WMTS gathers manufacturers in search of solutions through Industry 4.0
By Maryam FaragNews editor pick
For more than 30 years, manufacturers in Western Canada have attended the Western Manufacturing Technology Show (WMTS) looking for new ideas, solutions and suppliers to help them gain a competitive edge.
This year, the show returned to being in-person, providing the audience an opportunity to tap into trends, forge new relationships, and evaluate dozens of technologies, including machine tools and tooling, work holding, metalworking, welding, and advanced manufacturing solutions from additive manufacturing to automation, robotics and Industry 4.0.
Geared toward the needs of manufacturers in Alberta and surrounding regions; professionals serving industries, ranging from oil and gas to petrochemicals, construction, mining, and agriculture; benefited from meeting face-to-face with WMTS exhibitors. They included DMG MORI, Elliott Matsuura Canada, Thomas Skinner, Westway Machinery, among others.
Technologies presented by exhibitors included machine tools, tooling and work holding, metalworking and welding, advanced manufacturing, including additive manufacturing and Industry 4.0, automation and robotics, and design engineering.
Three industry keynote speakers addressed the manufacturing and business climates in Western Canada.
On day one, Chris McLeod, Vice-President, Digital Marketing and Communications, Edmonton Global, spoke about Radical Transformation and Diversification of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region Economy.
McLeod discussed the role of Edmonton Global in transforming and growing the economy of the Edmonton Metropolitan Region. He discussed why now is the time to pivot to the emerging opportunities for manufacturing in hydrogen, agri-food, logistics and life sciences.
“The Edmonton Metropolitan Region can compete to win in a world where competition for investment is fierce, but only if we are proactive, aggressive, hyper-targeted, and come together as a community to present a unified story to global investors,” said McLeod. “Driving opportunity here is the work being done in technology, innovation, AI, and its applications to the manufacturing sector.”
Day two saw a panel discussion, moderated by Billy Rideout, President, Exergy Solutions Inc., about how Advanced Manufacturing is Transforming the Energy Sector. Panelists included Tonya Wolfe, Manager, Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing, Red Deer College; Ira Laughy, President, Rapid 3D; and Stefano Chiovelli, Research and Development, Syncrude.
They spoke about how Canada’s manufacturing sector can help create better parts for reduced wear, improved reliability and increased efficiency aimed at boosting productivity and competitiveness as a nation. The discussion also highlighted the active collaboration in the strategy to build a skilled workforce and advanced manufacturing capabilities across academia, industry, and service providers.
“Canada has a unique opportunity leveraging expertise in oil and gas, energy and mining to play a key role in the clean energy transition,” said Rideout. “The goal is to provide solutions for immediate benefit to the province while transitioning to a net-zero footprint for this vital industry.”
On the final day, Billy Rideout, spoke about how Additive Manufacturing Saves Lives and Creates a New Energy Future. He explained how the team collaborated with over a dozen companies to design, test, build and donate Canada’s first approved production of emergency ventilators in response to the pandemic.
“There are many advantages to additive manufacturing as a critical part of the shift to Industry 4.0. Quicker prototypes, regionalization and digitization of supply chain, mass customization, and unique geometries are the common applications for AM technology,” said Rideout. “Exergy has been collaborating with the energy industry on research and development that is transformational to this sector of our economy. The team has found ways to combine additive manufacturing with an agile methodology to accelerate the testing and piloting of clean technology.”
The keynotes took place in the SME Zone, where industry experts and audience met to share business and career advice, and to expand their networks.
Annex Business Media was a part of the event, as media sponsor and exhibitor, representing its manufacturing group brands: PLANT magazine, Machinery and Equipment MRO, Canadian Manufacturing, Design Engineering, and Manufacturing Automation.
Event partners and industry supporters included The Canadian Machine Tool Distributors’ Association; The Canadian Tooling & Machining Association; Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, Canada Makes; and CWB Group.
Maryam Farag is the Associate Editor of Machinery and Equipment MRO magazine, Food and Beverage magazine, and Plant Magazine, Annex Business Media. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.