Studies & Reports
Despite a sputtering in the global economy in 2011, a new report says the market for PLM products grew faster in 2010 than 2011 to the tune of 10.5 per cent in the Americas alone. The findings are part of Global PLM management consulting and research firm CIMdata’s 2012 PLM Geographic Analysis Report, the fifth of five modules of the CIMdata PLM Market Analysis Report Series. The MAR Series provides detailed information and in-depth analysis on the worldwide PLM market during 2011. It contains analyses of major trends and issues, leading PLM providers, revenue analyses for geographical regions, industry sectors, and historical and projected data on market growth. “While the global economy sputtered, the PLM economy grew faster in 2011 than in 2010, which was a very good year,” said Stan Przybylinski, CIMdata’s director of research, in a statement. “Most segments of the market that CIMdata tracks saw high double digit growth, with very strong license sales. Given that new license sales are often precursors to more software and services investment, this is a strong indicator that 2012 could be another solid year for PLM solution and services providers. CIMdata estimates that in calendar year 2011 the Mainstream PLM market grew approximately 10.5 per cent in the Americas, almost 10 per cent in EMEA, and just under 24 per cent in Asia-Pacific.” The report provides details on the overall PLM market and specific geographic regions: the Americas; Europe-Middle East-Africa (EMEA); and Asia-Pacific. The report also provides insights into the collaborative Product Definition management (cPDm) spend in specific countries within each geographic region. It also provides estimates for calendar years 2011 and forecasts for 2012 to 2016 for each segment. The CIMdata PLM Market Analysis Report Series is available as a five-module set or each module can be purchased separately. Learn more at
The worldwide market for general motion control systems stumbled in 2011 while most of the industrial automation market continued to grow by double digit percentages, according to a new study from ARC Advisory Group. The year-on-year market growth was held to the low single digits as the Asian market was disrupted by the tsunami in Japan, slow-down in China and the stall in capital expenditures in the semiconductor market.  After a 45 per cent growth in the general motion control market between 2009 and 2010, the overall business has abruptly returned to normalcy or simply lost momentum.  Compared to other industrial market segments such as programmable logic controllers, AC drives, and machine safeguarding, which all continued to sustain double digit year on year growth rates in 2011, the general motion control market exhibited an anomalous market behavior according to the study.Mixed reports developed as suppliers exposed to the crisis in Japan and semiconductor and solar industries were once again impacted by double digit declines.  As a result, the market share gains in 2011 were disproportionate.  This is another example of how important it is to increase diversification across industries and regions.  Suppliers who endured as much as 50 per cent declines in business during the downturn in 2009 once again experienced staggering losses. Manufacturers are increasingly seeking automation solutions that adapt to a less rigidly defined production environment, improve product quality, reduce costs, and shorten time to market.  Manufactured products are becoming dimensionally smaller and the increase in short run production has simply made it impossible to rely upon human labor to achieve the velocity required in production output.  “These dynamics on the manufacturing side are feeding a resurgent demand for motion control solutions in mature economies,” according to research director Sal Spada, the principal author of ARC’s “General Motion Control Worldwide Outlook.”The capital expenditures in the automotive, machinery manufacturing and printing and publishing industries provided the greatest contributions to the general motion control market growth in 2011.  The combined motion control revenues in these industries enabled the market to move into positive growth territory.  However, the automotive and machinery manufacturing industries appear to be ready to reach a saturation point in growth.  These three industries are often correlated in terms of overall growth as the entire automotive supply chain needs to improve productivity to support the increasing demand from the large automobile manufacturers.
Traditional Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software is not meeting all the needs of project-driven companies, says a new study from IFS, the global enterprise software company. According to the study results, project-driven industries with the most pressing needs for project ERP include engineering, procurement, and construction contractors, engineer-to-order manufacturers and process manufacturers. Among the key findings: · While projects are a necessity for 85 per cent of respondents, 39 per cent have no integration between their project management software and enterprise system.· The ability to control processes in realtime correlates directly with better integration between project management functionality and ERP. The best results are from running an ERP application with embedded project management functionality.· Risk management is one of the major gaps left by existing ERP solutions used by project-intensive companies. “Engineer to order manufacturers and engineering, procurement, and construction contractors all have an obvious need for excellent project management functionality,” IFS North America vice president of marketing Steve Andrew said in a statement. The study is based on a survey of more than 200 executives with industrial and manufacturing companies in North America. Results were reviewed and interpreted by Cindy Jutras, principal analyst, Mint Jutras of Boston. The study is available for free download at:
The demand for semiconductors – particularly those with advanced, innovative features – is continuing to grow with the market expected to top $150 billion by 2018, according to a new study. New analysis from Frost & Sullivan has found that the market earned revenues of over $95.47 billion in 2011 and estimates this to reach $151.93 billion in 2018. The semiconductor market, well-known for its disruptive technology, revolves around products with superior performance, better integration, high linearity, smaller size and low power consumption. Its innovative capability, along with continued venture capital funding, keeps customers interested in the market.As companies vie for product differentiation by offering unique features, functionalities and designs, the demand for semiconductors in all verticals will continue to soar.The proliferation of tablets, smartphones and other handheld gadgets drive demand for devices that consume less power, have increased functionality and possess better integration capabilities. Meanwhile, the growing use of network services, along with multimedia and data-sharing solutions necessitates faster processing speeds and larger bandwidth.“The call for better power management in consumer electronics has led to higher adoption of semiconductors,” Frost & Sullivan Research Analyst Lavanya Rammohan said in a statement. “The pervasiveness of video traffic has added to the need for smarter semiconductors with high parallel processing speeds and integration capabilities.”Creating such value through increasing innovation, better product features and quicker time-to-market has contributed to the expansion of small and medium semiconductor companies. Their product differentiation and pricing strategy are key factors helping them win funding and successfully launch products.However, with cost pressures on the rise, semiconductor manufacturers struggle to break even. The considerable amount of resources, including design costs and intellectual property charges that are needed to launch a new product with faster time-to-market, has affected innovation.In addition, customers prefer to clear out existing inventory before signing new manufacturing orders. The continued delay of projects and product shipments affects manufacturing capacity, resulting in a demand-supply mismatch.“This mismatch will cause nominal growth, though the trend is expected to become moderate during the next few quarters,” concludes Rammohan. “The increasing demand from consumer electronics, networking, storage and multimedia will continue to strengthen innovation and stoke the semiconductor market.”
China's manufacturing improved in October, adding to signs the world's second-largest economy might be recovering from its deepest slump since the 2008 global crisis, two business surveys showed Thursday. The state-sanctioned China Federation of Logistics and Purchasing's monthly purchasing managers index improved to 50.2 from September's 49.8 on a 100-point scale on which numbers above 50 indicate activity is expanding. Separately, HSBC Corp. said its own PMI improved to an eight-month high of 49.5 from September's 47.9, though it still showed activity contracting. The Chinese numbers are rare good news for the world economy, which has slowed as Europe's chronic debt crisis worsened and the American economy stagnated. The improvement comes as Communist Party leaders prepare for a once-a-decade handover of power to younger leaders that is due to start at a party congress next week. Economic growth fell to a 3 1/2 year low of 7.6 per cent in the quarter ending in September but other indicators including retail sales and investment are improving. Analysts expect overall growth to revive this quarter but say a rebound will be too weak to drive a global recovery without improvement in the United States and Europe. The October data imply that “China's industrial activity continues to bottom out following a modest pickup last month,” said HSBC economist Hongbin Qu in a statement. He said that was driven by an increase in new orders but the export outlook “remains challenging.” “We expect a continuation of policy easing to further boost domestic demand and counterbalance the external weakness, leading to a gradual growth recovery in the coming quarters,” Qu said. Analysts have cautioned that a Chinese recovery is likely to be “L-shaped,” meaning the decline might have stopped but improvements in growth should be gradual. That would be a setback for exporters of iron ore, copper and other commodities that are counting on China to help drive a rebound in global demand. The slowdown is due largely to government curbs imposed on investment and construction to cool overheating and try to nurture a more self-sustaining expansion supported by domestic consumption. That has hurt China's large construction industry and demand for steel, cement and other materials. An unexpected slump in global demand for Chinese goods last year hurt exporters. Retail sales rose 14.4 per cent in September, accelerating from the first half's 14.1 per cent growth. Investment in factories and other fixed assets rose 20.5 per cent in the first nine months of the year, up from a 20.2 per cent rate for the first eight months. Chinese leaders have cut interest rates twice since early June and are pumping money into the economy through higher spending by state companies and on building airports and other public works. They have avoided a larger stimulus after their multibillion-dollar spending in response to the 2008 global crisis fuelled inflation and a wasteful building boom. —The Associated Press
North American-based robotics companies are in the midst of another strong year, with new orders up 20 per cent, according to new statistics released by Robotic Industries Association (RIA), the industry’s trade group. A total of 16,363 robots valued at $1.1 billion were ordered in the first nine months by companies in North America, an increase of 20 per cent in units and 29 per cent in dollars over the same period in 2011. Including numbers from outside North America, the totals are 18,844 robots valued at $1.25 billion. The automotive OEM and component suppliers remain the robotics industry’s biggest customers, accounting for 64 per cent of the new orders through the third quarter. Sales to these two segments rose 45 per cent through September. Other industries with increased robot orders include metalworking (up 13 per cent) and life sciences/pharmaceutical/biomedical (up four percent). “The strong automotive-related orders in 2012 are especially impressive given that sales to automotive tier suppliers and OEMS jumped by even greater amounts in 2011 (77 per cent to automotive component suppliers, 59 per cent to automotive OEMS),” said Jeff Burnstein, RIA’s president, in a statement. “The strong growth in 2012 continues to reinforce the significant value that robots provide as a productivity tool for major US manufacturing companies. While automotive remains the largest market, interest across a wide range of both manufacturing and non-manufacturing companies continues to build and will provide the foundation for long-term industry growth,” said John Dulchinos, president & CEO at Adept Technology, who chairs the RIA Statistics Committee and serves on the RIA Board of Directors, in a statement. RIA estimates that some 225,000 robots are now at use in United States factories, placing the US second only to Japan in robot use. “Many observers believe that only about 10 per cent of the US companies that could benefit from robots have installed any so far,” Burnstein said, “and among those that have the most to gain from robots are small and medium sized companies.”
A new report forecasts that the market for M2M and embedded devices will reach 400 million by the end of 2017, up from a little more than 110 million at present. The study from Juniper Research has found that the Telematics and Consumer Electronics sectors are rapidly becoming the two anchor industries for the M2M (Machine to Machine) market, challenging the position of smart metering.   Juniper explained that while the eReader has single-handedly enhanced the prospects of embedded devices in the consumer electronics industry, the promise of increased driver efficiency and cost management will drive the success in telematics: “The automotive market is potentially easier to address than other sectors as it contains fewer players,” said Anthony Cox, associate analyst at Juniper Research and the report’s author. Further findings from the M2M & Embedded Strategies report include: Almost without exception, Mobile Network Operators have embraced M2M as an industry sector, tailoring services and approaches to the industry.APIs from M2M specialists are becoming increasingly sophisticated with tailored solutions for individual M2M customers now common.Hardware manufacturers are providing increased support for their products including API and industry -specific modules.4G chipsets, while shipping in very low volumes at present, will find their market in the automotive industry and specific applications such as live video monitoring. The report also finds that the price of M2M modules will continue to reduce, particularly for 3G modules, as automotive and consumer electronics use-cases require improved bandwidth and latency, and as 2G infrastructure is retired in some markets.
A new study could give hope to the Canadian manufacturing sector if it follows trends from the United States. The study has found the skills gap in U.S. manufacturing today is more limited than many people believe and is unlikely to prevent a projected resurgence in U.S. manufacturing by the end of this decade.  Still, more severe shortages could develop, threatening to constrain that revival, unless aggressive steps are taken now, according to the study by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG).BCG estimates that the U.S. is short some 80,000 to 100,000 highly skilled manufacturing workers. That shortage represents less than 1 per cent of the nation's 11.5 million manufacturing workers and less than 8 per cent of its 1.4 million highly skilled manufacturing workers. What's more, only seven states – six of which are in the bottom quartile of U.S. state manufacturing output – show significant or severe skills gaps. The shortages are local, not nationwide, in nature and reflect imbalances driven by both location and job classes."Shortages of highly skilled manufacturing workers exist and must be addressed, but the numbers aren't as bad as many believe," Harold L. Sirkin, a BCG senior partner and coauthor of the research, said in a statement. "The problem is very localized. It's much less of an issue in larger communities, where supply and demand evens out more efficiently thanks to the bigger pool of workers."The analysis supports the firm's estimate that rising U.S. exports -- combined with production brought back or "reshored" from China – could create 2.5 million to 5 million U.S. jobs in manufacturing and related services by the end of the decade. The study has also shown that the U.S. could capture up to $130 billion in exports from other nations by 2020, thanks largely to significant labor- and energy-cost advantages over Western Europe and Japan and to rising costs in China.
A new monthly leading economic indicator is suggesting the Canadian economy is experiencing slow, steady growth and will avert a downturn in 2012. The Leading Economic Indicator Series by the Ottawa-based Macdonald-Laurier Institute is aiming to fill the void left by Statistics Canada Composite Leading Indicator, which the federal agency cancelled last May.The goal of the indicator is to provide insights into the future course of the Canadian economy — giving advance warning of recessions and upturns. The new index will sum up performance of nine components that track developments in key sectors such as financial markets or manufacturing to signal upcoming changes in the business cycle – most notably recession or recovery.The inaugural MLI Leading Economic Indicator rose 0.1 per cent in August after four consecutive months of 0.2 per cent gains. The slow, steady growth of this indicator suggests the Canadian economy will avert a downturn in 2012.“Starting with the stalemate of the U.S. budget, then Europe’s slide into recession and a slowdown in Asia, there have been constant concerns and reports Canada’s economy would relapse into recession. The leading indicator showed a trend to slower growth, but no recession, something borne out by the data on output and employment,” Philip Cross, MLI research and editorial coordinator said in a statement.The new MLI Indicator retains six of the 10 components in the original Stats Can index – housing index, U.S. leading indicator, money supply, stock market, average workweek in manufacturing, and new orders for durable goods.Added to the new index are commodity prices, employment insurance claims and spread between government and private-sector interest rates, to bring the total to nine components.Altogether, these nine components cover all the major cyclical parts of the economy, including financial markets, the labour market, exports, housing, and manufacturing, Cross said.“Predicting the economy is a lot like predicting the weather to most people,” Cross said. “If there is healthy growth, it is human nature to expect continued growth. But business cycles change just as the weather does.”
The growth of Canada's manufacturing sector lost further momentum in September, with the weakest pace of expansion recorded since March, according to the RBC Canadian Manufacturing Purchasing Managers' Index. A monthly survey, conducted in association with Markit, a leading global financial information services company, and the Purchasing Management Association of Canada (PMAC), the RBC PMI offers a comprehensive and early indicator of trends in the Canadian manufacturing sector.The headline RBC PMI - a composite indicator designed to provide a single-figure snapshot of the health of the manufacturing sector - registered 52.4 in September, which is evidence of a modest expansion in Canada's manufacturing industry. However, having fallen from 53.0 in August, the rate of growth was the slowest for six months. The weaker performance of the sector was further highlighted by the quarterly average PMI reading falling from 54.3 in the three months to June, to 52.8 in the three months to September.The RBC PMI signalled that both output and new orders increased during September, partly reflecting greater client demand. The rates of growth eased since August, however, with the latest expansion in production the second-weakest in the two-year survey history. The rate of job creation also eased, slowing to a five-month low. Inflationary pressures meanwhile picked up in September, with input prices rising strongly since August.“All things considered, particularly within the context of the relatively weak global economic and manufacturing data, the fact that Canada's manufacturing sector continues to expand is noteworthy," said Craig Wright, senior vice-president and chief economist, RBC. "While it hasn't been entirely smooth sailing for Canada's broader economy in recent months, continued business spending and improving labour market conditions, among other generally positive factors, will help set the stage for GDP growth of 2.1 per cent in 2012."In addition to the headline RBC PMI, the survey also tracks changes in output, new orders, employment, inventories, prices and supplier delivery times.Key findings from the September survey include:• Growth of output and new orders slows to eight- and six-month lows respectively;• Moderate rise in employment, but rate of job creation weakest since April; and• Input prices increase strongly over the month. Incoming new work received by Canadian manufacturers rose further in September, with a number of monitored companies attributing this to greater client demand. The volume of new export orders also increased over the month, albeit only marginally. Overall, total new orders rose moderately since August, but the rate of growth was the slowest in six months and weaker than the series average.Manufacturing production rose in response to larger new order requirements. However, the latest increase in output levels was the second-weakest in two years of data collection. Backlogs of work and stocks of finished goods, meanwhile, were both broadly unchanged from one month previously.The quantity of inputs bought by Canadian manufacturing firms rose further during September. Panellists commented on raising their purchases to meet the increase in output and also to rebuild input inventories, which rose at the fastest rate for four months. Concurrently, suppliers' delivery times lengthened during the latest survey period. The latest increase in lead times on inputs was only modest, however.Employment in Canada's manufacturing sector increased in September, with approximately 17 per cent of firms hiring additional staff from August. Anecdotal evidence generally linked the increase in employee numbers to greater production requirements. That said, exactly 14 per cent of companies reduced their workforces over the month. Overall, the rate of job creation slowed further to its weakest in five months.Input costs rose further in September, with fuel and raw materials such as metals and plastics particularly mentioned as having increased in price. Moreover, the rate of inflation was strong and the fastest in four months. Firms passed on greater cost burdens to clients by raising their output charges. Average selling prices rose modestly over the month, with the latest increase the strongest since April.Regional highlights include:• Ontario saw the weakest improvement in manufacturing business conditions during September.• New order growth slowed in all four regions, with the weakest expansion recorded for Ontario.• The rate of job creation accelerated slightly in Alberta and British Columbia, was broadly unchanged in Quebec, but eased elsewhere.• Alberta and British Columbia posted the strongest rate of input price inflation in September. "The slowdown in Canada's manufacturing sector was partly reflective of production problems at some companies, with output increasing at the slowest pace since January," said Cheryl Paradowski, President and Chief Executive Officer, PMAC. "However, weaker growth trends for new orders and employment, and in particular new export work, also contributed and suggest that Canada continued to be hit by ongoing weakness in the global economy."
The country's growing shortage of highly skilled labour is critical, with shortages being felt in the manufacturing, automation and energy and utility industries, according to a new survey by Randstad. Findings from Randstad's latest Global Workmonitor, surveying employees in 32 countries around the world, reveals that Canadian businesses are reporting serious problems finding the workers they need amidst a growing skills shortage.Jan Hein Bax, president, Randstad Canada said in a statement that many businesses are experiencing difficulties finding skilled workers to meet their specific needs. "The demographic shift resulting in retirements, a deepening shortfall of skilled workers and the growing mismatch between the skills needed and those available has evolved into an undeniable skills crisis," he said.According to survey respondents, two thirds (66 per cent) of Canadian employers have trouble finding the right people for specific jobs. And even more (58 per cent) believe Canadian employers are experiencing problems finding highly qualified people. Additionally, 55 per cent of Canadian employees say they expect a shortage of highly qualified employees within the next three years. While more than half of Canadian respondents also say they expect to see a shortage of staff in specific jobs.The lack of skilled workers is affecting many of Canada's sectors, regions and employers, said Bax. "According to our internal figures, Randstad Canada has seen shortages in the manufacturing, automation and energy and utility industries this year," he explained. "And within these three industries, the Greater Toronto Area, Montreal and Calgary regions specifically experienced difficulties finding Engineering talent. In terms of roles, draftspersons, mechanical engineers and mechanical designers proved to be the roles that were hardest to fill within the above regions and industries," he said.The skilled trades industry is also feeling the effects. "In Quebec, in particular, we are seeing a strong demand for machinists, electro mechanics, industrial mechanics, welders, and supervisors in industrial management," Bax said.But the skills shortage is a real issue not just in Canada, but all over the world. According to the Workmonitor survey results, globally, almost 60 per cent of respondents say employers have difficulties finding the right person for the job. According to Bax, the skills shortage is becoming one of the great challenges facing the world of work. "To combat the lack of essential skills, there is a strong need to cultivate continuous learning and employers must invest more into their workforces," he said. "We need to confront this issue head on in order to improve the productivity of our workforce."
Canada’s sliding global competitiveness ranking is due to its weak innovation performance, according to a Conference Board of Canada analysis of World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Index 2012-13. Overall, Canada’s ranking declined to 14th place in 2012 – from 12th place in 2011 and 10th place in 2010. But in the sub-area of innovation and business sophistication factors, Canada fell six places from 15th to 21st – no other top-ranked country dropped nearly as much.The publication Who Dimmed the Lights? Canada’s Declining Global Competitiveness Ranking, for the Conference Board’s Centre for Business Innovation, argues that Canada needs to take advantage of its basic strengths, leverage its abundance of natural resources and skilled workers, and produce value-added products and services for domestic and international markets.“Canada’s declining overall ranking is indicative of the country’s competitiveness malaise,” said Douglas Watt, Director, Organizational Effectiveness and Learning. “This decline raises concerns about the country’s ability to leverage its relatively strong socio-economic footings for competitive advantage. Some of our top competitors are increasing their competitiveness, so Canada must improve just to keep pace. If we don’t do something, Canada’s future prosperity is in jeopardy. “Fourteenth place out of 144 countries is good—but ‘good’ really isn’t good enough anymore. Future national competitiveness—the underpinning of social and economic prosperity—requires that our competitive advantage shift to the production of more value-added goods and services. The key is to pursue new opportunities and enter new markets in order to move away from being excavators of minerals, hewers of wood, movers of bitumen, and wardens of water.”This Conference Board briefing provides a Canadian business perspective on the findings of The Global Competitiveness Report 2012–2013, the 34rd edition of the World Economic Forum’s report. The Conference Board of Canada is the Canadian Partner Institute at the World Economic Forum’s Centre for Global Competitiveness and Performance.The Global Competitiveness Index consists of three sub-indexes that capture the core elements of a country’s competitiveness, including:•    Basic requirements (e.g., institutions, infrastructure, and macroeconomic environment): Canada ranks 14th, a decline of one position.•    Efficiency enhancers (e.g., higher education and training, labour market efficiencies, technological readiness, market size): Canada ranks a respectable sixth.•    Innovation and business sophistication factors (e.g., nature of competitive advantage, capacity to innovate): Canada falls six places, from 15th to 21st.Canada has strong fundamentals when it comes to supporting productivity, business performance, and competitiveness. Our population is healthy, our education system is solid, and our institutions and infrastructure are, for the most part, a boon to the country’s economic strengths and competitive potential.However, Canada’s year-over-year decline (from 11th in 2011 to 22nd in 2012) was particularly significant in indicators of innovation performance—such as university–industry collaboration in R&D, quality of scientific research institutions, capacity for innovation, company spending on R&D, and government procurement of advanced technology products.This decline is especially disappointing given that Canada is an advanced economy and at a stage of development where its future prosperity rests mostly on its capacity to innovate. The gap between Canada’s inability to leverage its economic and structural strengths for value-added performance and competitive advantage is one of the greatest roadblocks to improved competitiveness and future prosperity.Switzerland, Singapore, and Finland are the top three countries in the World Economic Forum’s 2012-2013 rankings. Each of the top three economies performs well across all three competitiveness sub-indexes (basic requirements, efficiency enhancers, and innovation and business sophistication).
Increasingly, U.S. firms are moving or considering moving their manufacturing operations back to domestic soil from overseas, according to a new study co-authored by a Michigan State University supply chain expert. Fueling the trend are rising labor costs in emerging countries, high oil prices and increasing transportation costs, global risks such as political instability and other factors, said Tobias Schoenherr."Going overseas is not the panacea that it was thought of just a decade or so ago," said Schoenherr, assistant professor in MSU's top-ranked Department of Supply Chain Management. "Companies have realized the challenges and thus are moving back to the United States."The study found that 40 per cent of manufacturing firms believe there is an increased movement of "reshoring" – or moving manufacturing plants back to the United States from countries such as China and India. The results differed by industry, but were led by aerospace and defense; industrial parts and equipment; electronics; and medical and surgical supplies."We were surprised by the large percentage of firms indicating that they are considering reshoring," Schoenherr said.In addition, nearly 38 per cent of companies indicated that their direct competitors have reshored.In addition to rising costs and global risks, Schoenherr said companies are concerned with the erosion of intellectual property overseas and product quality problems, which can be difficult to fix when dealing with multiple time zones and language and cultural barriers."From my communication with some firms, I also sense a genuine desire to help the U.S. economy and to bring back jobs," Schoenherr said.The study, sponsored by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals, is based on a survey of 319 firms.Schoenherr's co-authors were Wendy Tate and Kenneth Petersen of the University of Tennessee and Lisa Ellram of Miami University (Ohio).
Salaries in Canada’s manufacturing sector are projected to increase between 3.1 and 3.3 per cent for employees and 2.4 per cent for unionized workers in 2013, according to a new survey. The 34th annual Canada Salary Increase Survey  from Aon Hewitt, the global human resources consulting and outsourcing solutions business of Aon Corporation surveyed 162 manufacturing organizations to look for salary increases.The study found that 2013 projected salary increases show a slight improvement over the actual 2012 salary increases, which on average were 3.0 per cent. In 2013, 3.3 per cent of organizations reported a salary freeze, while only 1.7 per cent are forecasting a freeze for 2013. The decline in organizations reporting a salary freeze mirrors trends witnessed prior to the economic downturn in the third quarter of 2008. "The percentage of organizations reporting a salary freeze has steadily declined since 2009, when almost a third of organizations froze salaries," Suzanne Thomson, a senior associate with Aon Hewitt in Toronto, said in a statement.This year's survey also reveals that some organizations have reported changes to their approach in granting base salary increases. Organizations are opting for approaches that focus on merit increases or pay for performance strategies. Others are granting more lump sum payments in lieu of increases or they are putting more pay at risk by increasing the variable pay component and reducing salary increases.The survey also indicates that 30 per cent of organizations use special compensation arrangements for hot skills jobs. The most popular monetary hot skill arrangements are additional base pay, sign-on bonuses and retention bonuses.  Non-monetary arrangements to attract and retain those with hot skills include flexible work arrangements."Employee attraction and retention continue to be important issues in many sectors. Employers need to develop strategies to not only retain, but to engage their high performers," Susan Hunter, national leader of Aon Hewitt's rewards group, said.
Total machine vision sales in North America rose three per cent compared to the second quarter of 2011, according to new statistics from AIA, the industry’s trade group.  According to AIA, total machine vision sales include sales of machine vision systems and components.  Sales of machine vision systems, the largest category, rose two per cent year-over-year while sales of machine vision components saw an increase of 10 per cent.The increase in sales of machine vision components resulted primarily from sales of cameras, the largest machine vision components market in North America, which rose by 13 per cent compared to second quarter 2011.  Sales of other machine vision components also rose on a year-over-year basis: software (24 per cent), imaging boards (10 per cent), optics (2 per cent) and lighting (1 per cent).“We welcome a return to growth,” said AIA president Jeff Burnstein in a statement.  “These encouraging results break the pattern of the previous three quarters, which recorded year-over-year declines.” Paul Kellett, AIA’s Director of Market Analysis, added, “While second quarter results are up from the first quarter of this year, industry experts do not expect an ongoing improvement.  Fifty-three per cent of the experts surveyed expect flat sales, while 37 per cent believe sales will decrease in the next two quarters.  Only 10 per cent expect an overall improvement in machine vision sales.”

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