Panel: Plant/Shopfloor Optimization- Elevating Safety, Automation, Staffing and Process Systems
  • Increasing production, assets capacity and flexibility while minimizing unnecessary costs and maintaining current quality standards.
  • Integrating real time production visibility on the shop floor and balance KPI’s
  • Attracting, Developing and Retaining Top Talent- how do we qualify a successful hire?
  • Updating Legacy systems effectively- how do we assess our capabilities to support new systems and how do we make the best investments the first time?


Willem Sundblad
CEO and Co-Founder
Oden Technologies

Willem Sundblad is the co-founder and CEO of Oden Technologies, a company empowering operators by providing real-time, AI-driven prescriptive process setting recommendations and predictive quality directly to the front line. In his spare time, he is a contributing writer to and takes every chance he gets to enjoy the Green Mountains of Vermont.


Tim Lodl
Director, Operational Excellence & VIP
Baxter International Inc.

Tim Lodl is currently the Director of Operational Excellence & MIP (Margin Improvement Program) for the Healthcare Systems & Technologies division of Baxter International Inc. In his role, he is responsible for deploying & sustaining lean manufacturing principles as a part of the Baxter Operating System.

Before to taking his current role, Tim was the Plant Manager for the cardiology portion of Baxter’s portfolio in Milwaukee, WI and served as the Continuous Improvement Manager before that.

Prior to joining Baxter, Tim worked with GE Healthcare for 12 years where he held a variety of positions implementing lean methodologies at the plant level, as well as division level for both the MRI and CT modalities.

Tim has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Saint Louis University and has a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.

Parthiban Ravikumar
Manufacturing Engineer
Bray International Inc.

Parthiban Ravikumar is the Manufacturing Engineer at Bray International Inc., Houston, Texas.

Parthiban accomplished his Bachelor’s in Production Engineering from Anna University, India with the award as University First Rank holder.

He worked in multi-national Valve business at India as Senior Engineer; executing improvement projects, before coming to United States for his graduate program.

Parthiban got his Master’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Texas A&M University (TAMU), College Station during 2014 and then started to work for Bray International Inc as Manufacturing Engineer.

During his Master’s program at TAMU, Parthiban received Graduate Scholarship and worked as Graduate Teaching Assistant at CAD lab and Plastics Manufacturing lab.

Parthiban has 10 years of experience in Manufacturing Engineering and worked at international locations of Bray for executing Manufacturing projects.

He has expertise in developing and mentoring manufacturing teams for Lean manufacturing projects, Safety practices and Efficiency improvement.

He has published articles in Valve Magazine on two topics.

  1. Behavioral aspects of compliance with workplace safety measures
  2. Steps to integrating LEAN principles into Valve manufacturing

Parthiban has been instrumental in Bray during new process developments, cost reduction and tooling experiments.

Parthiban continuously keeps him abreast with new technologies and currently works on Robotic projects at Bray.

He enjoys sharing his knowledge with peers and had been invited by Texas A&M University Alumni Association to share his industrial knowledge with Bachelor’s and Master’s students of Industrial engineering department.

Parthiban feels privileged to join the panel of NAMES 2024 and looking forward to learn and share Manufacturing concepts.

R.J. Shiels
Senior Director, Manufacturing Center of Excellence
W.R. Grace

An industry veteran, R.J. leads Grace’s newly formed Manufacturing Center of Excellence, helping identify and implement opportunities for operational improvements, best practices implementation and scalable systems and processes across a network of 20 manufacturing sites worldwide. Over his two decades at Grace, R.J. has amassed a breadth and depth of experience, starting with a rotational leadership program and progressing through supply chain, production and operational roles. Before being tasked to lead the CoE, he managed the company’s Curtis Bay plant with approximately 550 team members producing silicas as well as fluid catalytic cracking (FCC), hydroprocessing and polyolefin catalysts. A LEAN Six Sigma Black Belt, R.J. earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical Engineering at Penn State University.