Trade show asks Quebec OEMs to embrace new ways
Quebec’s manufacturing sector will win or lose depending on its ability to gain global market share, so now is the time to view the industry with a new set of eyes, says René Vézina, noted Les Affaires columnist and keynote speaker at the upcoming Montreal Manufacturing Technology Show (MMTS) 2014, to be held May 12-14 at Place Bonaventure.
“In Quebec, we tend to have these dated images of people working behind rows of sewing machines in the textile industry, but the manufacturing sector must adapt to new realities in order to succeed,” said Vézina, who kicks off the event on May 12. “Now is not the time for manufacturers to reinvent old ways of doing things, but rather, to adopt a whole new manufacturing world that is capable of generating wealth for the province by competing on a global scale.
According to Vézina, the way for Quebec manufacturers to succeed is to embrace information technology and sophisticated machinery, to rely on a new generation of leaders who are fresh from college and university and keen to compete on the global stage, and to throw away 9-5 attitudes and allow the next generation of “whiz kids” to share their video game-inspired creativity, even if that means working through the night.
One of the province’s most anticipated manufacturing events, MMTS 2014 features a wide range of educational sessions designed to share lessons learned that will help Quebec manufacturers identify and implement necessary changes within their own companies. Working demonstrations of state-of-the-art equipment will round out the show’s educational component, including a technology showcase sponsored by REAI (Association of Industrial Automation Equipment Suppliers) that will give MMTS attendees a firsthand look at the latest developments in factory automation.
“When you aim to introduce a new technology or new ways of doing things on the manufacturing floor, human engineering is just as important as technical engineering,” said MMTS conference participant and consultant Viwek Vaidya, a former Senior International Expert with Air Liquide Canada Inc., explaining that changing people’s views goes alongside technological changes. “You need to find a champion for the change, the one person who can influence everyone else.”
At MMTS, Vaidya will share real life examples to demonstrate how challenging it is for companies to alter their way of thinking, even when the latest lean methodologies uncover areas for improvement. “Sometimes one small step can save manufacturers a great deal of time or money, but fear of change stops them from moving forward,” he said, noting that the overall goal of MMTS is to inspire change. “When you’re a consultant looking from the outside, it’s easy to see what manufacturers have to do. But if they want to successfully compete on the world stage, they need to take ownership of new directions themselves.”
Additional highlights of the MMTS 2014 conference line-up, geared to share best practices and process improvements from across the manufacturing sector, include a look at how:
* Advanced simulation techniques are helping to improve numeric control machining processes in today’s manufacturing climate, with its increasingly complex machinery and growing pressure to produce fast results;
* The concept of lean manufacturing is creating a culture of continuous process improvement and cost savings in the welding industry;
* Real-time optimization tools can accommodate unexpected events by dynamically tracking changes in a manufacturing and logistics network; and,
* 3D printing is changing the prototype development landscape.
According to show producer SME, many of the technologies on display at MMTS 2014 are being introduced to the Quebec market for the first time, including new developments in machine tools, tooling, metalworking, automation, additive manufacturing, design and physical asset management. Key exhibitors include Elliott Matsuura, Machineries B.V Ltée., Huron Canada, Megatel DMG/Mori Seiki/Ellison Technologies, Haas Automation, AW Miller and Single Source Technologies.
MMTS 2014 is produced in partnership with The Canadian Machine Tool Distributors Association (CMTDA), The Canadian Tooling and Machining Association (CTMA) and Manufacturiers et exporateurs du Québec (MEQ) and supported in partnership with Business Information Group, STIQ and MCI.