Manufacturing AUTOMATION

Virtual Event
Automate to Innovate: Manufacturing efficiency emerging from COVID-19
July 29, 2020 at 1:00pm ET

The global manufacturing industry has long touted the benefits of Industry 4.0 technologies – improved productivity and product quality, reduced operating costs, competitive advantage. For many Canadian manufacturers, the list of reasons not to automate was long, topped by perceived expense and insufficient testing at scale.

But the COVID-19 pandemic is necessitating rapid change.

During the height of the lockdowns, manufacturers were forced to close, reduce operations or furlough workers. Consumer demand shifted unpredictably and supply chains, particularly those concentrated in gravely affected regions, suffered bottlenecking so great shelves were left empty for weeks.

Operations have now mostly reopened, and manufacturers have had to make accommodations. Production requirements remain the same but have been hampered by staffing challenges and increased safety measures.

To help manufacturers prepare for a potential second wave of the coronavirus and long-term competitiveness, Manufacturing AUTOMATION and Canadian Plastics have partnered to bring industry experts together in a FREE virtual summit focused on how automation will prove integral to our “new normal,” and on how to implement it.

The editors of Manufacturing AUTOMATION and Canadian Plastics are currently finalizing the speakers for the virtual summit. If you have questions about the agenda, email Kristina Urquhart at and Mark Stephen at


Register Now


1:00pm - 1:10pm
Welcoming remarks

Speakers: Kristina Urquhart, Mark Stephen
How has COVID-19 accelerated the need for automation? The editors of Manufacturing AUTOMATION and Canadian Plastics kick off the summit with a look at what’s happened in the manufacturing market over the past five months, and where we go from here.

1:10pm - 1:30pm
Installing automation: a real-world example

Safety guidelines for physical distancing and sanitization during the COVID-19 pandemic have forced many manufacturers to come up with makeshift solutions. In this presentation, a plastics manufacturer will share a case study of a recent application to explore how to automate certain operations in the short term to optimize production efficiency while complying with safety standards that will be in place at least for the medium-term, and possibly permanently.

1:30pm - 2:00pm
Installing automation: panel discussion

LIVE SESSION Moderator: Mark Stephen
Our presenter will be joined by industry experts in a roundtable discussion and audience Q&A led by Mark Stephen, editor of Canadian Plastics, on how to transition the strategies presented in the case study to a long-term plan that harnesses the power of Industry 4.0, so that manufacturers can remain competitive and build resiliency for the future.

2:00pm - 2:15pm

2:15pm - 2:45pm
Automate to innovate: what’s the cost?


Automation requires capital. This presentation will address the concrete ways manufacturers can scale automation in their workplace, including key federal and provincial credits and tax incentives for innovation and new manufacturing technologies, risk management in the context of COVID-19, and business continuity planning.

2:45pm - 3:30pm
Automate to innovate: panel discussion

Moderator: Kristina Urquhart
Blair de Verteuil, Vice-President Operations, Life Sciences, ATS Automation
David Jeffrey, Regional Vice-President, Central Canada, Salesforce
Shelley Fellows, Chair, Automate Canada

On-demand sessions open

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Frequently Asked Questions About Automate to Innovate: Manufacturing efficiency emerging from COVID-19

When & Where?

Automate to Innovate: Manufacturing efficiency emerging from COVID-19 will take place virtually via GoToWebinar on July 29, 2020 at 1:00pm ET.

There will be a 15 minute break between live sessions.

Why Virtual?

The safety and wellbeing of our employees, customers, and community is our number one priority. By making this event an online experience, it eliminates the need for attendees and sponsors to travel in-person, while enabling them to still benefit from the event content.

What’s Included?

Your registration provides you with access to watch the virtual keynote, all live sessions, and on-demand recorded content and product demonstrations.

How do I access?

We will email you an access link to the virtual event the morning of July 29, 2020.

If you don’t see an access link in your email inbox, please check your junk folder. If you are still unable to locate the email, contact Tara Jacobs.