Industry News
Toronto"- The industrial manufacturing sector is optimistic about its future, with 86 per cent of executives confident of achieving business growth over the next 12 months, according to a new study.The PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) 11th Annual Global CEO Survey also found the top three rated opportunities for contributing to this growth are new product development, geographic expansion and better penetration of existing markets.The survey also found, however, that industry is currently facing a shortage of highly skilled and trained employees. This is clearly an area of concern, with 62 per cent of respondents anticipating that lack of availability of key skills will become worse and could pose a threat to business growth."This is a challenging time for Canadian manufacturers with pricing on goods continuing to decline due the rising Canadian dollar and with the lack of skilled labour companies are feeling the pinch," says Dean Mullett, Canadian Leader Automotive and Industrial Products. "Manufacturing CEOs need to focus attention on investing in their people. Going global and driving technological innovation requires collaboration and strong skill sets. Industrial manufacturing companies need to be proactive in addressing people issues to succeed in the evolving world economy."Industrial manufacturing CEOs are also keenly aware of the importance of technological innovation with 75 per cent looking to it as a source of competitive advantage, compared with 65 per cent of respondents across all industries.
The ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute, an organization that is part of the Automation Standards Compliance Institute, has begun an open membership program for all interested parties.Industry leaders from major manufacturing and automation control system users and suppliers have formed the ISA100 Wireless Compliance Institute to establish essential specifications and processes to be used in the testing and certification of wireless products and systems for the ISA100 family of wireless standards. The organization aims to decrease the time, costs and risks of developing and deploying standards-based, industrial wireless devices and systems by establishing a collaborative, industry-based program among users, suppliers, and other stakeholders.The institute will conduct independent testing and certification of wireless devices and systems for the ISA100 Wireless Systems for Industrial Automation standards. The Institute will provide education and technical support to users and suppliers in the design, certification, deployment, and management of wireless devices and systems that utilize the ISA100 family of standards." This effort will accelerate the market adoption of the ISA100 standard by certifying that wireless devices and systems meet a common set of specifications for assured interoperability.
Ottawa"- Manufacturing sales edged up 0.1 per cent in October, holding steady after decreasing in five of the six previous months.According to a new Statistics Canada report, sales of manufactured goods increased $38 million, reaching $50.2 billion from $50.1 billion in September.Using constant dollars, which take price fluctuations into account, the volume of sales increased 1.1 per cent to $50.1 billion in October. The Industrial Product Price Index, which is a major component in calculating the constant dollar value, dropped 1.1 per cent in October. Despite difficulties for manufacturers presented by the strengthening exchange rate, constant dollar sales were 3.2 per cent higher than in October 2006.On an industry-by-industry basis, 12 of 21 manufacturing industries increased in October, representing slightly less than half of total manufacturing sales.
Executives from some of the world's leading process automation companies are voicing their support for the new WirelessHART Communication standard.The executives spoke out about the standard during a press conference at the ISA Expo 2007 in Houston earlier this month. Representatives from ABB, Emerson, Endress+Hauser and Siemens spoke of the impact WirelessHART technology will have on the process industry and their expectations for the quick adoption of the technology by end users.Sean Keeping, Vice-President Technology, for ABB Instrumentation, said the company has long believed a single fiedlbus standard would provide significant benefits to both user and vendors. "However, it is a business reality that multiple fieldbus technologies/standards are here to stay," Keeping added. "Therefore, to maximize our customersí ability to choose a best fit solution, we have integrated the leading fieldbus communications protocols into ABB field devices, tools and host systems.Siemens' Division President for Sensors and Communication, Hans-Georg Kumpfmüller, agreed. "The HART Communication Foundation recently made several major steps forward. It has released HART version 7, which enables new functions for Process Automation manufacturers and end customers," he said. "With HART 7 there is also the first important official open standard for wireless communication available for the Process Automation industry--WirelessHART."
Hannover Fair, which took place at the Hannover Exhibition Center in Germany, from April 24-28, showcases the latest technologies in industrial automation from around the world.
One of Canada's historic transportation waterways will receive an automation makeover. After completing a two-year pilot project on the St. Lawrence Seaway,"Bosch Rexroth"signed a five-year contract with the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. to modernize the remaining locks of the Seaway's Welland Canal near Niagara Falls, Ont. Once used by early North American explorers and Canadian fur traders, the St. Lawrence Seaway is a busy cluster of lakes and rivers used to ship mountains of cargo across North America every year.The Welland Canal, with its eight large locks, connects Lake Ontario to Lake Erie and major industrial areas in North America. Rexroth, a German control and drives company, will provide an engineered hydraulic and controls system for this critical transportation artery. The new system will replace the existing 70-year-old system made up of electromechanical drives, gears, chains and steel cables.www.boschrexroth.ca
Aromat Canada Inc, the Canadian subsidiary of the Japanese company Matsushita Electric Works, Ltd., is now called Panasonic Electric Works Canada, Inc. The name change is aimed at providing all Matsushita companies with a single, worldwide brand and a common company name-Panasonic, according to a spokesperson. As well, Aromat Corporation is now called Panasonic Electric Works Corporation of America, and Aromat Mexicana S.A. de C.V. is now known as Panasonic Electric Works Mexicana S.A. de C.V. Panasonic Electric Works Corporation is headquartered in New Providence, N.J., and is a leading provider of signal, power, solid state, photoMOS, high-frequency and automotive relays.
Despite efforts by show organizers to put a positive spin on attendance numbers, National Manufacturing Week (NMW) Exhibition and Conference is showing its age. Once the "granddaddy" of North American manufacturing trade shows, gathering the who's who of the manufacturing world, NMW appears to be in decline. Some exhibitors say they're not too happy with the dwindling attendance and are considering pulling out. Others have already voted with their feet.
The Conference Board of Canada says Canadian corporate profits are expected to weaken over the next six months.
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