Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show gears up for expanded event: following results of national survey


Nearly 60 per cent of Canadian manufacturing companies are planning to spend more money on manufacturing equipment this year compared to 2010, while approximately 30 per cent are prepared to spend the same year over year. That’s the finding of a national survey conducted by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the leading international resource for manufacturing information and knowledge.

The survey also showed that, at the same time, close to half of respondents cite “keeping production costs under control” and “improving workforce productivity” as their most pressing challenges. That means ongoing investment in new technology and processes is not only happening, but continues to play a key role as manufacturers rebound from the economic downtown of 2008-09, said Nick Samain, Event Manager with SME, which is organizing the upcoming Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show 2011 (CMTS 2011).

Responding to the survey, organizers of CMTS 2011, Canada’s leading manufacturing event, which takes place October 17 to 20 at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto, have announced an expanded show for this year, featuring live equipment demonstrations, a 600-exhibit trade show, an exclusive industry keynote, interactive panel discussions and excellent industry-wide networking opportunities.

“Our survey shows that there is optimism for the future, and as Canadian companies look for ways to increase efficiencies while keeping costs down, they rely on a venue like CMTS more than ever to help break through the massive clutter of information out there,” said Samain.

“Manufacturers know they need to integrate the latest advances into their daily operations but the challenge is always how to go about doing so,” he explained.  “At CMTS 2011, they can see, hear and touch the range of potential solutions all under one roof.”

When asked to name the most pressing challenges they face today, one-third of SME survey respondents pointed to either expanding into new markets, finding and retaining qualified personnel, or updating equipment and processes. Meanwhile, 22 per cent reported difficulty keeping up with industry trends.

Additional highlights of the survey include:

58 per cent of respondents have increased their manufacturing equipment budgets this year while 29 per cent have maintained the same budgets.

60 per cent of those surveyed are exploring areas for diversification, with 62 per cent planning to upgrade their machining and equipment as part of that strategy. Other areas earmarked for upgrading or diversification include design and engineering (45 per cent), processing equipment (38 per cent), quality (38 per cent) and materials (35 per cent).

Just under 75 per cent of respondents plan to invest in manufacturing equipment this year. Budgets range from $1 million and over (10.5 per cent); $250,000 to $999,999 (16.3 per cent); $50,000 to $249,999 (25.4 per cent); and, under $50,000 (21.8 per cent).

Two-thirds of respondents noted that trade shows play a role in their purchasing strategies. 81.3 per cent use trade shows to see equipment in action; 70.3 per cent to learn about new applications; 72.5 per cent to see new products; and, 52.7 per cent to meet with technical staff.

“Faced with the current reality of a strong Canadian dollar, manufacturers need to find new ways to compete with their global counterparts,” said Samain.

“There’s no better place to do that than at CMTS 2011.”

The Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show 2011 is Canada’s definitive showcase for the latest technology, equipment, lean practices, management strategies and green solutions in the manufacturing industry, from traditional automation, metal forming, packaging, prototyping, measurement and tooling solutions, to cutting-edge visualization, nanotechnology, robotics, green and smart grid technologies.