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60% of manufacturers to spend more on equipment this year, says SME survey

Toronto, ON -- Nearly 60% of Canadian manufacturing companies are planning to spend more money on manufacturing equipment this year compared to 2010, while approximately 30% are prepared to spend the same year over year. That's the finding of a...


Toronto, ON — Nearly 60% of Canadian manufacturing companies are planning to spend more money on manufacturing equipment this year compared to 2010, while approximately 30% are prepared to spend the same year over year. That’s the finding of a national survey conducted by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), the leading international resource for manufacturing information and knowledge.

The survey also showed that, at the same time, close to half of respondents cite “keeping production costs under control” and “improving workforce productivity” as their most pressing challenges. That means ongoing investment in new technology and processes is not only happening, but continues to play a key role as manufacturers rebound from the economic downtown of 2008-2009, said Nick Samain, event manager with SME, which is organizing the upcoming Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show 2011 (CMTS 2011).

Responding to the survey, organizers of CMTS 2011, which takes place October 17-20 at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto, have announced an expanded show for this year, that is expected to feature live equipment demonstrations, a 600-exhibit trade show, an exclusive industry keynote, interactive panel discussions and industry-wide networking opportunities.

“Our survey shows that there is optimism for the future, and as Canadian companies look for ways to increase efficiencies while keeping costs down, they rely on a venue like CMTS more than ever to help break through the massive clutter of information out there,” said Samain.

“Manufacturers know they need to integrate the latest advances into their daily operations but the challenge is always how to go about doing so,” he explained. “At CMTS 2011, they can see, hear and touch the range of potential solutions all under one roof.”

When asked to name the most pressing challenges they face today, one-third of SME survey respondents pointed to either expanding into new markets, finding and retaining qualified personnel, or updating equipment and processes. Meanwhile, 22% reported difficulty keeping up with industry trends. Additional highlights of the survey include:

– 58% of respondents have increased their manufacturing equipment budgets this year while 29% have maintained the same budgets.

– 60% of those surveyed are exploring areas for diversification, with 62% planning to upgrade their machining and equipment as part of that strategy. Other areas earmarked for upgrading or diversification include design and engineering (45%), processing equipment (38%), quality (38%) and materials (35%).

– Just under 75% of respondents plan to invest in manufacturing equipment this year. Budgets range from $1 million and over (10.5%); $250,000 to $999,999 (16.3%); $50,000 to $249,999 (25.4%); and, under $50,000 (21.8%).

– Two-thirds of respondents noted that trade shows play a role in their purchasing strategies. 81.3% use trade shows to see equipment in action; 70.3% to learn about new applications; 72.5% to see new products; and, 52.7% to meet with technical staff.

CMTS 2011 is a showcase for the latest technology, equipment, lean practices, management strategies and green solutions in the manufacturing industry, from traditional automation, metalforming, packaging, prototyping, measurement and tooling solutions, to cutting-edge visualization, nanotechnology, robotics, green and smart grid technologies.

For more information, visit www.cmts.ca or call (416) 491-7565.