State College, PA – KCF Technologies was proud to announce the 10th anniversary of the annual Manufacturing the Future Summit, a premier event dedicated to celebrating exceptional achievements and innovations in the manufacturing industry. This year’s summit once again honored those who drive excellence and transformation in their respective fields, culminating in the presentation of six prestigious awards from over 700 global locations. Each award recipient was meticulously selected based on their outstanding contributions to the industry.

The Manufacturing the Future Summit began in 2014 with a tent behind KCF Technologies’ office, hosting about 50 industry peers. Ten years later, the event has grown to hosting over 350 industry peers at some of the best venues in State College, Pennsylvania. The award ceremony took place at Beaver Stadium, home of the Penn State Nittany Lions football team, which seats nearly 110,000 fans on any given Saturday during football season.

Ahlstrom Receives “Innovator of the Year Award

The Innovator of the Year Award is a prestigious award that goes to someone that works diligently to make industrial transformation change. Warren’s work at the Rhinelander plant demonstrates a significant push to driving value at scale and measuring success that not only affects his work but drives safety for employees at the Rhinelander site, reduces downtime, and decreases industrial waste.

Jeremy Frank, CEO & Co-founder
KCF Technologies

Warren DeBay is at the forefront of predictive maintenance, catching not only obvious wear and tear failures but also operational anomalies that extend the health of Rhinelander’s equipment. He employs a variety of methods offered by KCF Technologies, including pressure sensors, ultrasound sensors, Piezo sensing modules, temperature, speed-binning models, and real-time speed integration through PLC data. Warren continues to collaborate with KCF Technologies for feature requests in KCF’s SMARTdiagnostics Software, hardware improvements, and monitoring complex assets such as transformers, hydro generators, low-speed applications, and lubrication systems.

Notable Achievements at the Rhinelander Mill:

  • First Ahlstrom mill onboarded to work with KCF Technologies.
  • First Ahlstrom mill to deploy new Piezo Sensing units on their paper machine.
  • First KCF Partner industry-wide to deploy ultrasound sensors to monitor the health of aging transformers.
  • Leveraging pressure sensors to monitor their critical lubrication system.
  • Incorporation of KCF speed binning models to better predict failures based on varying products/run rates on their paper machines.

Warren DeBay’s exceptional work at the Rhinelander location, where he monitors over 800 critical assets, has significantly decreased downtime, increased safety, and pushed the boundaries of what is possible in the industry. Much of the equipment monitored includes paper machines, highlighting Warren’s critical role in maintaining and enhancing operational efficiency.

Warren’s innovation and leadership are a testament to Ahlstrom‘s commitment to excellence and the transformative power of technology in the manufacturing sector.

We are thrilled that Warren has been selected as the recipient of the Innovator of the Year Award at this year’s KCF Technologies Summit. By leveraging KCF’s hardware and software technology, Warren has gained insights into multiple machine behaviors that optimize reliability and performance. Understanding our equipment allows us to detect potential issues and determine severity while minimizing downtimes and maximizing efficiencies. Warren’s pioneering approach of blending technologies encompassing vibration, pressure, temperature, speed, real-time integration of PLC data and more has significantly improved our Rhinelander, Wisconsin operations.

TJ Rees, Central Reliability Manager

Additional Contributors to Ahlstrom’s Success: Daniel McGreaham, Plant Manager; John Harris, Maintenance & Engineering Manager; Tom Fix, Reliability Manager; Gary Petroff, Maintenance Manager; TJ Rees, Central Reliability Manager; Donald Guay, Head of Technology, Engineering and Reliability

KCF extend our heartfelt congratulations to Warren and the greater Rhinelander team for their remarkable achievements.

Jeremy Frank, CEO & Co-founder
KCF Technologies

About KCF Technologies

KCF Technologies offers the industry’s most comprehensive and scalable Machine Health Platform, backed by over two decades of experience. With a global presence spanning six continents and serving more than 700 unique locations, KCF Technologies has saved over 85,000 hours of downtime across 145,000 assets worldwide. Their solution combines real-time analytics, machine learning, and SMARTdiagnostics software to empower businesses to take the right actions at the right time, ensuring optimal machine performance.


Sean Buda 
VP, Marketing 
[email protected]

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