PLANT

Countdown is on for CMTS 2017 and the future of manufacturing

Biennial show will feature more than 700 suppliers and the latest technologies plus a dynamic conference program.


CMTS will feature new developments in robotics.
Photo: SME

TORONTO — The countdown is on the 2017 Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show (CMTS), the biennial convergence of all things manufacturing, which returns to the International Centre in Mississauga, Ont. Sept. 25-28.

Presented by SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers), this is the biggest manufacturing event in Canada, showcasing what’s new in innovation, products, systems and services. And it has sold out its exhibiting space, providing plenty of stops for the expected 9,000 visitors.

“We’ve gone wall-to-wall, even utilizing additional space used for storage last time,” said Julie Pike, SME’s director of Canadian events. That amounts to a 250,000 square-foot imprint with exhibits from more than 700 suppliers.

The response from interested companies belies the notion that trade shows are on the decline. In fact, the EMC-PLANT salary survey of manufacturing executives shows tradeshows and conferences ranking number two (50%) with professional associations by respondents who were asked to identify how they keep up-to-date in their fields.

Pike notes that this is the first event in recent times over her 20 years of experience, that has continued to attract inbound inquiries (as of mid-August) from interested companies.

The top reason for visiting CMTS is the new equipment and technology on display, but SME has also ramped up the content portion of the show.

“This is the first time we’ve co-located with the Advanced Manufacturing Canada  conference, which brings together thought leaders around Canadian productivity challenges and how to help Canadian manufacturers become more productive, the enhancements to automation and the shifting that needs to happen so manufacturers can be more competitive on the global stage,” Pike said.

There are four main tracks: automation economics for those getting started; automation and robotics for those who are already hands-on; additive manufacturing (through the co-located RAPID Canada conference); and solving the skills gap crisis. More than 50 speakers from across all industries will cover two days of presentations, workshops and panel discussions.

CMTS keynotes will help make sense of the disruptions affecting manufacturing. Futurist and author Jim Carroll will look at the dramatic shifts impacting manufacturing and the opportunities that will flow from aligning with these fast-paced trends. Kirk Rogers, technology leader at the GE Center for Additive Technology Advancement will do a deep dive into how additive manufacturing is changing the economies of production. And Humera Malik, CEO of Canvass Analytics, will reveal how Fortune 5000 manufacturers are introducing automation into their plants.

Students get their own day on Sept. 28 when they will join a tour that will explore advance manufacturing technologies and provide an opportunity to check out careers in the field. Included is the RIPPL3D Challenge, where they’ll design and make rockets using 3D technology.

“It’s a cool manufacturing challenge that will try to spark interest among our future workforce,” Pike said.

Indeed, there’s plenty of cool. Far from conforming to the stereotype of a dirty, boring, poorly paid career pursuit, CMTS will reveal it’s all about highly skilled jobs, specialized technologies and high pay. More than 1.7 million Canadians are employed at 90,000 companies across the country, making manufacturing the largest sector of the Canadian economy, contributing $610 billion to the nation’s GDP. And trends indicate industry has continued to expand through 2017. That’s a positive a message for young people and good reason for manufacturers to feel confident about the future.

Click here for CMTS registration info.

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