Vanguard Magazine

Vanguard Aug/Sept 2015 digital edition

Preserving capacity, General Tom Lawson, Chief of the Defence Staff, Keys to Canadian SAR

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Page 42 of 47 AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2015 43 T TECHNOLOGY WATCH Dr. Perron's Canadian tech company, Alizem, provides leverage to manufacturing companies to access advanced manufacturing technology quickly. we could return to the model where the producer delivers directly to the consumer in a high-service, high-quality environ- ment. We've even seen 3D printing pro- posed on Canadian ships from an active OMX user, Axis Machining. In the future, competing in Canada will require the best supply chain management tools (shameless OMX plug here): Robot- ics, Innovative manufacturing equipment, Internet of Things, Visual inspection tech- nology, and many others will all play a role. Perhaps the future will look like a series of smaller factories, employing between 50- 100 employees doing high-knowledge, highly specialized, high-value work, while leveraging the latest advanced manufactur- ing technologies. Dr. Marc Perron, President of Alizem Inc., a Canadian software IP company spe- cializing in power electronics applications, reflected that his company's strength lies in providing pre-tested blocks of technology coming from world class organizations and allowing customers to quickly integrate them into their products, significantly re- ducing costs, risk, and time of develop- ment for manufacturers. This is a perfect example of a Canadian technology com- pany providing leverage to manufacturing companies to access advanced manufactur- ing technology quickly, as opposed to in- vesting many years of engineering resourc- es to do so. The President of Jesse Garant & Asso- ciates, Jesse Garant, emphasized that: "In today's technological landscape, the need for a successful inspection and analysis of a part has never been greater." Garant's spe- cialized NDT approach helps defense man- ufacturers make a qualified decision within a shorter timeframe, providing increased confidence in parts being supplied. Where traditional inspection methods could take weeks, an Industrial CT scan can be com- pleted in a matter of hours, providing in- stant and accurate results. This process ensures a value-added time and cost-saving solution because it reduces the number of uncertainties and increases productivity while improving standards in quality con- trol. This is advanced manufacturing tech- nology at work. As companies enter the Internet of Things age (IoT), integration issues due to the increasing systems-of-systems com- plexity are becoming a big challenge to manage. Users are demanding and expect- ing that these systems never fail. QRA, a company based in Halifax, Nova Scotia, is building advanced analysis tools that help IoT developers meet these demands by finding errors easily and quickly, creating smarter, stronger, and safer systems. Ad- vanced manufacturing promises to increase the quality, speed, and customizability of the next generation of machines, but with high levels of automation and integration to ensure these systems always operate as expected. By developing the next genera- tion of early-stage analysis tools for com- plex systems, QRA helps advanced manu- facturing companies build products faster, cheaper, and with more confidence. When it comes to the equipment itself sitting on the floors of these manufactur- ing facilities, advanced manufacturing trends lean towards investing upfront in the type of equipment that promotes high- er efficiency, reliability, and general pro- ductivity. Bill Mastronardi, Mandelli Sales Manager in North America, explained that his company has a long history of creat- ing high-quality Horizontal Machining Centers. The combination of rigidity and technological advancements provide the customer the ability to achieve high ac- curacy while cutting complex profiles on hard materials such as Titanium, all at a re- duced cutting time. "These advancements provide greater efficiency," Mastronardi comments, "but also greater opportunity for our customers to secure work that may have been out of reach in the past, making them more competitive in a global mar- ket." Inserting technology into a manu- facturing process by procuring innovative machinery clearly drives increased produc- tivity and global competitiveness. Examples of successful Canadian manu- facturing businesses can be found across the country, but they all seem to have one thing in common: they specialize, offer high service, and custom solutions. One of OMX clients, Automated Coat- ings, clearly attributes its success directly to its ability to adapt, by bringing in ad- vanced manufactuing technologies to its processes. During the past eight years, the manufacturing sector has been hit very hard with plant closing and relocations offshore. Through innovation and ad- vanced manufacturing, Automatic Coating has been able to shift its business focus in support of the defence industry to recover and grow from the loss of business in its traditional markets. Advanced manufacturing isn't new, and I am not the first person to have this revela- tion. I am, however, enthusiastic about the opportunities it can present to Canadian industry and the economy of the future. We hear a lot of grumbling about manu- facturing jobs moving offshore, but some, like the government, have clearly caught onto this trend. There has been an explo- sion of grants for Canadian companies looking to invest in advanced manufactur- ing. A simple Google search will yield a surprising number of results. I have always believed that if you are not moving forwards, then you just keep slid- ing back. "Business is like water skiing," investors often say. "If you stop, you sink." The Canadian manufacturing industrial base slid backwards in the past, and in or- der to move ahead we must take advantage of technology. Small or large, all Canadian manufacturing businesses need to think seriously about how to leverage available advanced manufacturing technologies, and government funding is a great way to add fuel to the fire to maximize investments. Companies should also think about struc- turing 'Value Proposition' projects around investments into these technologies, which will raise Canada's entire industrial base to the next level; the one required to keep the country relevant and ahead of the game. Of course, none of this will happen alone, it must move forward through collabora- tion and partnerships. OMX, for one, is at the centre of the movement; we are being used by top companies to optimize their supply chains and also source great targets for investments into this wave of advanced manufacturing. The wave that — I believe — will be critical in the future of the Cana- dian industrial base. Dr Marc Perron

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