Back to Newsroom
Back to Newsroom

IME South Elevates Topics in Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity and Women's Health in the Heart of Charlotte, the Southeast’s Leading Manufacturing Hub

Wednesday, 12 June 2024 11:15 AM

Known as the southern hotspot for advanced manufacturing and medical technology, Charlotte, North Carolina sets the stage for conversations with results-oriented case studies informing global engineering trends.

CHARLOTTE, NC / ACCESSWIRE / June 12, 2024 / IME South, the Southeast's largest biennial advanced design and smart manufacturing event welcomed more than 2,500 manufacturing professionals in the renowned manufacturing hotspot of Charlotte, at the Charlotte Convention Center (June 4-6, 2024).

With over half of total attendance from local manufacturers, IME South, which hosts six co-located shows, including Medical Design & Manufacturing (MD&M) South, SouthPack, ATX South, Design & Manufacturing South (D&M), Plastec South and Powder & Bulk Solids, convened representatives from around 250 exhibiting companies showcasing the newest products and innovations from across the advanced manufacturing production lifecycle, including leading solutions providers Accumold, Barnes & Thornburg LLP, ChiAha, KESCO Inc., Labcorp, LCI Corporation, Polaris Automation, Steri-Tek, Zumbach Electronics Corporation and more.

North Carolina, home to inventions such as Vicks Vapor Rub and Pepsi, is rated as one of the top two states in the U.S. for manufacturing, with the Charlotte hub particularly well versed in automotive parts, plastics, advanced textiles, biomedical and energy manufacturing. Charlotte's centralization in the southern market represents an astoundingly accessible 60% of the United States in less than two and a half hours by plane with three major seaports that enable visitors both nationally and internationally to drive economic impact. The Charlotte region specifically, has 3,500 manufacturing companies in the industry employing 146,000 individuals locally, making Charlotte and North Carolina a key platform of influence within North America's engineering market.

"IME South continues to serve the Southeast with high caliber industry leading thinkers, discussions and experiences highlighting Charlotte's unique position as the top regarded trailblazer in the North American manufacturing sector, geographically backed by the presence of significant financial leading institutions and world class academic research," states Melissa Magestro, Vice President at Informa Markets Engineering. "Boasting an intimate conference setting in this key region, IME South emphasizes education, networking and connection on the latest technology and advancements that are being home grown or scaled in impactful manufacturing environments with results worth recognizing."

Presenting the opening day keynote, Bethany Corbin, Co-Founder and CEO of FemInnovation, discussed the current state of FemTech (DEFINE) and the challenges still faced by large brands and new emerging innovation, including privacy, data management, cybersecurity and inclusivity, as medical device designers strive to continue to provide accessible smart solutions.

Corbin notes during presentation, "We are in this post-COVID world in which we have seen a rise in wearables, IoT and connected health devices. But a lot of this arose during a time in which security was not prioritized because we were dealing with a pandemic that was requiring us to get everything on board as fast as possible so we can serve patients. And so now that the pandemic has slightly waned, we are now left with dealing with all these things that came online that may not have the privacy and security protections that they need to function in a world that prioritizes patient privacy and security."

The second day anchored with a keynote from South Carolina based Rick Oppedisano, CEO, Delta Bravo, who shared learnings from applications in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and smart manufacturing, as well as how manufacturers can leverage automation technology advantageously to customize solutions for business production nuances and ultimately save resources. Consulting across global leaders such as Rolls Royce, Toyota, Nucor and the United States Department of Defense, Oppedisano provided insight into tangible implantation of an AI, automated smart process flow ecosystem.

Commenting on the considerations within production for AI use, Oppedisano observes, "Effort has to happen on a plant-by-plant basis. When you have a manufacturer that is growing through acquisition, you have got different processes, different equipment, that is collecting that data in a different way, in a different frequency using different labels. You have got different levels of competency within your operators, different levels of maturity in your equipment. The idea of standardizing this stuff, it is a fool's errand."

Other engaging show features included an opening reception hosted at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, where attendees were able to interact hands on with local automotive history. The professional development reception welcomed new demographics to the manufacturing workforce and the show also included a technical trivia session, testing expertise across categories in medical devices, manufacturing, science, production and processing.

Representation from industry partners at the event included the Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, Industry 4.0 Club, North Carolina Manufacturing Extension Partnership, University of North Carolina Charlotte, North Carolina State University, Clemson University, Flexible Packaging Association, ARM Institute, Institute of Packaging Professionals, Greenville Eastern North Carolina Alliance, Process Equipment Manufacturers Association and the Society of Plastics Engineers.

IME West returns for the annual expo in Anaheim, California, on Feb. 4-6, with the launch of the new Sustainable Manufacturing Expo. Attendees and exhibitors can pre-register at

The next biennial iteration of IME East will also return to New York City June 10-12, 2025, at the Javits Convention Center. Pre-registration for the 2025 event is also available at

About Informa Markets Engineering:

Informa Markets Engineering, a subsidiary of Informa plc (LON:INF), portfolio is the leading B2B event producer, publisher, and digital media business for the world's $3-trillion advanced, technology-based manufacturing industry. Our print and electronic products deliver trusted information to the engineering market and leverage our proprietary 1.3-million-name database to connect suppliers with buyers and purchase influencers. We produce more than 50 events and conferences in a dozen countries, connecting manufacturing professionals from around the globe. The Engineering portfolio is organized by Informa, the world's leading exhibitions organizer that brings a diverse range of specialist markets to life, unlocking opportunities and helping them to thrive 365 days of the year. For more information, please visit

Media Contact

Informa Markets Engineering
[email protected]


Back to newsroom
Back to Newsroom
Share by: