MRO Magazine

CMTS sees 10% increase in attendance and sold out conference

Toronto - From standing room only at the keynote address and a show floor that was almost double in size compared to 2009, to an overall 10% increase in attendance and a sold-out technical conference, the success of October's Canadian...


November 11, 2011
By MRO Magazine


Toronto – From standing room only at the keynote address and a show floor that was almost double in size compared to 2009, to an overall 10% increase in attendance and a sold-out technical conference, the success of October’s Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show 2011 (CMTS 2011) reflects the growing optimism of the Canadian manufacturing industry in general, say show organizers.

“We took some big steps this year, using the latest in social media to create a more personalized experience for delegates while expanding the show floor to include significant educational and networking components, and our expectations were exceeded,” notes Nick Samain, event manager with the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME), organizers of the event, which takes place every two years.

“People told us they liked what they saw and the result is an unprecedented 80% of exhibit space already re-booked for 2013, when we move back to the Toronto International Centre for an even more expansive event.”

Adding to the buzz around this year’s show was a thought-provoking keynote address by Kevin O’Leary, best known as the ruthless judge on CBC Television’s Dragon’s Den. O’Leary’s mission was to deliver practical advice for business growth and he didn’t hold back, telling delegates it’s time to look beyond the US to potential export markets in Brazil, India and Asia. He also encouraged ongoing investment in technology, saying: “People think that automation is killing jobs in Canada, when in fact, it’s enhancing the value of jobs you can provide.”


Also of note was a clear message from Take Back Manufacturing (TBM), an aggressive campaign launched by the Toronto chapter of SME to get government, education, business and media representatives working together to bring off-shore manufacturing back to North America.

According to reports from Statistics Canada, 322,000 manufacturing jobs disappeared from the Canadian economy between 2004 and 2008, including the production of truly Canadian items like hockey sticks, and TBM participants aim to bring those jobs back by promoting a more balanced approach to sourcing of raw materials that keeps manufacturing costs down.

“This was a standout show on all levels,” said Samain, noting that strong partnership support was a key success factor. “Not only does 2011 represent a full turnaround for a key industry event that was slowing, but it also solidifies every element of our newly-expanded program moving forward.”

Additional highlights of CTMS 2011 included:

– A 500-exhibit trade show featuring 150 new products and live demonstrations, including the world’s first punching machine with skeleton-free processing and a 20-ton punching force; the largest electrical discharge machining drill on the market; the first lathe to feature a built-in structure to minimize heat generation and vibration; plasma cutters, water jet cutters and more.

– Demonstrations of some of the latest advances in hybrid and solar cars by university students from McMaster University in Hamilton, ONo, featured as part of Innovation Alley show feature.

– A thought-provoking Automotive Summit sponsored by the APMA, led by automotive insight journalist and TV host John McElroy that discussed the challenges, opportunities and future trends for the Canadian automotive industry and North American supply chain.

– A sold-out technical conference featuring sessions on a variety of topics, from innovations in medical manufacturing and the latest in machining equipment, to advances in energy efficiency and sustainability.

– Well-represented international presence including a 150-exhibitor international pavilion from India that featured the Canadian debut of the Tato Nano, a well-attended networking reception sponsored by the Dutch Consulate and a show floor featuring the latest technology from more than 38 countries around the world.

“It’s clear that the significant increase in both exhibitor and visitor interest mirrors the growth that is currently taking place in the Canadian manufacturing industry,” noted Samain, pointing to a recent Statistics Canada report that states manufacturing sales are on the rise.

“On the heels of the show’s success, moving forward we expect to see even more opportunities for initiatives that were introduced at the 2011 event, including expanded networking programs, more technology enabling greater connectivity between buyers and sellers, new student programs, university partnerships and hands-on access to the latest innovative new products in the marketplace,” he added.