News
Ottawa, Ont. - Precarn Incorporated has launched a $2.1 million funding boost to promote the research and development (R&D) efforts of Canadian companies applying intelligent systems to solve commercial problems in the environment and manufacturing sectors.
Boston, Mass. - Manufacturers in process-related industries require special features in enterprise resource planning (ERP), according to a new report from the Aberdeen Group.
Toronto, Ont. - There are so many misconceptions about ERP, itís a wonder that the acronym has not been replaced. Are you guilty of harbouring one of those misconceptions? Industry expert Michael Burns has the answer.
Toronto, Ont. - After two months of large gains, employment edged up again in March (+15,000), according to Statistics Canada.
Toronto, Ont. - Schneider Electric has signed an agreement to acquire ECP Tech Services, a U.S.- based company that is a provider of power system testing, maintenance and commissioning services to industrial, utility and commercial customers throughout the United States.
Saint-Eustache, Que. - A Quebec manufacturer has earned the dubious distinction of being the first company in Canada convicted under a strict new law known as the "corporate killing law."
Toronto, Ont. - The Canadian Federation of Independent Business is renewing its call for the Ontario government to overhaul its apprenticeship programs in light of new research showing record levels of concern over the shortage of qualified labour.
Milwaukee, Wisc. -Rockwell Automation has reached a definitive agreement to acquire the Safety and Automation business of CEDES AG. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Ottawa, Ont. - The Government of Canada is investing $118 million over three years in six National Research Council (NRC) technology cluster initiatives, including $36 million earmarked for the NRC National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT).Government officials say the investment will support research areas including: hydrogen and fuel cell technologies in Vancouver, nanotechnology in Edmonton, plants for health and wellness in Saskatoon, biomedical technologies in Winnipeg, photonics in Ottawa and aluminum transformation in the Saguenay - Lac-Saint-Jean region of Quebec."Nanotechnology is a multidisciplinary effort, drawing from fields such as applied physics, materials science, supramolecular chemistry, life sciences and even mechanical and electrical engineering," says Dr. Pierre Coulombe, President of NRC. "Canada will only reap the economic, productivity and health and wellness benefits of this emerging technology by working collaboratively and by approaching partnerships creatively as done here in Edmonton."
Houston, Tex. - Cooper Industries' subsidiary, Cooper Controls (U.K.) Limited, has acquired more than 98 percent of the outstanding shares of The MTL Instruments Group and will exercise its right under U.K. law to acquire the remaining outstanding shares.MTL develops and supplies instrumentation and protection equipment for use in hazardous environments. According to Cooper Industries chairman and CEO Kirk S. Hachigian, the company believes the transaction will accelerate the growth of Cooper Crouse-Hinds within the global petrochemical and energy markets.
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.
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