The Automation Technology Expo and Conference - called "A symphony of savings driving profitability" - was designed to demonstrate how Festo solutions are accelerating business processes, reducing costs and turning customer value into bottom-line results. The seminar topics were: Strengthen business performance through ratio analysis; Turn customer value into bottom-line results; and the most advanced automation platform today.
In addition to the three seminar topics that were presented throughout the day at each conference, participants had the opportunity to tour Festo's Mobile Mechatronics Lab - an interactive exhibit aboard a 53-ft trailer, showcasing innovations in industrial automation technologies, trends and product advances to support customer success. The mobile showroom has been touring Ontario and Quebec as part of a mission to educate companies and schools about energy efficient automation technology and services that can improve equipment and operational performance.
"The Mobile Mechatronics Lab shows an overview of the product range of Festo Canada [and] Festo Worldwide. It gives our customers a nice opportunity to see where their application may fit it. It's not only showing the products, but it's also showing real-life applications for our customers, and it helps them to find the best solution for their problems and challenges," Andreas Sobotta, vice-president of product, market and distribution management, told Manufacturing AUTOMATION at the conference in Mississauga.
The lab stopped at locations in Ontario - Mississauga, Cambridge, Windsor, Brampton, Aurora and Kingston - as well as Quebec - Boucherville, Pointe-Claire, Quebec City, Ayer's Cliff and St-Alphonse-de-Granby. The company invited both customers and schools out to see the company's products and applications inside of the lab.
"It's important for the future of Canada that our kids are really enjoying technical education," Sobotta said. "And for some of the students, technical education does not look as sexy as others, so we want to really show them what is possible. This mobile lab will really help to give them an understanding of what can be done."
The company isn't only using the lab to attract students to the industry, it has a department - Festo Didactic - focused entirely on this goal.
"The goal for this department is to educate people, to educate students, to work together with professors, to develop programs, not only for universities, but also we have a special program for high schools," Sobotta explained. "And again, the target is really to draw the people into automation technology in the future."
The tour of the Mobile Mechatronics Lab will end in Kingston, Ont., on Friday September 30, 2011. For more information about the lab, or to view a schedule of the remaining stops, visit www.festo.ca/expo.