Panel Builder System Integrator


EMCAugust 17, 2018

Al Diggins, Chair, Treasurer and General Manager of Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium (EMC), could not be more pleased with the results of a two-year program designed to help Northern Ontario manufacturers enhance their productivity, competitiveness and business management capacity.

With a FedNor investment of $427,945, EMC rolled out Lean Management System (LMS) training and Productivity Cluster events in 2015 targeting senior management. The term ‘lean’ refers to an organized approach in running an organization that supports continuous targeted improvement by systematically implementing small, incremental changes in processes to improve efficiency and quality.

Diggins says EMC championed the program recognizing that there was a gap in training and support for Northern Ontario manufacturers. The programs for both LMS training and Productivity Cluster events consisted of regular learning sessions, class discussions, personalized coaching and consulting assistance.

“Initially,” Diggins said, “uptake was slow because the lean approach was new to many companies, so people were naturally skeptical. However, upon completion of the training, we had created a pool of believers, many of whom are ready for the next round.”

Digital Engineering of Thunder Bay was one of 57 companies that participated in the Productivity Cluster Program and encouraged its staff to take advantage of the training.

“For a long time we had realized that there was a definite need to improve our processes and drive efficiency,” shared Les Perrault, President of Digital Engineering. “The productivity events that we attended provided us with valuable information on how to evaluate our work flow and the tools that can be used to implement a continuous improvement program. Even more importantly, they have helped us understand the importance of creating an organizational culture that can motivate and engage our employees.”

EMC Lean Management System Workshops generated lots of interest across Northern Ontario.

“Knowing where to start is very important,” confided Diggins. “A lean advisor worked with companies and recommended what tools they needed to accomplish their goals, focusing on one specific area at a time. As part of this project, each company that participated in the LMS Training selected a project that would result in a minimum return on investment of $50,000.”

The results speak for themselves. Based on feedback from participating firms and managers, the LMS program generated significant return on investment, as well as significant economic, financial and employment benefits. In addition to boosting employee morale, enhancing staff engagement and reducing wasted time, the 10 companies that shared feedback cited initial annual savings of $10,000 to $499,000 depending on their area of focus.

“When we first started talking about Lean, staff really did not understand,” recalled Lorne McDonald, Production manager, Metso, Mining and Construction Technology. “In many cases, they feared headcount reductions or added work. However, over the last two years, we have seen great change. We now have visitors, both company employees from other sites and vendors, commenting on how much we have changed: for example, tool boards in place of large tool boxes and our safety stats are improving. We are now over 932 safe days. So, the question is why? It’s because people have an opportunity to suggest and implement ideas. It is truly a great opportunity to create ownership and pride!”

This project is but one example of the types of initiatives funded by FedNor that support of the federal Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario. Learn more about PGSNO.




PB 25 Phoenix ControlCabinet 400

Phoenix Contact will provide you with support as your reliable partner in the optimization of your processes in control cabinet manufacturing.

Phoenix Contact provides you with holistic solutions in a cooperative partnership, based on their products, services, and experience. Digital data is used consistently, processes optimized, and time saved. The PROJECT complete planning and marking software supports your entire control cabinet manufacturing process. The program provides you with an intuitive user interface that enables you to individually plan, automatically check, and order terminal strips.

Thanks to optimized interfaces, you can easily integrate data from common CAE systems. This enables you to save significant amounts of time in the overall engineering process. Read More

 Like many cyclical industries, mining is reviving, driven by steady global economic growth and an increasing demand for materials to support new technologies like electric vehicles, renewable energy and mobile devices. Despite the optimism, the industry still faces major operational challenges including process efficiencies, cost control, worker health and safety, and skills gaps. To address these challenges, Rockwell Automation introduced The Connected Mine, leveraging the latest enabling and digital technologies.

Utilizing advanced analytics, The Connected Mine helps mining companies collect and aggregate data to gain end-to-end visibility into their operations and make informed business decisions to improve mining operations.

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PB 25 Rittal MarineWaves 400For almost a half a century Canal Marine & Industrial of St Catharines, Ontario has provided electrical design, engineering and services around the clock to the merchant marine, naval and coastguard fleets in Canada and the rest of the World. In recent years, Canal has become a leader in the design and supply of marine hybrid power and propulsion systems. These systems utilize alternative methods for supporting propulsion and the vessel’s electrical power plant, so that fuel consumption and emissions are reduced.

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HARTING Electronics: Circular Connectors – A Round Thing

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Jonas Diekmann, Technical Editor at HARTING Electronics

The metric system of units was introduced for the first time in 1793 during the French Revolution and is used even today in almost all countries worldwide. The metric round plug connectors are also based on this system of units and are a known standard in raw industrial applications. In various diameters and codes, they are a reliable connection for the three lifelines of industrial applications. Data, signals and performance are essential for drive, control and communication. The typical round appearance with the thread for screwing in is a success story up to the present. But classics often also still reveal unexpected potential. With its new PushPull Locking and Com-Lock HARTING is making two round guild models ready for the future.

Metric round plug connectors are some of the most widespread interfaces worldwide, when it comes to cabling for machines, industrial plant and devices under demanding conditions of use.

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Rockwell SleemanTen years ago, tourists looking for a taste of the local life in Southern Canada may have asked for one of the region’s best wines. Today, it’s all about craft beer.

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Coming Soon: The new EPLAN Pro Panel, Version 2.8, Virtual control cabinet engineering – fully matured

The new EPLAN Pro Panel, Version 2.8 is making its first big appearance at the SPS IPC Drives. The software for virtual 3D control cabinet engineering is characterised by its expanded flexibility, surprising users with a brand new 4K-capable user interface. It’s also causing decision-makers to sit up and take notice: during live, joint presentations in Nuremberg, EPLAN and Rittal will be introducing a whole series of innovations in the context of control cabinet engineering.

These include complementary software solutions for engineering and preplanning operations, innovative system technology for housings, power distribution and climate-control systems, automation technologies, and digital assistance systems for integrated automation of manufacturing processes. EPLAN and Rittal are thereby positioning themselves as solutions providers offering integrated solutions for optimising processes in control cabinet engineering: combined machine/hardware and software solutions, product-accompanying data and comprehensive on-site process integration services for customers.

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