Inventor Dean Kamen to keynote Plex software conference

TROY—Plex Systems, the Troy-based developer of manufacturing management software,  announced that inventor and entrepreneur Dean Kamen, founder of FIRST Robotics and president of Deka Research & Development Corp., will keynote PowerPlex 2019, the company’s annual user conference.

PowerPlex will bring together 1,200 global manufacturing leaders to discuss advancements in cloud enterprise software, ERP, MES, and Industrial IoT. This year’s event will be held at Cobo Center in Detroit.

Registration for PowerPlex 2019 is now open with early bird pricing available until April 5. Register here.

Dean Kamen. Photo courtesy Plex.

As an inventor, Kamen holds more than 440 U.S. and foreign patents, and is celebrated for having developed innovative medical devices such as AutoSyringe, the first wearable infusion pump, which Kamen invented as a college undergrad. Decades and hundreds of inventions later, Kamen maintains that one of his proudest accomplishments is founding FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), an organization dedicated to motivating the next generation to understand, use, and enjoy science and technology through exciting robotics competitions. More than 615,000 youth in more than 100 countries will participate in FIRST programs this year.

Bill Berutti, Plex CEO, said Kamen’s “technology leadership and innovative approach to educating the next generation directly addresses one of the most pressing issues manufacturers face today: the skilled workforce shortage. Building excitement around STEM education and exposing the variety of available manufacturing career paths is essential to closing the skills gap that exists today.”

The Plex customer community includes 600 manufacturers running 2,300 factories worldwide, representing industries such as automotive, fabricated metals, food and beverage, industrial machinery, plastics and rubber, and aerospace.

PowerPlex will host more than 115 sessions led by nearly 120 presenters, while facilitating peer exchange and networking events. Included will be:

  • Best practices sessions for users of all experience levels featuring customers such as Stant Corp., a world leader in vapor management systems, fuel delivery systems, thermal management systems and engineering services; Seven Marine, which produces world-class outboard engines; and NAL, a tier one automotive lighting supplier.
  • Product roadmap sessions and workshop courses, which give attendees a deep look into specific topics through hands-on interaction and experiential learning exercises, and 10 functional learning tracks including the newly introduced Plex Analytics and Industrial IoT track.
  • The Plex Experience Lab & Solutions Expo, where attendees can gain hands-on training, connect with partners, interact with product experts, and experience the Customer Showcase, which features a variety of products customers make with Plex.
  • The sixth annual Plex Impact Awards, which will recognize organizations that demonstrate innovation and leadership in their products, their approach to manufacturing and across their industries.
  • Students and mentors from FIRST, who will join PowerPlex to share their experiences, showcase their robots, and demonstrate how manufacturers can personally address the skills gap.

For the full agenda, go to


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