Manufacturing AUTOMATION magazine
leading publication providing industrial automation news and technology
information aimed at the discrete and process industries."
Volume 4, Issue 2
In this issue
From the editor: Canada left behind?
Question of the month
In the news
- Toyota to expand Ontario plant
- Samuel Manu-Tech opens U.S. office
- Innova Holdings to acquire CoroWare
- Robotics awards accepting nominations
Mark your calendars
From the editor
Canada left behind?
recently attended the RFID in Manufacturing breakfast meeting at Lucent
Technologies Canada in Markham, Ont. Attendees learned about RFID and
what it can do for the manufacturing industry, particularly in the
pharmaceutical and food industries, which have been slow to adopt the
technology due to cost.
In her presentation,
Katherine van Nes, president of Cougar Automation Technologies Inc. in
Woodbridge, Ont., said that there are many opportunities for RFID in
the manufacturing industry. As a data enabler, RFID can provide a link
between the manufacturing execution system and the production floor. It
can be used in safety and security applications, production execution
and quality control, product tracking and geneology, inventory tracking
and visibility, and asset management.
Nes went on to discuss RFID implementation in harsh and challenging
environments, and provided actual case study examples. I noticed,
though, that many of the examples were European companies. It left me
wondering why Canadian companies are slower when it comes to adopting
the technology in food and pharmaceutical manufacturing applications.
Are we missing the boat? Clearly, we have Canadian companies with the
capability and expertise to implement the technology, but are
manufacturers willing to take the plunge?
how many of our readers are seriously considering implementing the
technology into their manufacturing environments, whether it is in the
food and pharmaceutical industries, or the discrete manufacturing
industries. Judging from the number of attendees at the meeting, there
are quite a few who are looking into the technology. But how long can
you wait before you lose business to your American and European
competitors who are able to gather data on their manufacturing
environment faster, thus getting information to the customer faster?
RFID holds a lot of promise for the manufacturing industry. There's no
time like the present to look into the technology and whether or not
the cost outweighs the benefits that you will achieve. It may not make
sense for everyone, but it is worth seriously considering.
On that note, RFID expert Bob Matson has offered to answer any
technical RFID questions that industry executives would like to ask via
e-mail, without any charge or obligation. Matson is a veteran RFID
engineer and a holder of a string of U.S. patents.
Send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Each question will receive a personal e-mail response. Questions and answers are posted on www.softmatch.com under "RFID Q&A."
Mary Del Ciancio
Are you seriously considering implementing RFID into your manufacturing operations?
Take the poll
Stay tuned for the March/April 2006 issue of Manufacturing AUTOMATION:
Cover story: Virtual Manufacturing
will the factory of the future look like? We take a look inside the
National Research Council’s Integrated Manufacturing Technologies
Institute and find out about the cutting-edge research and development
taking place. We’ll share what this research and technology can do for
Feature: Machine Vision
take a look at machine vision trends in the automation industry, and
discuss incentives and obstacles of applying machine vision
technologies, new machine vision developments that will enable
manufacturers to drive industry growth, how to get started with machine
vision projects, and how to avoid failure when deploying machine vision
Trends in the sensors market. An analysis of what’s hot and where the market is headed.
Plus: News, appointment announcements and trends, as well as a
selection of the latest enclosures/workstations, machine vision
products, electronic components, programmable control offerings and
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In the news
Toyota to expand Ontario plant
- Toyota will increase its annual production capacity at its Woodstock,
Ont. plant to 150,000 RAV4 sport utility vehicles, the company said
last week. As a result, total employment at the plant, which is now
under construction, will reach about 2,000, and the total investment
will grow to about $1.1 billion.
Production is set to begin in 2008.
Samuel Manu-Tech opens U.S. office
- Samuel Manu-Tech Inc. (SMT) will open a 130,000-sq.ft. facility in
Mississippi, the first U.S. location for the Roll Form Group of SMT,
which is based in Toronto.
The plant will be located in Iuka,
Miss., with easy access to barge, rail and truck transportation. The
$22-million US project will create up to 70 new jobs and is expected to
be operational in the first quarter of 2007.
Included in the project is a heavy cold roll forming mill and a new
state-of-the art very wide roll forming line. The facility will supply
ready-to-use, high-quality custom-formed components to serve customers
in the transportation, construction and marine industries in the United
States and Mexico.
Manu-Tech Inc. produces and distributes steel, plastic and related
industrial products and services from locations in Canada and the
Innova Holdings to acquire CoroWare
FORT MYERS, Fla.
- Innova Holdings, Inc., a provider of hardware and software
systems-based solutions to the military, service and industrial robotic
markets, recently announced that it will acquire all of the assets of
CoroWare, including the newly formed CoroWare Test Labs subsidiary.
The transaction will close in the coming months.
CoroWare is a systems integration firm with expertise in the area of
mobile service robotics. Its current management, engineers and
developers will be part of the Coroware subsidiaries of Innova
Robotics awards accepting nominations
The Robotic Industries Association (RIA) is accepting nominations for
the 2006 Engelberger Robotics Awards, which will be presented at the
37th International Symposium on Robotics/AUTOMATICA on May 15-19 in
Munich, Germany. The award, being presented for the 30th consecutive
year, is named after Joseph Engelberger, the founding force behind
industrial robotics. Engelberger was founder and president of
Unimation, Inc., the world's first industrial robot manufacturer.
The Engelberger Robotics Award is presented annually to outstanding
individuals with significant achievements in the areas of application,
education, leadership and technology development. Since its inception
in 1977, the awards have been presented to 97 robotics leaders from 15
countries. Each winner receives a $4,000 US honorarium and a
To submit a nomination, contact Saroj Motwani at email@example.com or 734-994-6088, or visit www.roboticsonline.com
and select "Events" for an online nomination form. A full description
of the award criteria for each of the four areas and a fact sheet with
frequently asked questions are also posted on the site. The nomination
deadline is March 17, 2006.
ViTechnology promotes Wyllie
- ViTechnology, a supplier of equipment and services dedicated to the
electronics industry, recently named Glenn Wyllie its eastern region
manager. Wyllie, a 20-year veteran of the electronics field, will be
responsible for sales and service in a territory that runs from Canada
to Puerto Rico, and stretches as far as Wisconsin, Nebraska and Kansas.
He moves into the newly created position after serving the company as a
technical sales engineer since 1999.
Exact Software appoints directors
- Exact Software has appointed Steve Massey to the position of director
of product line management, and Christopher Lenzo to the role of
director of product strategy.
Massey was previously general manager
for Exact's JobBOSS division, a role that will be combined with his new
responsibilities. He joined the company in October 1999 as a
professional service consultant, and has more than 10 years of
manufacturing experience and 12 years of experience in information
Lenzo was the previous director of operations for Exact's Macola
division. He has been with the company since 2004, and has more than 15
years of experience in the design, development and delivery of
commercial information systems.
Exact's solutions encompass executive control, accounting,
manufacturing, distribution, online commerce, CRM, HRM, document
management, Web portals, workflow and business intelligence.
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The ArtistaUSB controller from Apollo Display Technologies allows
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controller can be installed as a frame buffer device running under
Each unit can be run 16 ft. (4.87 m) or more from the source, with data
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Apollo Display Technologies
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Mark your calendars
The Fieldbus Foundation's Annual General Assembly
February 28 - March 1, 2006
This year's event will address the needs of the expanding Foundation
Fieldbus market in China and Asia/Pacific, and will feature an end-user
oriented agenda that includes case study presentations, technical
training workshops and tabletop exhibitions.
National Manufacturing Week
March 20-23, 2006
Donald E Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont, Ill.
Manufacturers come together for in-depth education and exhibits
covering enabling technologies, systems, products and solutions to grow
and compete in the global economy.
ISA Hamilton EXPO 2006
March 21, 2006
The conference includes presentations, new product diplays and
networking opportunities. The event is designed for engineers,
educators, and those involved in operations, maintenance and purchasing.
NA06 - The Material Handling & Logistics Show and Conference
March 27-30, 2006
I-X Center, Cleveland, Ohio
See and compare the latest solutions essential to the productivity of manufacturing, warehousing and distribution operations.
Contact: Carol Miller at firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-345-1815
Advanced Manufacturing Expo
March 29-30, 2006
International Centre, Mississauga, Ont.
The expo will help address manufacturing challenges through innovations
on the show floor, and includes a comprehensive educational program.
2006 RFID Conference
April 4-5, 2006
Contact: Silvana Cantalini at 905-513-8919 ext. 25
Hannover Fair 2006
April 24-28, 2006
Hannover Exhibition Grounds, Hannover, Germany
The fair will showcase innovative end-to-end solutions for all sectors
of industry, as well as more than 1,000 forums, lectures, panel
discussions and displays.
Contact: email@example.com; 800-727-4183
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Six Sigma Summit
May 31 - June 1, 2006
conference covers Six Sigma in the manufacturing and service sectors.
The sessions will also cover how to achieve continuing results and
maintain senior management buy-in.
MainTrain 2006: Mastering Maintenance
November 28-29, 2006
Plant Engineering and Maintenance Association of Canada (PEMAC) is
holding its third annual maintenance and physical asset management
conference and workshops at the Novotel Toronto Center. MainTrain 2006
gathers Canada's top maintenance experts, consultants, practitioners
and technology vendors to learn about asset optimization, equipment
reliability and maintenance training.
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Machine safeguarding guide includes free CD-ROM version
Technologies, Inc. (STI) introduces their free 2006 Machine and Process
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If you would like to share your comments about this e-newsletter, or have a news tip for Manufacturing AUTOMATION, please e-mail Mary Del Ciancio, Editor.
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