MRO Magazine

Associations Helping Members During Pandemic

March 27, 2020 | By Mario Cywinski

MRO Magazine reached out to several industry associations to find out how COVID-19 is impacting their industries and members. As well as asking them how they are helping their members cope with the pandemic.

Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA)
Ann Arnott, CEO, PTDA said “PTDA’s members ensure companies manufacturing the equipment and resources to stem the spread COVID-19 stay up and running. As distributors and manufacturers of motors, bearings, conveyors and other power transmission/motion control components, our members keep industry moving. The biggest impact that we’ve heard from member companies is balancing the support and protection of their employees with meeting the needs of these essential manufacturers who are their customers. As the industry’s leading association, PTDA is providing members with key COVID-19 business-related information and also a forum to share and help one another in solving challenges.”

PTDA also has a web page dedicated to COVID-19 resources:

Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC)
JP Giroux, President, EMC said “We are monitoring industry needs, questions and working on manufacturing alliances for solutions. All EMC staff and our online infrastructure are at manufacturers disposal and in place should they require access to digital resources, virtual, training or other support during this time. Our Member Needs Help (MHH) services is now available to all manufacturers and community partners to share practical tools and information developed by manufacturers and for manufacturers to use and implement.”


Canadian Tooling and Machining Association (CTMA)
Robert Cattle, Executive Director, CTMA said “We are participating in conference calls/meetings set up by the Provincial Government, as well as conference calls with the Canadian Manufacturing Coalition and giving them our input and advice as to what would help our members.  We are also gathering and relaying all pertinent information to our members through weekly or bi-weekly electronic communications and providing resources and helpful information on our website,

“CTMA staff are working from home, the Windsor Chapter tour of Dajcor Aluminum has been cancelled, the monitoring visits for the Career Ready with CTMA program have shifted from in-person to either virtual or electronic communications, and we are assessing the need to reschedule our annual golf tournament.”

Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE)
Jim Arner, Chair, Toronto Section, STLE said “At our section level we followed the advice of the local government and our STLE parent. We had a planned tribology workshop in May but we have postponed that until later this autumn. Other than the initial planning by our section there was no significant impact on others.

“After all the work put into planning the special anniversary conference this year the STLE is planning to reschedule it as soon as possible.”

PEMAC Asset Management Association of Canada
Cindy Snedden, Executive Director, PEMAC said “PEMAC is a organization whose members are the professionals responsible for maintenance management, reliability management and organization-level asset management of the civil and mechanical infrastructure that keeps things working. I have had the opportunity to hear from a few of them, and last week was about determining what portion of each organization’s services are essential.

“When the answer is, ‘Yes, this service is essential’ (water and wastewater, food production, fuel delivery, health care facilities management), the challenge has been how to deliver services and keep frontline workers and their families safe. It was a particularly challenging to do with kids coming home from school and alternate child care arrangements not in place. Desk workers were shifting to working from home, and plant staff were carefully working out safety measures that would make it possible to keep things running with minimum staff.

“When the answer is, ‘this service is not essential (right now)’ the challenge was whether and how to idle with minimum impact on both equipment and staff, hoping to bring teams back together to power up when the situation improves.  Services we may have considered essential, find themselves in this situation, airports being one example.

“It’s clear that we need a coordinated effort right now. What is also clear is that external circumstances are calling into question all former assumptions about the value that the organization that we serve produces. In some cases, it has been possible to pivot. We have members, who work in distilleries, who are retooling their production lines to produce sanitizer.”

As we speak with other industry associations, we will continue to add their comments to this article.








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