CMTS 2019 Recap: The Changing Canadian Manufacturing Industry

Think big, start small and scale fast.

This phrase, often associated with futurist, Jim Carroll, encapsulated the energy and discussions felt and heard at the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show (CMTS) on September 30 – October 3. The 4-day biennial show brought together over 10,000 like-minded innovators and change-makers that are transforming Canada’s manufacturing landscape and Shoplogix was proud to be included in the roster!

It is without question that the Canadian manufacturing industry is undergoing significant change primarily due to aging production technologies, so shows such as CMTS are vital for industry professionals to stay up to date on the latest i4.0 technology practices and learn about the different types of solutions available on the market to digitally transform and future proof their operations. The expansive show focused primarily on IoT i4.0 technology such as smart factory software that is disrupting manufacturing organizations across all industries in Canada.

Think Big

Throughout the numerous speaking sessions, a clear theme was the necessity for Canadian manufacturers to “think big”. This means thinking of long-term transformative trends that will have a direct impact on their operations and growth in the next 5 to 10 years. A significant trend that is changing the manufacturing landscape in Canada is the emergence of new competitors entering the market. As a result, manufacturers are adopting new technologies and looking to replace their legacy software for i4.0 IoT enabled solutions to optimize processes and upskill employees to improve their competitive position in the global market. 

However, as a result of this pressure to transition to more advanced manufacturing production systems, many manufacturers are overwhelmed by the complexity of IoT. For instance, there are different data types to consider when transitioning to a new system. Lack of proper IoT integration is also a lost opportunity to gain real-time visibility into operations. Data analytics is another area to define and monitor to optimize growth and see ROI. And, many manufacturers still need validation before committing to a new solution – they want to see success with other industry leaders; they want to see real-world results in dollars before implementing a new solution. Due to these reasons, the industry is slow-moving to adopt IoT in their facilities and the show revealed an urgency for Canadian manufacturers to act fast before their local and global competitors beat them to it. 

Start Small 

In order to combat these doubts and fears, many speakers suggested that manufacturers start small. Launching pilot programs at a plant level is a great way to test out new technologies and begin to collect the necessary data to make a decision on full implementation. 

For example, with smart factory software, the initial steps such as setting up dashboards and KPIs, monitoring OEE and creating alert processes for downtime, allow for a better or in some cases, initial understanding of relationships and behaviours in production performance and gives more insight to the areas that require improvement. 

Once this initial connection is achieved, manufacturers can start looking at the data and analytics that are generated with the manufacturing production software and hone in on specific bottleneck causes to evaluate through OEE and downtime reports to identify specific reasons and adjust processes accordingly to eliminate bottlenecks. 

If this manufacturing production software is deemed to add significant value and can contribute to the organization’s growth objectives, it is important to scale the solution across all plants, quickly.

Scale Fast

Only about 22% of large manufacturers are successful in scaling digital solutions. In order to truly reap the benefits of i4.0 technology, solutions must be rolled out throughout the business, across multiple plants. The ones who are successful at this, take strategic approaches and identify the value of what they want to achieve and understand the bigger picture of how these innovations will affect their organization. It’s not about scaling more pilot projects, it’s about finding the right solution and learning how to increase profits by scaling faster and better. 

Did you attend CMTS 2019? What did you think of the show? Leave a comment below to share your experience!

About Shoplogix:

Shoplogix is re-defining the manufacturing industry by making the Smart Factory platform the cornerstone of production digital transformation. By empowering manufacturers to visualize, integrate, and act on production performance in real-time, Shoplogix helps to uncover hidden shop floor potential and drive rapid time to value.

Learn about our Smart Factory IoT Platform

  • Shoplogix Smart Factory Platform for Production Management – Shoplogix helps manufacturers reduce operational costs, sustain growth and improve profitability with real-time visibility into performance to increase efficiencies in production. 
  • MES Modules – explore how our advanced manufacturing modules such as scheduling, quality, materials, labor and process functionality can accelerate growth.
  • Continuous Improvement – the Shoplogix Smart Factory Platform offers CI modules to help manufacturers sustain and accelerate growth such as Messaging, Energy, Smart Video, Action Plan and Kaizen functionality. 

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