Corporation
Product development and engineering people and individuals typically work in offices/spaces/equipment that offer stable work environments. What happens when this environment is disrupted? Does your NPD operation have a plan when a disruption occurs? Stave van Zee describes the day of disruption, danger and distraction when mother nature unleashed her fury in the form of a Tornado on the Vermeer product engineering operations.
3:45 p.m.
Customer Users and Product Usability: Where Value Creation Starts
  • Speaker TBA
What do engineers know about the actual use of the products they design? What do they know about the customer users’ interaction with products. Are use instructions clear, intuitive and coherent? What about use environment: current knowledge of the use environment, user error, space where new products really used, how used? Safety, reliability, ergonomics, efficient use, risks, and more. How does the design engineer User and Usability in a systematic way? So many elements of the user interface system made Visual: people, tasks, touch, line of sight, equipment, lighting, light, air, air flow, efficiency Are Usability Elements important for creating the new product design value and its value to the customer? This presentation demonstrates visually, conceptually and describes practically the elements of customer use that design engineers need to identify and solve problems, design product functions and thereby differentiate their products that satisfy customers. NOTE: “Hey there, Engineer, you are not the user!”

Thursday, April 25

9:00 a.m.
Product Development Engineering for Customer Assets Utilization
  • Justin Clarine
  • Vice President – Engineering
  • Loram Corporation
New Product Development generates growth for the company and the customers and markets served. Justin Clarine presents a high level, strategic view of business growth elements that focuses on developing new products for large customers that have large assets. Economic utilization of customer assets is vital. Justin Clarine describes the challenges experienced as Loram expands from Services to Products. Justine presents this dynamic model of developing new products for customers already satisfied be Loram’s Services of speed, performance and reliability. This presentation demonstrates valuable insights for new product design engineering that focuses on improving Customer’s Assets Utilization/Efficiency. 
10:45 a.m.
Functional Engineering and Value Streaming Intersection at the Matrix
  • Ken Bonenberger
  • Sr. Program Manager
  • STERIS Corporation | Surgical Solutions
Knowledge workers in product design and development engineering depend on well-organized operations that enable lean innovation and agile processes that focus on customer value interests. Ken Bonenberger will describe a NPD&E paradigm for organizing innovation and customer focus called the Value Stream Matrix. This matrix comprises engineering functions and value streams. It poses Opportunities for operational excellence and innovation. It simultaneously gives rise to Challenges and Constraints for knowledge worker Collaboration. Ken Bonenberger presents the VS Matrix system elements. This is a bench mark discussion of the pros/cons, drivers/constraints inherent in adapting a value stream matrix system and its elements.
1:00 p.m.
Knowledge: the Basis for Successful New Product Development
  • Paul Kurth
  • Knowledge Based Product Development Leader (ret)
  • The Toro Company

Achieving growth in competitive markets requires technology and engineering knowledge creation and flow in the product development and engineering operations at Toro. Paul Kurth describes the early challenges Toro faced from lean principles that did not produce critical knowledge at the design engineering level. Paul demonstrates how A3 thinking produced a new, high level ‘body of work’ from design engineers. Critical knowledge resulted that improved new product quality, customer satisfying differentiation and engineering worker satisfaction. Paul will demonstrate tools, A3 thinking, AR-VR visualization. He demonstrates the powerful effect of tools that raised engineers’ engagement, passion for their work, and talent building for knowledge generation and value flow that raised customer interests and satisfaction levels.
2:00 p.m.
Challenges Seeking Savvy Practices: A Collaborative Discussion of Participating Conference Engineers
  • Todd Stute
  • Director: Corporate Process Excellence
  • Western Digital Corporation

Engagement, Teamwork and Motivation: Collaboration Session • How can I keep a very overworked engineering staff engaged and motivated? • How do I engage millennials? • How do I create enthusiasm in our sales/marketing departments to provide useful VOC $ economics? • How do I improve teamwork in a group that does not communicate well? • How do you facilitate and/or encourage creative thinking and idea generation? • How do you deal with upper management who may not seem to be interested in opposing views?
3:00 p.m.
Presentation and Tour of Case New Holland Engineering Operations
  • Gary Kassen
  • Director of Engineering
  • Case New Holland
Tour includes: Test Stands Creates Knowledge Cycles, AR 3D Reduces Design Cycles, Case New Holland’s Legacy Products Display


Design engineering managers, department heads, chief engineers, functional department engineers, product engineers/marketers, directors of product engineering, change management pilot leaders, product test engineering managers, process improvement managers, product engineering development team members and leaders, and all who are responsible for improving product innovation, product development and process improvement in their product engineering operations. The conference is not open to academics, consultants, authors or gurus.

Over 900 people have participated in Savvy conferences and learning events. They are design engineers, systems engineers, technical and scientific people; product development teams leaders, knowledge specialists, engineering departments heads, engineering support group leaders, continuous improvement managers, process excellence managers, talent build managers, knowledge system managers, and others whose mission is people development, process improvement and productivity increase.

Firms attending Savvy Sponsored Product Development Knowledge Events the partial list of firms below:

Toro, Eaton, Timken, Dana, Sauder, Medtronic, McDonalds, General Mills, TSI, Goodyear, Cooper, Amano Pioneer, Diebold, John Deere, Pella, Genie, Pella, Schram, Cabot, Medtronic, St. Jude Medical, Boston Scientific, Nexen, Masonite, Steris/US Endoscopy, Inovonics, UTAS Aerospace, Wil-burt, Cabot Electronics, Cooper, CNH, GE Medical, Crown, Keithley, Knowles, Parker, Actuant, Deluxe, Tennant, Henny Penny, 3M, Shram, Diamond, Emerson, Terex, Ditch Witch, Waterous, HGST, RT technologies, Altec, Toyota, Saris, Andersen, Wet Design, Sub Zero, Harley Davidson, Autobag, CA Companies, Beckman Coulter, Donaldson, Seagate and participants from many other manufacturers that are implementing continuous improvement in their product design engineering organizations.

SAVE THE DATE: APRIL 24-25, 2019

Savvy Conference XXVI
Venue: Case New Holland, Burr Ridge, IL

Plan for you / your colleagues to participate Savvy Conference XXVI. 20% Discount offered to groups of three or more from the same company.