Women in Canadian Manufacturing

MMTS abuzz with AI talk, productivity focus and sales pressures

June 28, 2024
By Canadian Manufacturing
Women in Manufacturing

MMTS 2024

MMTS 2024 took place from Jun. 18-20 in Montreal, Que., where Canadian manufacturers came together to showcase their latest innovations and technologies in an attempt to stay competitive. Over 5,000 professionals registered for the three-day event in Montreal, Que., and the slate of sessions on offer covered everything from automation, AI, sustainability and productivity.

Multiple sessions listed ‘challenges’ in their titles, which suggests a recurring theme for the industry this year. Key sessions dealing with challenges all mentioned productivity as a core focus for manufacturers.
Manufacturers showed optimism on the show floor over the three days when asked about their show expectations and experience.

“We’ve been at MMTS several times,” says Kareem Jassir, Content Marketing Strategist at Renishaw (Canada) Limited. “It’s been great so far. We’ve brought some new products here that’s generating a lot of interest.”

When asked what Renishaw was hoping to get out of the MMTS experience, Karim was to the point.

“Sales. We come here every year because we get some serious leads in the region of Quebec. It’s more engaging, more serious people, and we get a chance to meet our existing clients face to face and build those relationships.”

MMTS 2024

The show floor was particularly buzzworthy on Jun. 19, when multiple sessions dealt with the growing use of AI in the manufacturing industry, first in a session presented by Sean Duckett, the Senior Investment Director at SCALE AI, detailing a number of case studies where AI was used to transform and improve manufacturing operations. Later, from John Cigana, Director of Project Development at NGen, in a session focused on AI-driven savings through technology.

There were manufacturers present from all ends of the industry, with a core focus on automotive and aerospace parts, due to the region’s strengths in those areas. One manufacturer of cutting tools, OSG, was present at MMTS hoping to expand their footprint.

“We manufacture our tools in Japan where we’re headquartered, in the U.S., and also out of Burlington, Ont.,” says Michel Ethier, a Sales Engineer at OSG Canada Ltd. “Our tools are serving the aerospace industry in Quebec, out West its oil and gas, and in Ontario it’s the automotive industry. Right now, we’re introducing our new coating vessel to the market and we’re hoping there’s interest from other industries in protecting their tools regardless of the market they’re in.”

NGen was a key presenter on Day 2 of the show, with multiple sessions being presented from their leadership team. Jayson Myers, CEO of NGen, spoke at length about the need to stay competitive through alleviating the labour shortage and focusing on nurturing the next generation of advanced manufacturing talent.

Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence is a technology company using sensors to capture operational data to improve manufacturing businesses from the shopfloor up. When prompted about what they were hoping to get out of the MMTS experience they spoke about brand recognition and the importance of relationship-building.

“Visibility. A lot of people know the brand, know they know we’re local and we’re available and eager to help them,” says Eric Liard, Territory Manager at Hexagon.

“We’ve grown a lot over the years, we have a number of companies now under our portfolio. When companies come through our booth, they may know us for one thing, but may not know that we have laser trackers, or CNC simulation capabilities as well, so we can really showcase our capabilities in helping them. It’s about brand building,” says David Hill, Director of Commercial Operations at Hexagon.

MMTS 2024

Manufacturers across the spectrum were in sell-mode, showcasing their latest products and technologies to try and help manufacturers not just transform their businesses, but get a leg up against the competition.

Hexagon, OSG Canada Ltd., and CADMicro, were all some of the many companies Canadian Manufacturing spoke to that were offering solutions for manufacturers that were industry-agnostic. Manufacturers are making an effort to provide solutions to their clients regardless of the industry the clients are in, whether it’s automotive, aerospace, pharmaceutical products or something else.

Alleviating the labour shortage and doing more with less was a consistent theme found at MMTS 2024, as manufacturers looked to stay productive through the economic headwinds found thus far.