Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Inaugural SmartMTX show impresses attendees and exhibitors alike

April 26, 2023
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

The exhibition floor at SmartMTX (Photo: MEE Cluster)

Manufacturing & Export Enhancement Cluster (MEE Cluster), organizers of SmartMTX, reported in a press statement that the inaugural show was a success. The show welcomed more than 500 participants at Westerner Park in Red Deer on April 4 and 5, representing 150 plus organizations including 54 exhibitors.

Attendees and exhibitors were there to network and learn about Industry 4.0 applications in manufacturing.

“SmartMTX was a fantastic opportunity for our company to connect with the fast-growing manufacturing sector in western Canada. The event brought together key expertise from the manufacturing sector, technology providers and the public sector to build a really informative and valuable event,” said Ed Goffin, senior marketing manager at Pleora Technologies.

A tech talk in progress at SmartMTX (Photo: MEE Cluster)

Over the course of the two days, 30 presentations and eight panel discussions addressed diverse manufacturing topics such as additive manufacturing, concrete 3D printing, creating opportunities for women in STEM careers, automation, the impact of AI, cybersecurity and enhancing productivity through digitization. Several presentations focused on providing information on supports and grants available to businesses in Western Canada to expand and advance their operations.


The expo also hosted a number of keynote speakers, including Pierre Cleroux, vice-president and chief economist at BDC and Jayson Myers, CEO of NGEN – Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Global Innovation Cluster. Brian Jean, Minister of Jobs, Economy, and Northern Development, and Ken Johnston, Mayor of the City of Red Deer delivered the opening remarks.

Robotics demo by Aro Robotic Systems (Photo: MEE Cluster)

Technology demonstrations presented by two Alberta companies were also well received. Aro Robotic Systems demonstrated their AI-driven autonomous multi-tasking robot and 3D Space Terraform demonstrated their expertise in 3D printing with earthen materials and the 3D Potter Scara 3D printing system.

“I was impressed with how the technology providers were in touch with what is happening in manufacturing shops locally and have viable solutions to help them advance,” said a SmartMTX attendee.

Aro Robotics and Elementiam Materials and Manufacturing collaborated right on the trade show floor with Elementiam mounting a 3D scanning system on one of Aro’s AI driven robots. Bow River Solutions and Visual Knowledge Share announced they were looking forward to building a strong relationship after connecting at the event.

Approximately 70 percent of participants were from industry with the remainder split roughly equally between post-secondaries, government, and associations/not-for-profits. The show also hit its targets for helping industry learn about Smart Manufacturing technologies and network with other like-minded manufacturers.  Close to 90 percent of attendees indicated they intended to follow up with an exhibitor or connection they made at the event. Just over 80 percent indicated the event helped them better understand advanced manufacturing technologies and processes. About 90 percent indicated they identified a possible new technology or service provider.

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