05 December 2017
Saint-Laurent marked the last stop on Investissement Québec’s extensive “Powering Innovative Manufacturers” tour of 2017. The event, held in ABB’s new facilities, brought together close to 150 manufacturers and partners.
Louis Duhamel, manufacturing expert at Deloitte, was the first to take the floor: “We’ve gone from six days to six hours to assemble a motorbike. That’s the challenge that Harley Davidson rose to with its Factory 4.0. Result: $200 million in savings, plus bike customization for customers. Why shouldn’t Québec take the pole position in digital manufacturing?”
“Manufacturing is the most innovative sector in our economy, accounting for 58.5% of total R&D spending,” said Pierre Gabriel Côté, President and CEO of Investissement Québec.
Constraints related to Investment 4.0 include cybersecurity – or data management risks –; an incremental culture; research funding; methodology – or where to start? –; and workforce training. Technology is evolving so quickly that employees need constant training on new technologies and software.
“The SME APN is an example to follow with their innovative factory. It’s the first business to be Technology Showcase 4.0 certified,” said Sylvie Pinsonnault, Investissement Québec’s Vice-President, Innovative Manufacturing.
“We want to spark the interest of young people and their parents, get them interested in technical trades and innovation,” explained Suzanne Blanchet, Innovative Manufacturing ambassador and facilitator of the entrepreneur panel. Promoting technical trades is one of the 10 solutions of the Manufacturing Initiative.
The dynamic and inspiring panel was composed of Louis Newman, President and CEO of Logix ITS; Steve Bissonnette, President of Diacarb; and Michel Serres, Vice-President of Industrial Automation at ABB. Interviews on their visions, their challenges and their practices will be available shortly.
“Approach the transition to Factory 4.0 or to innovation as if you were taking up jogging: one step at a time,” suggested Ms. Blanchet. “Take the time to prepare yourself by getting informed and consulting experts. You’ll have to go through each stage and be well supported.”
Other “Powering Innovative Manufacturers” breakfasts will be added to the 2018 Tour schedule, including “another gathering at a Saint-Laurent business in late March or early April,” announced Josée Chiasson, general manager of DESTL, partner of the event.
PHOTO: Suzanne Blanchet, Ambassador of the Innovative Manufacturer; Sylvie Pinsonnault, Vice President, Innovative Manufacturing at Investissement Québec; Alan DeSousa, Mayor of the Borough of Saint-Laurent; Pierre Gabriel Côté, President and Chief Executive Officer of Investissement Québec; Mario Monette, President and CEO of Technoparc Montreal; Francesco Miele, City Councilor for Côte-de-Liesse District; Josée Chiasson, General Manage of Développement économique Saint-Laurent.
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