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The Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show connects attendees digitally and in-person

The Canadian Manufacturing Technology event took place October 4 – 7 at The International Centre in Toronto, Ont.

November 3, 2021   Maryam Farag

Photo credit: Mario Cywinski.

CMTS is Canada’s stage for manufacturing technologies, best practices and industry connections. For over 40 years, the CMTS audience from within Canada’s leading industries, including automotive and aerospace, have come together to source solutions and knowledge from the global leaders in machine tools and tooling, metalworking, and advanced manufacturing.

The event offered a diverse mix of live technology on display, with keynotes, panel discussions and technical sessions. The “CMTS LIVE!” digital experience was a new feature at CMTS 2021. It is a digital complement to the in-person event, and it was available during and is available after CMTS for 60 days.

Photo credit: Mario Cywinski.

Annex Business Media was a part of the event, as media sponsor and exhibitor, representing its manufacturing group brands: PLANT magazine, Machinery and Equipment MRO, Canadian Manufacturing, Design Engineering, and Manufacturing Automation.

The event featured manufacturing technologies in 100+ exhibits. The advanced manufacturing space included additive manufacturing, automation, robotics, design engineering, Industry 4.0 and IIoT. The machining and metalworking space included machine tools, tooling and work holding, metalworking, measurement and Inspection, and finishings and coatings.

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“We attend to educate ourselves on the latest machine tools models and features, as well as to get a feel for the local support that can be expected with these products. [Reading] about the latest technology or tools in the periodicals we receive can only go so far. I find the ability to attend CMTS to touch and see that same technology you read about is invaluable.” said Neil Teague, President, Rice Tool and Manufacturing Inc.

Day one’s keynote “Geopolitical Risks and How to Manage Them” was presented by Courtney Rickert McCaffrey, Insights Leader, EY Geostrategic Business Group. She explored the key political risks manufacturers face and how they can manage them in today’s volatile global environment.

Photo credit: Mario Cywinski.

Day one also saw a panel presentation; “Building a Resilient Supply Chain: Enabling Speed and Agility to Protect your Customer and your Bottom Line”. Panelists Kimberley Hagerty, Digital Operations Officer, AWS, Stewart Cramer, Chief Manufacturing Officer, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), Michelle Bockman, CEO, 3D Control Systems, and Alejandro Guerrero, Infor outlined what a resilient supply chain looks like (key capabilities and characteristics), how to identify risk across a global value network, and what is being done to protect customers from a wide variety of supply chain disruptions.

On day two, Mike Brownhill, Commercial Account Director, Advanced Manufacturing, Export Development Canada discussed how manufacturing companies have navigated disruptive events, sharing lessons learned over the years from companies who have survived and thrived through challenging circumstances, and how these lessons can be applied going forward. Brownhill also shared how opportunities are developing for companies focused on ESG (environmental, social, and governance) in their operations in his keynote presentation “Back to Global Business: Managing Risk & Seizing Opportunity Amongst Black Swans”.

Photo credit: Mario Cywinski

Jayson Myers, CEO, NGen, joined by Gillian Sheldon, Director, Investment Partnerships, NGen, outlined how manufacturers need a plan now in order to turn challenges into business opportunities, and how advanced technologies will play a role. 

Day three’s keynote “Our Real Electric Future” was presented by Flavio Volpe, President, Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA), as he discussed electrification of the automobile, governments switch over by 2035, and the “real future – a mix of successes and failures of the tug-of-war over retiring internal combustion.”

Day three’s panel “Driving Transformation: Enhancing Wellness, Safety, and Security in Manufacturing” was moderated by Erin Hartnett, Ontario TELUS Business Solutions Manager, TELUS Business, and joined by panelists Damien Johnston, TELUS Business, Mathew Wilson, Senior Vice-President of Policy, Government Relations, and Ontario Division, Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters and Marshall Berkin, TELUS Business, discussed how manufacturing leaders can bridge the digital divide; integrating new technologies to overcome key industry issues such as attracting and retaining talent amid a skills shortage, increasing employee engagement and productivity by prioritizing health and well-being, creating safer work environments for workers, and mitigating the potential risk and cost of a cyberattack.

Photo credit: Mario Cywinski.

On the final day, the keynote focused on “Building the Manufacturing Workforce for the Future”. Robert Cattle, Executive Director, Canadian Tooling & Machining Association (CTMA) discussed the CTMA Career Ready program, its focus and how companies and people can participate in it, Ontario’s current school systems, and how to help build the manufacturing workforce for the future.

Day four also saw a panel discussion themed “Welder Education for Today’s Workforce”, moderated by Trent Konrad, Manager of Education and Learning Development, Canadian Welding Bureau (CWB), with panelists Kevin Bryenton, Executive Director of Canadian Affairs, Ironworkers International, Ray Lemieux, Training Specialist-Welding, UA Canada, and Scott Wideman, Collision Program Manager, Volkswagen Group Canada Inc., discussed how organizations and businesses adapt to technologies, training, recruitment, retention, and overall productivity, while outlining some of the current state challenges in the welding industry today.