Cognex, a leading supplier of machine vision systems, has announced it will be running three free machine vision seminars exclusively for manufacturing professionals to be held in Montreal, Toronto and Cambridge, Ont. These half-day events, the company says, will show how easy it is to set up and deploy vision systems for automated inspection tasks in the automotive, pharmaceutical, food, beverage, consumer packaged goods, medical, and electronics industries. An additional optional hour will be dedicated to track and trace solutions for the pharmaceutical industry. Readers can register for an Understanding Vision seminar online at or by calling 1-800-677-2646. • Oct. 15: Holiday Inn, MontrealOct. 27: Hilton Garden Inn, TorontoNov. 5: Holiday Inn, Cambridge, Ont.
Siemens Energy & Automation, Siemens Transportation Systems, Siemens Building Technologies, and Siemens VAI Services merged into a new company, Siemens Industry. Siemens appointed Daryl Dulaney as president and CEO of Siemens Industry. Since 2007, Siemens has been globally aligning its businesses into three sectors: Healthcare, Energy and Industry. Siemens Industry will provide its U.S. customers in the fields of industry and infrastructure with integrated automation technologies as well as comprehensive industry-specific solutions. With more than 30,000 employees in 480 locations across the country, Siemens Industry will consist of six divisions including Industry Solutions, Industry Automation, Drive Technologies, Building Technologies, Mobility and OSRAM SYLVANIA. “As Siemens Industry, we will be better positioned to create sustainable value as a fully-integrated technology company with products and solutions that reduce costs and deliver environmental benefits,” said Dulaney. “Siemens Industry has brought together the best people and will now have the strongest customer focus and most innovative portfolio in the marketplace. As a unified entity with simplified points of contact and streamlined processes, we will continue to help customers meet their challenges and be more competitive by enhancing their productivity, sustainability and profitability.” Dulaney joined Siemens as a sales engineer in 1979, holding several key managerial positions, ranging from joint venture management in Hong Kong to senior vice president of field operations, North America, before being appointed president and CEO of Siemens Building Technologies in 2005. Dulaney is also a board member of the Siemens Foundation, which provides more than $7 million annually in grants and other financial support towards science, technology, engineering and math education initiatives. Dulaney also serves on the Governing Board of Gilda’s Club Chicago, a cancer support organization founded to create a healing community for all people whose lives are impacted by the disease.
Californians have always been faced with the problem of how best to conserve, control and move water. California has a wide diversity of climactic and geographical contrasts. The northern part of the state, with its alpine forests receives as much as 100 inches or more of rain per year, while the central and southern parts of the state range from arid desert to fertile farm land with some areas receiving fewer than two inches per year. Population centers have grown up in locations where there is not a sufficient water supply. The central valley, running from Sacramento to Bakersfield, contains some of the most fertile farm land in the world, most of which is dependent on irrigation. Because of this need to conserve, control and move water to areas of need, California has developed the State Water Project, the largest state-built water development project in the U.S. The Cawelo Water District is a small part of this statewide water project. Located in the southern portion of California's fertile San Joaquin Valley, the Cawelo Water District supplies irrigation water for over 45,000 acres of crops including grapes, citrus, almonds and pistachios. In 1997, the Cawelo Water District decided that the level of reliability was not acceptable in their current system. Parts were no longer available for their legacy system and buried wire was degrading with age. So, they decided to upgrade their system to allow remote control of facilities, monitoring of power usage and quality, and to enhance the ability to perform load shifting for remote facilities. "The water district needed a name-brand solution with local support," says Danny Burns, Operations Manager for Prousys Inc., the system integrator chosen to construct the new system. "We recommended Allen-Bradley hardware." Allen-Bradley SLC processors were installed to replace the aging Westinghouse PLCs at each of the five remote well sites. In order to monitor power usage and detect anomalies in the Multilin PQM Power Monitors, a ProSoft Technology Modbus Communication Module (3150-MCM) was installed in each processor. "This is a perfect example of how ProSoft modules are used everyday to connect Allen-Bradley hardware with other networks," said Scott Sibenac, Regional Sales Manager for ProSoft. "We receive numerous requests on a daily basis for modules in the water/wastewater industry. Because our modules are designed to be used as 'in-rack' solutions for Allen-Bradley processors, it is a cost-effective way for plant managers to use their existing Allen-Bradley equipment with other network's protocols." A SCADA Master Control system was also installed consisting of an Intellution Fix/DMACS HMI and an Allen-Bradley SLC 5/05 with two ProSoft DF1 Communication Modules (3150-DFM) in order to poll all of the five well sites, three pump stations, four reservoirs and five check stations via a Data-Linc SRM6000 Radio and LLM-100 Modem. Redundancy is a key factor in most water systems. Prousys installed and configured a second Intellution HMI to provide control redundancy. In the event of a failure in the primary controller, the system switches to the backup, ensuring seamless control in the plant. "In other words," states Burns, "The system will keep right on running if the HMI goes down." The system's three pump stations, containing pumps ranging in size from 500 to 1,000 HP, are controlled according to the levels in the associated wells. The precise operation of the system depends on the accurate measurement of system levels and flows across the entire water system. Flow and level meters relay these measures back to the central control room for monitoring and control. Allen-Bradley Panelview 550s were installed at each of the three pump stations. "The new system now gives the water district full control of all remote sites," said Burns. "The SCADA system can now track station flow rates, overflow events, well level, in-flow and out-flow. They also have the capability to detect numerous system failures including power, high/low voltage, phase imbalance, high/low amperes, frequency, load factor and low water level. Since the ProSoft modules communicate over the backplane with the Allen-Bradley processors, they were critical to the success of this project. ProSoft provided the 'missing link' in the communication chain, seamlessly allowing connectivity between these differing networks." This new upgrade was not the first time the Cawelo Water District has made news. In 1996 they received an Award for Distinguished Service in Environmental Planning at the International Development Research Council World Congress. The project was a unique endeavor, which allowed excess water produced from Texaco's oil production operations in the Kern River Field to be used to help provide nearly 15 million gallons of irrigation water daily to the Cawelo plant. "This project clearly demonstrates that something good for the environment and something good for business, do not have to be mutually exclusive," said Dean Bears of Texaco. The Cawelo Water District upgrade was completed in December of 1999. New reservoirs and wells are still being added to the system, all using the Allen-Bradley/ProSoft Technology solution.
ISA EXPO 2009 started things off today with a keynote address presenting attendees with a problem that cannot be solved. John Hofmeister, former president of Shell Oil and founder of the U.S. non-profit Citizens for Affordable Energy, in his Tuesday-morning address (entitled Energy Security and Affordability in the 21st Century), he presented to the packed audience “a problem that I don’t think you can solve … with respect to automation.” He spent a great deal of time bemoaning how the U.S.’s “political time” (two and four-year increments, dictated by election years) does not mesh with what’s required to develop and maintain energy policies, which are planned out in “energy time” (for which 10 years is short term). He talked about two critical concerns facing industry today: energy availability and affordability. According to Hofmeister, investment in the tradition energy base is the path to a competitive, affordable energy supply. He also said that while “politically correct” green energy is helpful and ideal, it’s inadequate for the demands of the future. He insists that in order to maintain the lifestyle to which Americans have become accustomed, carbon-based fuels cannot be phased out — at least not until the technology innovations needed to make green sources, such as wind and solar, as efficient as they need to be. However, with the American government paralyzed by partisan bickering, he said only voters could demand a “coherent, pragmatic” energy policy. It is the reason he was involved in launching Citizens for Affordable Energy, which looks to educate the public that tapping internal oil and gas reserves is necessary to maintain the lifestyle to which Americans have become accustomed. Until then, he warned, “as long as we have two and four-year politics, it’s going to get worse. There is no incentive [for political parties to] work together.” “You’re directly affected,” he added, saying the future of automation hinges on a reliable power supply. “Your automation devices can’t run on politics aspirations.”
Kepware Technologies has announced that it has been selected as a supplier to Moxa to deliver Kepware’s IT and Infrastructure Suite for use with the full line of Moxa Managed and Unmanaged Ethernet products. Industrial SNMP is a leading industrial network monitoring and management solution for automation, delivered to the market through a variety of OEM, channel and end-user sales. This partnership with Moxa will accomplish three objectives: • give Moxa the premier industrial SNMP solution for sale with their products; • qualify MOXA products with Kepware’s solutions delivered through Kepware OEM partnerships; and • reinforce to customers purchasing directly from Kepware, that its solutions are endorsed and that Moxa is “Connected with Kepware." Moxa will be selling the Kepware IT and Infrastructure Suite which contains SNMP, Ping, System Monitor, Modbus, U-CON and CID. “Our industrial SNMP solution started with the acquisition of COI software, in the fall of 2007,” explained Roy Kok, vice-president of sales and marketing of Kepware. “Late in 2008, Kepware redeveloped the solution, basing it on the KEPServer architecture in order to deliver a wide range of both Standard (such as OPC-Classic and OPC-UA) and Native Client connectivity needed by many Kepware OEMs. By working with Kepware, Moxa will have proven connectivity between their products and virtually every HMI/SCADA, historian or MES on the market today.” “Kepware is a very unique partner,” stated Jeff Disbrow, vice-president of sales and marketing at Moxa. “First, they offer excellent technology. Kepware meets the needs of today, but will also work with us on any future requirements. But more importantly, Kepware is virtually the standard for automation connectivity and our relationship with Kepware will ensure that all their OEM relationships can deliver proven Moxa connectivity. This is as much or more of a marketing opportunity as it is a Moxa reseller opportunity.” According to Craig Resnick, a research director with the ARC Advisory Group, “It is critical for network device vendors to deliver the technology that provides their customers with the capability to connect, monitor and manage these products with their existing HMI/SCADA and production management solutions. Kepware’s industrial SNMP product provides this capability, through the use of industry standards or preferred proprietary interfaces. Kepware is firmly established as a leader in providing SNMP to automation system connectivity and has distinguished itself through its partnerships and a patent of the technology.”
The official Office of the Taxpayers' Ombudsman is conducting a review of the Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credit program, a program Manufacturing AUTOMATION has promoted several times in recent years. The ombudsman is mandated to review service-related complaints against the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) and to identify and investigate systemic and emerging issues that can negatively affect taxpayers and benefit recipients. As far as the SR&ED program is concerned, the preliminary objectives of this enquiry are to determine whether the CRA is administering the SR&ED program fairly with respect to: • The recent changes to the application forms and procedures for the SR&ED program — were they communicated appropriately to taxpayers? • The options for a taxpayer or authorized representative to receive a second opinion on the technical aspects of their SR&ED submissions. "This is an important opportunity for those who are using the program and are concerned about how their claims are being treated to provide input," the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATAAlliance) wrote on its website recently. "To be influential, factual support may be required by the Ombudsman," the note continues. "Some companies we have spoken to have expressed concern about the CRA's response should they contact the Ombudsmen." The objectives may be refined in the course of the enquiry and additional issues may be added. If anyone has experienced any difficulty related to the above-noted issues or if you have another service or fairness issue in regard to the SR&ED program, the ombudsman invites you to contact them. Previous coverage:The ROI of R&D: Tax credits are easier to obtain than you think by Vanessa Chris • Digging for dollars: Funding innovation for SMBs by Paul Hogendoorn
Carlo Gavazzi kicked off its series of free cross-country half-day seminars on solutions for energy management and power quality monitoring across Canada in Mississauga, Ont., on Sept. 29, presenting crowds with ways to control energy use and potential product solutions. “Simple changes will produce saving” was the take-away message from the Energy Management Summit. And unless you have the necessary data, the company says, you cannot manage your energy costs. Duncan Curd, vice-president of sales in Canada, believed proper energy management is a critical area for Canadian manufacturers and business owners to begin focusing their resources — if they have not already. “I think it’s an area Canadian industry is lacking,” he said prior to the afternoon session. “Energy costs are a major factor in manufacturing and in running a business. It’s one of the levers manufacturers have to increase productivity.” He warned that broad-ranging government policies — such as green initiatives and energy reduction efforts — will become more prevalent and that properly controlled energy use is one way to ensure global competitiveness. Product specialist Domenic Capobianco gave a bulk of the seminar presentation, starting off with the statistic that Canada ranks as the most wasteful country among G8 nations. He then went over potential power quality issues, such as surges, sags, transients, harmonics and frequency variations, and overviewed the terminology surrounding power management and billing. “Industry surveys indicate that by making changes in procedures and the way we conduct business the average facility can reduce its energy consumption 10 to 20 percent,” he said. Some methods to control energy he mentioned included using less electricity (turning off unused loads and replacing worn or poor-efficiency equipment), managing demand (load sifting and shedding) and correcting power factors (minimizing idling or lightly load motors and installing capacitors on AC circuits). During the product description section, dozens of questions were asked by visitors and subsequently answered by Capobianco (and other Carlo Gavazzi reps in attendance), with most in attendance very engaged in the offered solutions, such as its power analyzers, transducers, energy meters and the associated software. There was also a product special available for attendees. Over the next few months, the company says, these energy management seminars will be a first step to providing the solutions companies need to improve their power quality, reduce energy usage and increase their profitability, as energy costs are currently the third largest expense for most manufacturers. As for who should attend, the summits are primarily designed for plant, facility, energy and sustainability managers, along with specifying engineers, construction engineers and contractors. Interested attendees should visit for more information on future events and to register. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis. • Kitchener, Ont., Oct. 6, 2009 • Ottawa, Oct. 8, 2009 • Vancouver, Oct. 15, 2009 • Edmonton, Oct. 20, 2009 • Calgary, Oct. 22, 2009 • Quebec City, Nov. 3, 2009 • Montreal, Nov. 5, 2009 • Saskatoon, Nov. 17, 2009 • Winnipeg, Nov. 19, 2009 • Halifax, Dec. 1, 2009 • St. John's, N.L., Dec. 3, 2009 • Sudbury, Ont., Dec. 9, 2009
WAGO Corp. is marking 30 years of innovation in North America this September. Established 1979 in a small suburban Milwaukee office by one employee, WAGO operates out of a 75,000 sq.-ft. manufacturing complex in Germantown, Wis. Now, 143 employees serve industrial and electrical professionals with more than 17,000 interconnect, electronic interface and automation solutions. WAGO established itself with the introduction of CAGE CLAMP Spring Pressure Connection Technology. CAGE CLAMP reduces wiring times by up to 55 percent compared to traditional screw terminations, while improving reliability. It also serves the WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM — the first Fieldbus-independent I/O system. Founded in 1995, the WAGO-I/O-SYSTEM accommodates more than 16 fieldbus and Ethernet protocols, as well as 300+ analog, digital and specialty modules. “From 1979’s launch of CAGE CLAMP, WAGO has dedicated itself to solutions that allow users to do more,” said WAGO president Tom Artmann. “As one of the very first WAGO employees, this historic milestone has allowed me to reflect on the privilege of watching WAGO, and its commitment to North America, grow.” Recent innovations include: SPEEDWAY 767-I/O-SYSTEM; POWER CAGE CLAMP for terminating conductors up to 4/0; 873 Series LUMI-NUTS luminaire disconnect; and solutions developed for both infrastructure and emerging sectors such as solar power.
N-TRON Corp. has announced a strategic marketing and sales agreement with California-based Opto 22, a top provider of control, remote monitoring and data acquisition solutions for industrial automation.  As part of the agreement, Opto 22 will resell N-TRON’s industrial Ethernet switches and wireless access points to their customers. “Opto 22 is well-known and respected in the automation and control industry with a rich history of innovation in the development of solid state relays and Ethernet-based I/O systems and controllers,” said Warren Nicholson, N-TRON CEO and President. “N-TRON industrial networking switches can be an essential part of any wired or wireless application. Our two company’s products complement each other perfectly and having them available through Opto 22 creates a single-source for engineers and other automation professionals looking for the components to solve process and machine control, monitoring, data acquisition, and networking communications challenges.” Opto 22 vice-president of sales, Bob Sheffres, is enthusiastic about the relationship stating, “We’re proud to offer these components as a compliment to our Ethernet-based controllers and I/O, and we feel confident that combined, these products are well-suited for standard Ethernet connected automation projects, as well as those that utilize wireless communication. N-TRON industrial Ethernet switches are counted among the industry’s most reliable networking devices. Independent testing by our own quality assurance team confirmed this.” N-TRON’s managed switches should prove most beneficial to Opto 22 customers, largely due to the hardware’s impressive list of advanced features and functionality, which includes trunking, port mirroring and IGMP snooping—which provides faster/more streamlined/automatic multicast messaging by intelligently filtering and forwarding (and thus reducing) network traffic among devices. Customers with applications in which Opto 22 hardware is communicating to Allen-Bradley PLCs, as they seek to route EtherNet/IP protocol-based multicast messages, will find the N-TRON switches’ IGMP snooping features particularly beneficial. “The N-TRON hardware’s IGMP snooping functionality is by far the best we’ve seen,” says Bryce Nakatani, quality assurance engineer at Opto 22. "Their managed switches provide very high levels of ‘leak-proof’ throughput, making them ideal for building network architectures that include our line of intelligent remote I/O for Allen-Bradley systems.”
DiPaolo CNC Retrofit Limited in Mississauga, Ont., a resource for North American manufacturers seeking precision machinery rebuilding and retrofitting services, has been selected by Bost Machine Tools to be their North American distributor and after-sales service provider. Bost, headquartered in Asteasu, Spain, has more than 30 years of experience in the world of high-end custom machine tools. Employing cutting edge technologies and continuously incorporating the latest advances available on the market has allowed Bost to take their rightful place as a global tour-de-force in heavy machinery construction. "We've effectively turned our sights to expanding our North American presence, in large part to provide a better service experience for our clientele. To achieve that, we needed to align with a North American- based partner that we could place our complete trust in - a market leader that'd serve as an extension of our company. Given the depth of DiPaolo's technical knowledge, their merit and their experienced technicians, they've demonstrated that they're the most suitable company to assume this critical role and succeed," points out Fernando Arocena, Managing Director. "Our own experiences with the DiPaolo team further proved them to be a like-minded business partner who operates with the same high and exacting standards. Their exemplary service protocols, specialized product knowledge and genuine desire to provide the best customer care shows we've made an excellent choice." Nelson Martins, DiPaolo's General Manager explains, "We've put in place a structure that will deliver tangible and significant benefits to our clients. They'll have increased access to some of the most sophisticated machinery being built. They'll be treated to service by technicians with a lifetime of knowledge and experience - technicians unfazed by even the most challenging situations. All in all, we'll be serving up a heightened customer service experience with much quicker response times. Here's one scenario where the client wins - great products, incredible value and now a North American-based company that'll be able to sell and service them. We're well positioned to take complete care of our clients."
Vancouver's Wurldtech Security Technologies has announced its 15th Achilles-certified control system, this time from Invensys Operations Management. The I/A ZCP 270 is the now the fourth control system from Invensys to meet the Level 1 criteria, along with the I/A FCP 270, Triconex Trident andTriconexTricon controllers, and joins a long series of certified products that have made the Achilles Certified designation the standard for cyber security certification in the industrial automation industry."The security and robustness of our automation and control solutionsis of critical importance" said Ernie Rakaczky, principal security architect for Invensys Operations Management. "By integrating the Achilles certification program requirements into the development lifecycle of our product portfolio, we are able to validate product robustness from design through deployment and help our customers maintain safe, secure and reliable industrial operations." As industry awareness continues to evolve, cyber security risks to process control networks grow in frequency and sophistication, and the costs associated with patch management and unexpected downtime increase, end-users of critical infrastructure continue to demand Achilles certified products as a simple, cost-effective way of improving the reliability of their industrial operations. "We congratulate Invensys Operations Management on another certified product in their control solutions portfolio," said Tyler Williams, president of Wurldtech Security Technologies. "It is absolutely fantastic to see a manufacturer proactively demonstrating such a strong commitment to cyber security best practices, something we feel is absolutely mandatory for any supplier of critical industrial control solutions." One Small Step Really Is A Giant LeapEarlier this week, Wurldtech released a white paper on the benefits of industrial cyber security certification that provided a startling look at the overall landscape for what until now has been an relatively overlooked issue of critical network stack vulnerabilities in embedded devices – SCADA PLC’s, Distributed Control Systems, Safety Integrated Systems and emerging technologies such as Smart Meters. The analysis reviewed the obfuscated testing results of 43 embedded controllers and then compared the results with those having achieved Level 1 certification. The results were astounding, with sometimes up to a 75-percent reduction in actual identified vulnerabilities in a given device just by meeting the certification criteria. The paper went on to show how leading end-users such as BP and Shell are reacting to this information anddriving improvements through their supply chain by requiring Achilles-certified systems. "It is clear that operators can reduce their cyber risk exposure significantly by simply insisting that their suppliers meet this globally recognized and commonly accepted benchmark for system robustness," said Nate Kube, CTO of Wurldtech. "It is cheap, easy and demonstrable, and it would be a shame to watch the advancements in automation and control made possible by the adoption of Industrial Ethernet crippled by preventable issues when something as simple as getting certified could have prevented it from happening. The risks are too high, and we can’t afford to wait, especially when we have such a compelling solution today." Currently, the Achilles certification is available for all industrial control systems, whether wired or wireless, and certification tests are being developed for every category of IP-enabled network infrastructure. "We set out two years ago to produce a universaltesting platform that every supplier of IP-enabled network infrastructure could use to improve the security and robustness of their products before being deployed in high-availability industrial environments," Kube continued. "The associated certification program simply provides suppliers the means to validate and communicate another level of product quality to their customers and end-users the ability to make better choices about the products they select by choosing only those that carry the Achilles Certified logo." Developed in 2007, the Achilles Certification Program provides a benchmark for the development and deployment of secure industrial Ethernet devices by testing control process resilience and robustness under real-world conditions and validating that operational integrity is not jeopardized. The Achilles Certification testing methodology employed by Wurldtech Labs is the result of more than three years of research, industry cooperation and end-user feedback. The Achilles Certification Program continues to develop as the de-facto standard for the industrial automation industry.
The editor talks about SolidWorks 2010 and updates to the SAIT campus.
It’s time for Canadian manufacturers to "take a leap of faith," say industry experts and organizers of Automation Rendez-vous 2009. A two-day technical conference co-located with the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show 2009, Automation Rendez-vous 2009 will be held at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto from October 20-21."This has been a very scary and unpredictable economic time, but it’s also an opportunity to look around, really examine how we operate, and uncover ways to be stronger together," says Shelley Fellows, Vice-President, Operations at Windsor, Ontario-based Radix Inc., and a panelist – along with Sylvain Rodier, President of Brossard, Quebec-based" IMAC Inc. – who will kick off the conference with a look at collaborative partnerships as a way to survive in a tough economy."The old model of 'everyone is in it for themselves and if you’re not a customer, you’re a competitor,’ isn’t enough anymore," says Fellows. "By banding together with other companies who understand our business and have complementary skills, and by working together in a collaborative and trusting manner, we can be more successful in meeting the needs of our customers."Fellows will share her company’s experience as one of four companies forming the CAPX Team, a collaboration of custom automation companies located in the Windsor/Essex county area that was facilitated by the National Research Council’s (NRC) Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) program and includes Radix, Landau Gage Inc., Ro-matt International Inc. and NextDimension Inc. Through a strategic alliance, the companies are aiming to cost-effectively expand their current customer base as well as tap into new markets outside of the automotive industry, such as aerospace, energy, and food and beverage."You can forge into new areas and get your toes wet, but sometimes you need a larger presence behind you to show customers you can be counted on," says Fellows, noting that customers no longer want to deal with two to four companies individually, but prefer a single point of contact like the one made possible by CAPX."This is the first time we are bringing Automation Rendez-vous 2009 to Ontario to run alongside the Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show," says Mark Tomlinson, Executive Director and General Manager of the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), organizers of both the Automation Rendez-vous 2009 conference and CMTS 2009. Noting that the conference originated in Quebec, he explained: "With its strong focus on advanced technologies and automation, and emphasis on networking opportunities, it is the perfect vehicle to promote collaboration within our industrial sector."The opening panel discussion featuring the CAPX Team, along with a similar alliance in Montreal called REAI – headed by IMAC Inc.’s Sylvain Rodier – is slated for October 20 from 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will be moderated by Jean-Claude Brisson of NRC-IRAP. conference highlights include:· "Black Holes, Nanotechnology and Chocolate," a keynote presentation by Dick Morley, best known as the father of the programmable logic controller (PLC) and the founder of R. Morley Inc. (RMI), October 21, 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m." Morley will explore the physics of the black hole as the key to understanding our changing world, especially in the burgeoning international engineering environment, and will explain how developing a culture of innovation, designing value without adding cost, and strengthening relationships are critical to establishing the right foundation for success.· A series of 24 concurrent technical presentations, with topics ranging from robotics, machine vision and just-in-time delivery, to ways to increase automation safety, boost productivity and eliminate the manufacturing bottleneck. Attendees will learn more about the latest innovations in Canadian manufacturing, including digital techniques that help to reduce the likelihood of mistakes early on in the manufacturing process, three-dimensional vision equipment that is being used to lower production costs, and high-speed inspection systems that are helping to avoid costly labelling mistakes in the food and beverage industry.· Rendez-vous Resource Centre, a focused networking area featuring table top exhibits as a cost-effective way for vendors to meet with manufacturers looking for innovative industrial solutions. Featured vendors include Centerline Windsor Ltd., Corporation SPG Data 3D, and WAT Solutions."As Canadian businesses seek to survive the challenges of the recent economic downturn, more focus is being placed on diversification and expanding market share, and one way to do that is through collaboration," says SME’s Tomlinson. "The Automation Rendez-vous conference provides an excellent forum for Canadian businesses to explore best practices, discover the latest in technology and leverage new connections as they look to streamline manufacturing processes, cut costs and speed time to market."The industries represented at Automation Rendez-vous 2009 include: automotive, aerospace, aeronautics, agri food, solar energy, construction, consumer products, medical, pharmaceutical and lumber. The conference is being held by SME in collaboration with the National Research Council, the Industrial Research Centre of Quebec, and the Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) association.Media are invited to attend all Automation Rendez-vous 2009 sessions and exhibits. For program details, please visit
Carlo Gavazzi, an international manufacturer of automation, control and metering devices, will be conducting free half-day seminars on solutions for energy management and power quality monitoring across Canada over the next few months.The company says these energy management seminars can be the first step to providing the solutions attendees need to improve their power quality, reduce energy usage and increase their profitability, as energy costs are currently the third largest expense for most manufacturers. The first step to getting their energy consumption under control is to attend one of these free seminars.The seminars are primarily designed for plant, facility, energy and sustainability managers, along with specifying engineers, construction engineers and contractors.Interested attendees should visit for more information and to register. Registration is on a first come, first serve basis.• Mississauga, Ont., Sept. 29, 2009• Kitchener, Ont., Oct. 6, 2009• Ottawa, Oct. 8, 2009• Vancouver, Oct. 15, 2009• Edmonton, Oct. 20, 2009• Calgary, Oct. 22, 2009• Quebec City, Nov. 3, 2009• Montreal, Nov. 5, 2009• Saskatoon, Nov. 17, 2009• Winnipeg, Nov. 19, 2009• Halifax, Dec. 1, 2009• St. John's, N.L., Dec. 3, 2009• Sudbury, Ont., Dec. 9, 2009
The Government of Canada and Quebec have awarded funding to Sherbrooke University, as part of the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, to build a centre for microelectronics innovation." Total investment in this project amounts to $218.45 million. Industry Canada is contributing $82.95 million, Quebec provided $94.9 million and industrial partners IBM Bromont, DALSA Semiconducteurs Inc. and equipment suppliers gave $40.6 million. The project aims to create an international centre of excellence for assembling electronic microchips and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS). The centre will carry out research and development in packaging microsystems and electronic microchips. This project will bring together 250 industry and university researchers and safeguard over 3,000 jobs in the field of microelectronics in Quebec."The center will be a key link in the microelectronics chain and will provide Canada with a clear business advantage, by forging an innovative university-business partnership and creating a competitive and thriving business environment," said Quebec Premier Jean Charest. "This facility will strengthen Québec’s position as a world leader in microchip packaging technologies and ensure our companies’ competitiveness." "This announcement stems from months of work involving Université de Sherbrooke and entrepreneurs in the sector, as well as a number of other actors, including the Québec government. The project marks the birth of a value chain that could eventually match the Québec economy’s flagship innovation sectors – life sciences, aerospace, and computer technologies. The project will reinforce the excellence of publicly funded research in Quebec," stated Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade Minister Clément Gignac."Innovation has played a fundamental role in DALSA’s past successes and is just as important to our future achievements," said DALSA CEO Brian Doody. "So we are delighted to be a founding partner of the 200 mm and 3D microelectronic systems (MEMS) manufacturing unit at the new innovation centre."The mission of Centre d'innovation en microélectronique is to be an international pioneer in packaging the next generation of microchips. Its role will be to choose technologies for cutting out the microchips, linking them electrically to innovative packages (like 3D packs), managing heat dissipation and testing them and preparing them for shipment. The centre will also work on designing packages for future generations of microelectronic systems (MEMS)

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