Industry News
PLCopen is launching a new initiative in the motion control working group to extend the specifications to fluid power, which kicked off in Frankfurt, Germany, at the end of June. The initial goal is to optimizing programming and integration of fluid power devices and systems by defining function blocks employing PLCopen standardization and modular methodology.PLCopen is a non-profit industry organization dedicated to improving the programming efficiency of control and automation engineer s by providing information, training, and fostering communications between users, vendors, educators and othersFor the basic function blocks, a five-steps process will be used:1. Review current V1.0 Motion Function Blocks2. Identify those usable by fluid power in current form3. Define fluid power extensions to current format needed to make remainder usable4. Identify additional base functionality unique to fluid power5. Define Function Blocks unique to fluid power "For algorithmic and application levels, there can be guidelines and best practice descriptions that will facilitate implementation of more elemental components. "The primary goal, the organization says, is to level restrictions to market response and provide integrators with the option to apply the best technology to a given problem without regard to specific technology constructs. Standardized interfaces will allow cross-pollination from electrical and fluid power resource pools and drive best of breed solution configuration. "As a rough timetable the initial idea is the following: • Evaluate current Function Blocks - 2 months• Proposals for extensions - 6 months• First proposal of set of Function Blocks for Fluid Power within 1 year "
Surrey, B.C.-based Vanguard Plastics Ltd. has announced the creation of VPL Enterprises Ltd., a new company formed from the amalgamation of Vanguard Plastics Ltd. and its two wholly owned B.C.-based subsidiaries – Premo Plastics Engineering Ltd. in Victoria and Primex Manufacturing Ltd. in Langley. The manufacturing operations of the three companies will be relocated to the Langley facility. VPL will continue to market the products of the three companies under their trademark names.The creation of VPL is a strategic move to streamline the logistics of the three companies. This involves centralizing and combining administration, service, sales, warehousing and production, thereby simplifying processes and optimizing efficiencies."We are very enthusiastic about the creation of VPL Enterprises," says president Bob Smart. "The combination of business units adds financial and operating strength for both our customers and ourselves. Moving all of the brands under one umbrella eliminates duplication and allows for maximum manufacturing efficiency."Products manufactured by VPL can be found internationally in numerous industries including residential and commercial construction, retail, home renovation, pharmaceuticals and aerial
The Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation honored Navid Zargari from Rockwell Automation in Cambridge, Ont., as Innovator of the Year. The award celebrates inventors who have played a significant role in developing a commercially successful product or service based on a breakthrough technology.In May, he was recognized at the Premier’s Innovation Awards ceremony in Toronto and received a $200,000 grant.A manager of medium voltage development at Rockwell Automation, Zargari was a major contributor in developing the transformerless medium voltage motor drive, "a technology that is helping increase energy efficiency and reliability to achieve sustainability in industries, such as oil and gas, power utilities, mining and cement, and water/wastewater," the company says.Zargari, along with Bin Wu of Toronto’s Ryerson University and Steve Rizzo and Yuan Xiao of Rockwell Automation, co-invented the integrated DC choke for the Allen-Bradley PowerFlex 7000 medium voltage (up to 34,000 horsepower/22.5 MW) drive.The patented, integrated DC choke helps eliminate the need for an isolation transformer to mitigate common mode voltages in the PowerFlex 7000 medium voltage drive. "This helps companies reduce manufacturing costs by 20 to 25 percent per drive," the company says. "The DC choke also helps improve sustainability by increasing drive efficiency by nearly 40 percent and creates a smaller footprint than the previous generation of medium voltage drives by decreasing the size and weight by nearly 30 percent.""Navid led the research, development and technology transfer as the senior design engineer on the PowerFlex 7000 project team," says Rizzo, manager of medium voltage drives. "His groundbreaking work has helped us grow medium voltage sales significantly with growth rates in the double digits year over year."The $200,000 grant will be used toward preliminary technology development and a feasibility study for wind energy conversion
Canadian industries continued to reduce their rate of capacity utilization in the first quarter of 2009, operating at 69.3 percent of production capacity, down 5.6 percentage points from the previous quarter, according to Statistics Canada. (See table by industry sector.) It was the first time that industrial capacity use fell below 70 percent since the start of the data series in 1987.In the first quarter, durable goods industries, especially the transportation equipment industry, the construction sector and the mining sector (excluding oil and gas extraction), were the main contributors to the overall decline.On the bright side – and there is one – capacity use rates increased in three sectors: food manufacturing, beverage and tobacco product manufacturing, and petroleum and coal product manufacturing. Capacity use in the food manufacturing industry rose from 80.3 percent in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 81.3 percent in the first quarter of 2009. The gain was attributable mostly to an increase in output of fruit and vegetable preserving and specialty food manufacturing.However, weakened global and domestic demand for manufactured goods overall continued to drive down capacity utilization rates. Of the 21 major industries in the manufacturing group, 18 registered lower rates.As it did in the fourth quarter of 2008, the transportation equipment industry led the first quarter decline in the manufacturing group. Capacity use in this industry fell from 58.3 percent in the fourth quarter to 42.5 percent in the first quarter of 2009.Manufacturers lowered their use of production capacity in the first quarter to 65.9 percent, down 7.8 percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2008. This was the largest quarterly decline on record for the entire manufacturing sector.Durable goods industries recorded significant decreases in the use of capacity. Transportation equipment, primary metals, fabricated metal product, machinery and wood product manufacturing industries accounted for most of the decline in capacity use.Capacity utilization in the transportation equipment industry fell 15.8 percentage points from the fourth quarter and 35.0 percentage points from the first quarter of 2008, as manufacturers of motor vehicles and associated parts sharply cut back their production to levels approaching the second quarter of 1994. Numerous plants reported extended closures and slowdowns in January in reaction to lower demand in Canada and the United States.In the primary metal manufacturing industry, capacity utilization decreased by 10.1 percentage points to 74.9%. This reflected a large decline in production of iron and steel mills and ferro-alloy manufacturing, and in foundries.The utilization rate in the fabricated metal product manufacturing industry declined from 77.2% in the fourth quarter of 2008 to 70.5% in the first quarter of 2009. The major contributor was lower production in architectural and structural metals manufacturing.Capacity use in the machinery manufacturing industry fell 6.4 percentage points to 75.6 percent. The drop was due largely to declining output in construction machinery, mining machinery and metalworking machinery manufacturing, in line with the reduced needs of the using industries.The wood product manufacturing industry operated at 60.6% capacity in the first quarter, down from 70.2% in the previous quarter. Reduced production in sawmills and wood preservation, partly a reflection of lower levels of construction activity, contributed to the lower rate.
While the programmable logic controller (PLC) market experienced healthy growth in 2008, it's expected to contract severely in 2009. In spite of the current gloom and doom, the market growth will resume in 2010 and beyond, according to a new ARC Advisory Group study. They says manufacturing and infrastructure industries will invest in automation to save energy, increase productivity, and upgrade existing facilities once the economic turmoil settles. As a result, the worldwide market for PLCs is expected to grow over the next five years.2008 was not a bad year for automation. The PLC market grew at a moderate rate in spite of the economic trouble that started in the US at the end of 2007. The manufacturing sector, initially insulated, began to feel pain and then contracted severely. As a result, the PLC market experienced a slowdown."While a severe contraction period is expected in 2009, automation demand is expected to start turning around beginning in 2010 as the manufacturers face increasing global market pressures. PLCs, which are used across all major discrete and process industries, will enjoy growth as the new economy creates increased demand," according to Senior Analyst Himanshu Shah, the principal author of ARC’s "Programmable Logic Controller Worldwide Outlook."PLC market growth started to slow down rapidly at the end of 2008, however, the market is expected to nose dive during the first few months of 2009." After a significant pull back in 2009, the market is expected to rebound somewhat strongly in 2010. Manufacturing and infrastructure industries are keenly reviewing their strategies to employ more automation that reduces the basic cost of operations, which could help them survive better in future economic turmoil and become more sustainable.The globalization environment will once again cause manufacturing companies to invest in creating new capacities in developing economies for various industries such as chemical, cement, electrical power, and pharmaceutical." Building automation will also experience growth as commercial, industrial, and residential building projects resume around the world and strive for increased energy saving. Governments of many countries around the world are injecting money though various stimulus packages to prop up their economy. These packages include major investments in construction projects as well as infrastructure industries, including power and water & wastewater. These programs are expected to create new demands for automation equipment such as PLCs in many
The 2009 Power Transmission Distributors Association Canadian Conference brought together the power transmission/motion control manufacturers and distributors for an insiders’ focus on Canadian industry trends.Held last month at the Sheraton Fallsview Hotel and Conference Center in Niagara Falls, Ont., participants left the conference with a heightened understanding of the drivers of the Canadian economy and associated opportunities for power transmission/motion control."The conference was kicked off by Jayson Myers, president of the Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, who set the stage with an enlightening Canadian economic forecast. He reiterated the importance of manufacturing in Canada – manufacturing is the single largest business sector in Canada, accounting for 14 percent of Canada’s GDP – and provided an in-depth economic overview."He also emphasized new market and business opportunities for Canadian manufacturers and distributors."According to his presentation, Canadian companies will continue to be challenged by the tightening of the U.S. credit market and high levels of risk and uncertainty, but there are a number of opportunities for companies that build a strategy around differentiation. Organizations that continue to innovate and explore new markets, while focusing on what customers value and eliminating waste, have an advantage as the economy stabilizes." "Following Myers’ analysis of the domestic and global indicators affecting Canada, conference attendees attended in-depth market briefings on: • infrastructure with Martin Doble, global managing director, Hatch Engineering;• mining with Tim Gallant, Iron Ore Company of Canada;• hydroelectricity with Rick Everdell, project director, Niagara Tunnel Project, Ontario Power Generation; and •" aerospace and industrial engine manufacturing with Kevin Sodhi, commodities management global purchasing and Antonio
Despite challenges – like a soaring Loonie in the earlier part of the month and tightening credit conditions – the economic outlook for Canadian manufacturers and exporters is cautiously optimistic, according to the data in Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters’ June Business Conditions Survey (read report PDF)."This sentiment is a little surprising considering the wild rollercoaster ride manufacturers and exporters had in June, courtesy of a volatile currency," explains CME president and CEO Jayson Myers. "The outlook for orders and employment continues to be positive and I hope this trend continues."The June numbers reinforce the signs of stability that appeared in the last three monthly surveys.This month, 608 companies participated in the survey conducted the first three weeks of June. While most manufacturers and exporters surveyed this month are still reporting the value of their orders is lower than it was three months ago, results this month reinforce the beginning of a positive trend that started in May.Over this period, only 51 percent of companies report that orders have fallen in value compared to three months ago, a six per cent improvement over May.The positive trend identified for new orders last month continues. A majority – 69 percent – of firms report that they expect the value of new orders to stay the same or increase in value over the next three months, a slight increase of three per cent from May. Only 31 percent say that orders are likely to decrease between June 2009 and September 2009 (a slight improvement over 34 percent last month), and 24 percent expect to see orders increase, a slight drop from 28 per cent last month.And there’s some good news for job seekers – 13 per cent of companies expect to increase employment the next three months, which is on par with the results from the previous three surveys. The number of firms who are planning layoffs has decreased from 38 to 27 per cent."The manufacturing sector has lost more than 135,000 jobs so far this year, so this is encouraging," Myers said. "However, we still have more than one-fifth of companies who are planning on shedding jobs."And the credit crunch is still a major obstacle for manufacturers and exporters. An increase over last month, 77 per cent of manufacturers and exporters report that they are experiencing difficulties in accessing or are unable to access financing; with the hurdles being financing for working capital purposes, operating a line of credit, capital investment purposes and investments in new technology."Credit cannot continue to be an issue or it will jeopardize any type of recovery."The association represents more than 10,000 leading companies nationwide. Its membership network accounts for an estimated 82 percent of total manufacturing production and 90 percent of Canada’s
The NPE2009 international plastics exposition ended last week after exhibiting a high level of strength that contrasted with the current economic malaise and promised a better business climate to come, it was announced today by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association. Attendee registrants at the Chicago-based show came from 101 countries, with those from Canada and Mexico making up the largest national groups.Also concluded was an unprecedented array of co-located events and special programs, including conferences totaling more than 1,000 presentations, moldmaking and rapid product development trade shows, multi-exhibitor pavilions for emerging and specialized technologies, and other content. Registrations for the conference sessions totaled 3,213.There was an inaugural event focusing on rapid product development, including a full-day presentation on rapid manufacturing technologies by 3D Systems. They also examined energy efficiency, displaying new systems for monitoring and controlling the amount of electricity used in a manufacturing plant. Plastics professionals from nearly 19,000 companies came to NPE2009 during the past week to discover innovations, make connections, plan purchasing, and – often enough – close deals on the spot. The trade show portion of the event had 1,851 exhibiting companies on 977,660 sq.ft. (88,000 sq.m) of paid space. The preliminary total of visitor registrations by the close of the show on June 26 was 44,000.While this registration figure was about 30 percent below the corresponding number for NPE2006, the number of companies represented by registrants was down only 17 percent."""" ""Over and over during NPE week, exhibitors and attendees rated NPE2009 a success as a showplace for innovation and a marketplace for doing business," Carteaux said. "With very difficult economic times and travel reductions caused by concerns about the H1N1 pandemic, it came as no surprise that attendee delegations were smaller than in 2006, but those company representatives that did come to NPE2009 were typically significant players with real purchasing power."He took note of the unique makeup of NPE2009. "SPI, along with its co-locating partners, created an event of great range and technical depth, with events and programs designed to address the interests and concerns of the entire plastics value chain, including suppliers of equipment and materials, moldmakers, designers, processors, OEMs, and other end-use companies," said Carteaux. "This strategy has contributed to the excitement and vitality of NPE2009, and we intend to improve upon and extend it as we plan for NPE2012."The international character of NPE continued to be prominent at NPE2009. Among exhibitors, one-third came directly from outside the United States. Of these, China accounted for the largest group, followed by Canada." There were 29 "country" delegations–that is, organized groups of attendees from various
Canada's aerospace industry is expected to post a modest profit of $620 million in 2009, despite declining demand for business jets, according to the Conference Board's"Canadian Industrial Outlook: Canada's Aerospace Product Manufacturing Industry - Spring 2009."Although the aerospace industry is being affected by the recession, it is currently faring better than many other industries," said economist Valerie Poulin. "However, the industry's customers are beginning to rethink or even cancel orders due to a decline in air travel and their difficulties raising credit to pay for new jets. The next 12 months will shape the industry's longer-term well-being."Despite recent cancellations, the backlog of orders, which is equivalent to nearly two years of production, is still just below the industry all-time high. Industry production is expected to slow in the next two years, but output will still outperform the rest of the manufacturing sector. After an increase of more than 10 per cent in 2008, production growth is expected to slow to 1.7 per cent this year and decline slightly in 2010.Profits fell to $592 million in 2008 and should remain relatively stable over the next two years. Profit levels are expected to grow steadily beginning in 2011. However, profit margins remain slim-they fell to a low of 2.7 per cent in 2008-and expected to average only three per cent annually over the next five years.The study is sponsored by the"Aerospace Industries Association of Canada"(AIAC), the national trade association representing Canada's aerospace manufacturing and services sector, and which released 2008 performance results for the country's aerospace industry last week. Industry revenue reached $23.6 billion in 2008 – a $900 million increase from 2007. Aircraft, aircraft parts and components remained the largest revenue segment, totaling $12 billion and 51 percent"of overall revenues."Sustaining strong investments in R&D, and reducing trade barriers such as ITARs (International Traffic in Arms Regulations) are critically important for the aerospace industry – especially in these times of economic hardship," said Claude Lajeunesse, president and CEO of the AIAC. "The industry is focused on developing new state of the art technologies that will be included in future major platforms all over the world."
It's been seven years coming: Bosch Rexroth Canada has completed a comprehensive engineered hydraulic and controls solution to revamp the locks on the St. Lawrence Seaway’s Welland Canal, a project Manufacturing AUTOMATION has been following for years.The St. Lawrence Seaway is one of the world’s busiest inland waterways, connecting the Midwest with the Atlantic Ocean, and the Welland Canal allows safe passage around Niagara Falls. There is a 100-metre height difference between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie, and that difference is overcome by eight locks over a distance of 44 kilometers.The original electromechanical drives, gears, chains and steel cables that controlled the locks were 70 years old, and in 2002, the St. Lawrence Seaway Management Corp. (SLSMC) realized it needed to upgrade all the locks. The SLSMC had Bosch Rexroth Canada undertake a two-year pilot project to help upgrade the hydraulic systems and the controls on two of the eleven locks that make up the Welland Canal as the new technology was more cost efficient than replacing the traditional technology. When the pilot project was successfully completed, the SLSMC contracted Bosch Rexroth to upgrade the remaining nine locks over five years. Bosch Rexroth has now completed the entire project within the planned timeframe and has met the project’s requirements."The SLSMC didn’t just buy hardware and software from Bosch Rexroth," says Wayne Scutt, contract manager with Bosch Rexroth Canada. "They got our expertise as well. We worked together to solve problems and find new answers when something didn’t go according to plan." The expertise came not only from Bosch Rexroth Canada, but also from the Netherlands and Germany, where Bosch Rexroth has experience equipping locks with the latest technology.Bosch Rexroth Canada used the latest design technology, including Autodesk Inventor, to create three-dimensional previews of all parts for the SLSMC. That allowed all the parties involved to communicate well throughout the process, as well as optimize access for maintenance.Over the course of the project, Bosch Rexroth supplied approximately 73,000 litres of oil, 360 electrical panels made up of PLC, motor control, operator and terminal stations, 130 hydraulic cylinders and more than 40 hydraulic power units. The Bosch Rexroth team spent from April to December of each year designing and programming the PLC, HMI, electrical and hydraulics, then was on site from January to March for start up, commissioning and installation support. Bosch Rexroth worked closely with both the SLSMC and the site contractor to ensure each and ever lock was operating at peak performance within the predetermined timeframe."The key was planning ahead," says Tom Vermelfoort, Engineering Manager of Bosch Rexroth Canada’s Automation Business Unit. "We spent a great deal of time perfecting the electrical control design process to come up with a concept that was modular and can be used year after year. By planning ahead, we were able to ensure the installations went as smoothly as possible in the tight time frame required by the SLSMC."The new Bosch Rexroth solution uses hydraulic cylinders to provide drive and control to the locks without any additional mechanical elements. The SLSMC operators can constantly monitor essential parameters through the PLC, helping them fine tune positioning accuracy, speed and power.The project was completed in March 2009, and today the locks are not only running smoothly, but also with less downtime, and potentially providing a longer shipping season. And, after seven successful years of partnership, the relationship between Rexroth and SLSMC will continue on into the future. The companies have embarked on starting maintenance programs for the hydraulics and controls, providing additional training to the SLSMC employees to ensure the equipment stays running at its peak performance for another 70 years.
Linamar Corp. has been awarded a multi-year driveline-module supply contract with a major European auto manufacturer that the company estimates will be worth more than $200 million annually once the program reaches full production. The company, based in Guelph, Ont., is scheduled to start of production in 2011, with full production hitting its stride in 2014."This is a transformational business win for our European group testament to the dedication and focus of our team to realize our globalization and diversification strategies," said Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz. "It is also a huge win for our new driveline systems businesses, which are levering off a global focus on AWD systems."This contract is a boon for the Canadian parts giant, which was hit by the collapse of General Motors earlier in the month. Linamar said in a press release at that time that it had limited its exposure to GM's bankruptcy. "We feel that we are in a strong position to weather the situation given steps we have taken over the past months to minimize our exposure", Hasenfratz said in early June.Linamar is a global manufacturing company of highly engineered products, and its powertrain and driveline-focused divisions are leaders in the collaborative design, development and manufacture of precision metallic components, modules and systems for vehicle and power generation markets.
SICK has published a 116-page, illustrated guide that contains safety requirements and guidelines for North America, highlighting Canadian standards. The document, Guidelines for Safe Machinery: Six Steps to a Safe Machine, is designed for manufacturers, systems engineers, designers and all individuals who are responsible for machine safety to illustrate various methods of selecting and using protective devices. (For Manufacturing AUTOMATION's extensive coverage of these standards, visit our Machine Safety portal.)The requirements for the protection of machinery and people change more and more with the increasing use of automation. The guide is designed to keep end users and machine builders up-to-date. It briefly outlines laws, regulations and standards for the U.S., Canada and Mexico and then details six steps to designing a safe machine, including risk assessment, safe machine design, engineering controls, administrative measures, machine validation and operation.The guide is not a product catalog, but rather provides a comprehensive look at application examples, technical information, possible solutions, as well as where to go for additional resources. "The safety guide was developed based on SICK’s extensive expert knowledge, application expertise and 60 years of experience," the company says.The guide available to download free by visiting
The 6th annual RoboGames were held last weekend in San Francisco, and for the fourth year in a row, Canada's own Ziggy–one of the robotic combatants in the super-heavyweight division for 'bots weighing 340 pounds–took home the gold."No matter what your favourite robot sport is, the best bots in the world come to San Francisco every June," the organization says of the 400 non-sentient athletes competing in all events.""The stands are filled with people watching 340 pound robots shoot flames and smash into each other and androids cart-wheeling down the soccer field."Ziggy battled it out in one of the most competitive combat categories. (View all RoboGames winners.) In its battle history, Ziggy had been proven capable of lobbing similarly heavy, 300-plus-pound opponents three metres with its "megaflipper." Last week, the Canadian bionic brute further proved its might against U.S.-made Juggernaut by tossing it around like an empty pop can–and promptly made a mockery of its name. The audience groaned and cheered with each slam and metallic crunch.Watch Ziggy battle Juggernaut"[YouTube]Watch Ziggy win"[YouTube]This year,"Ziggy was sporting a newly improved pneumatic flipper weapon (managed by electronics from"Nuvation, which provides project-based chip, board and software design services for the embedded systems industry). This results in unwanted (but totally cool) free-flying lessons for its opponents. As well, Ziggy's external armor and "megaflipper" assembly are built from military-grade titanium, and at full power, the flipper can launch an opponent to the arena ceiling.Ziggy's Ottawa-based creator, Mark Demers, who works at high-performance tunable laser manufacturer Santur Corp., has excelled in his sales and marketing career and has in turn made a name for himself and"CM Robotics"with his RoboGames champ.He also leads a team of designers at Ottawa-based"OptaMotive"that says they will bring a pure battery electric vehicle to compete in the Progressive Insurance Automotive X PRIZE alternative class. OptaMotive is bolstered by members who have experience in robotics, autonomous control, vehicle design, race engineering, control systems and battery engineering.So overall, the event saw 620 engineers from 18 countries compete in 51 events, putting their"army of remote-controlled and autonomous combat robots–along with walking humanoids, soccer 'bots, sumo 'bots and even androids that do kung-fu–to the test.
Manufacturing AUTOMATION has a new online look and a new editor–and we want everyone to know.First off, we've undergone"a complete website redesign, which incorporates all of Advanced Manufacturing's content with Manufacturing AUTOMATION in a slick, intuitive content hub. What won't change is our commitment in bringing you latest industrial automation technologies, trends, news and products. Among the new features to help us do deliver on that promise, we have:• Specific Editorial PortalsAt the top of the site, you can navigate through a series of tailored "portals," or sections, to find content more suited to you. These include Machine Safety, Sensors, Education and Lean Manufacturing. As well, relevant products will be displayed on in portal (where appropriate), resulting in fewer clicks to find what you need.• Comments SectionsYou can now add your own two cents to every story published online in the comments section at the bottom of each story. Your feedback will help shape the site and our future coverage–so don't be shy.• News BulletinsNews will be updated daily, so bookmark our home page and keep up to date with our news bulletin, at the top of the page under "Latest News." It also allows readers to flip through the most recent items.• Enhanced SearchSearch the entire site with a handy text field on the upper-right-hand corner every page.• Easy-to-Browse Product SectionsWith more than 20 product categories–with updates added daily–find what you need is easier than ever.• And more...So take a look. Browse around. If you notice something out of the ordinary, let us know by emailing us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .As well, editor Mary Del Ciancio went on maternity leave in early June, so taking her place for the next year is acting editor André Voshart. You can contact him with any questions, comments or queries you may have at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or follow him on Twitter at
Canada’s auto parts makers will implement major structural changes in 2009, which include trimming its workforce by one-third as part of a 34-percent reduction in industry costs this year, according to the Conference Board’s Canadian Industrial Outlook: Canada’s Motor Vehicle Parts Manufacturing Industry – Spring 2009. (Linamar, however, recently snagged a substantial multi-year contract–so it isn't all bad news.)"Conditions will be undeniably difficult in 2009, and many small and medium-sized firms could potentially go out of business," said Sabrina Browarski, economist and author of the outlook. "The larger manufacturers, however, stand to increase their global market share when U.S. demand for automobiles starts to recover in 2010." Canada’s auto parts makers will lose money for the second consecutive year in 2009, but the industry is expected to return to profitability beginning next year. The industry posted a $109 million loss in 2008. With production expected to fall by 39 per cent in 2009, a further loss of $173 million is forecast this year. Extensive cost cutting, combined with the start of an anticipated rebound in U.S. auto sales next year, will allow the industry to return to profitability quickly. A profit of $222 million is forecast in 2010. By 2013, profit margins are expected to return to historical norms. Three factors give auto parts manufacturers greater cause for optimism than automakers. First, many of Canada’s largest parts manufacturers are multinational corporations with diversified sales in other markets. Second, parts firms are in better financial shape than the auto makers. Third, the industry is not saddled with the "legacy costs" that the Detroit Three automakers must bear. The medium-term outlook for the industry is based on the assumption that General Motors will successfully exit Chapter 11 restructuring, and that Chrysler will be restructured under a stable partnership with

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