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Time to invest?

Manufacturers in Quebec and Alberta who are ready to spend investment money on improving their productivity can check out new technologies, systems, equipment, machinery and more at two regional shows presented by SME.


May 13, 2011
by PLANT STAFF

The numbers are in and it’s official: Canadian manufacturers and exporters will be the major contributors to economic growth this year and next.

Statistics Canada reports manufacturers scored solid sales gains in January, a whopping 4.5% with 17 of 21 industries recording growth. And companies are loosening their purse strings to invest in new plants and equipment as they seek new export opportunities. CIBC World Markets Inc. expects this investment to add significantly to capacity, ensuring it remains a consistent source of support for the domestic economy in 2011 and in coming years.

Manufacturers in Quebec and Alberta who are ready to spend some of this investment money on improving their productivity and competitiveness can check out new technologies, systems, equipment, machinery and more at two regional shows presented by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).

In its twenty-second year, the Plant Management and Design Engineering Show (PMDS), from May 17-19 at Place Bonaventure in Montreal, connects you with top industry suppliers of plant, maintenance and systems products and services.

“Now, more than ever, it’s essential for manufacturers to come together in an environment where they can compare the latest in equipment, technology and services in order to be as competitive as possible,” said Nick Samain, event manager with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), organizer of the event. “PMDS provides a unique forum that brings together three critical elements for manufacturers – knowledge, technology and networking – each critical to success in today’s highly-competitive business environment.”

But it’s much more than a trade show. PMDS also provides opportunities for networking and learning. New for 2011 is an advanced Plant Maintenance Conference, bringing high-level speakers and content designed to help manufacturers take advantage of the economic recovery. Topics include:

• Continuous improvement. Reduce manufacturing costs and secondary operations by: building a culture of continuous improvement; implementing Six Sigma to reduce scrap and rework; and making production more efficient.

• Shortage of manpower. Learn how to recruit and mobilize an unskilled workforce. Key points covered include: understanding the job market; how to position yourself in that market; how to promote and differentiate your company; and training your employees to follow new technological developments.

• Encourage collaboration between your departments. The session will look at how you can create a maintenance and operations team. Topics include: how to develop a team; preparing it to cope with a period of high workload; putting reliability teams together; aligning supervisors with corporate goals and encouraging ownership of their projects; and laying
a foundation for succession through coaching and leadership.

• Lean maintenance. Apply the concepts of lean manufacturing to your strategies and maintenance procedures by: reviewing all aspects of maintenance; identifying key steps and best practices for the successful implementation of lean; and encouraging your workforce to be more efficient.

• World conversation café. Interactive discussions on maintenance and plant
engineering will accelerate the search for innovative solutions to complex challenges by drawing on the wisdom and creativity of the participants. Issues to be discussed include: developing an industry that is attractive to the workforce of tomorrow; recruiting, motivating and retaining a workforce; productivity in relation to quality and profitability; and best practices from industries that inspire.

• Preventive or predictive maintenance? This workshop will help you make informed choices about which method is best for your machinery and equipment. You’ll learn about the main requirements of both, their strategies and weaknesses, and assessing the best strategies.

• Unplanned breakdowns. Learn how to stay ahead of failures and establish
contingency plans. This workshop will help you quickly find the source of a
failure; make a repair or replace decision; and keep the right parts in stock.

Head west for WMTS
The Western Manufacturing Technology Show (WMTS) held every two years in Edmonton, provides western manufacturers a showcase of products ranging from machine tools, welding equipment, design engineering and plant maintenance to process control and automation.

This year’s show, June 14-16, will help Alberta’s manufacturers address some of the challenges they face in a booming energy economy.

Investment in Alberta oil sands development and operations is a huge contributor to the resurgence of spending on machinery, equipment and technologies. This year’s capital and operational spending is expected to exceed $30 billion, which cascades through Alberta’s economy and across Canada. Manufacturers who want to share the bounty will have to be efficient, productive and ready to deliver.

WMTS, held at Edmonton’s Expo Centre, Northlands, will feature leading-edge machine tools, tooling and accessories, fabrication, design, automation, process control, and plant maintenance equipment, plus opportunities to network with technology experts and peers. And Weld Expo Canada 2011 is back.

The program will also include
keynotes and a town hall panel, details to be announced.

PMDS and WMTS are produced in partnership with Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), Canadian Wind Energy Association (CANWEA), Canadian Tooling and Machining Association (CTMA), Quebec Aerospace Association (AQA), Canadian Machine Tool Distributors
Association (CMTDA), Rogers Media and Edmonton Tourism. Canadian PLANT, a Rogers Media publication, is a media partner for both shows.