5/22/2020 | 2 MINUTE READ

Canadian Manufacturing Ramp Up Accelerating

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After Canadian manufacturing began setting its return to work guidelines, ramp up is underway in manufacturing and automation, with health and safety and a mostly closed border being some key issues for manufacturers. 

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After Canadian manufacturing began setting its return to work guidelines, ramp up is underway in manufacturing and automation, with health and safety and a mostly closed border being some key issues for manufacturers.

Automate Canada and the Canadian Association of Moldmakers (CAMM) have conducted surveys of the mold, tool, die and industrial automation sectors in Canada since mid-March, connecting with essential businesses vital to restarting Canada’s economic engine. After two months of weekly surveys, the most recent indicates the ramp up in these sectors is gaining momentum.

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The numbers of employees leaving the workplace is shrinking, while recalls and hiring have increased. Further, the number of workplaces that were almost completely shut down during the peak of the COVID-19 crisis has reduced significantly as they scale back up to meet the demand of manufacturers who are themselves restarting production in the coming weeks.

“We know that the closure of the Canada/US border has caused challenges for our workplaces,” Shelley Fellows, chair of Automate Canada, notes. “With the recent extension to the border closure to non-essential travel, the pressure is on to sort out how best to support our customers outside of Canada.”

The focus for manufacturing continues to be how to address return to work guidelines for workplace health and safety.  

Financial concerns continue to weigh heavily on respondents, which represent primarily the mold, tool and die industry as well as industrial automation sector. CAMM and Automate Canada have been assisted in the distribution of each week’s survey by the Canadian Tooling & Machining Association (CTMA). 

Responses for the week were primarily from the Southwestern Ontario region, which has a significant manufacturing, moldmaking and industrial automation cluster.

Key points include the number of employees out of the workplace due to isolation or quarantine being down (53 in total); the number of employees temporarily laid off decreased to a total of 103; respondents reporting hiring 15 new employees, on a steady increase from the low point experienced in the fifth week; and 60% of respondents have sufficient PPE in workplaces, leaving 40% reporting that they do not have sufficient supplies (down slightly from the previous week). According to responses, workplaces most frequently put employees on temporary layoffs because they didn’t qualify for CEWS. The rate of project cancellations has moderated, temporary delays have declined this week and both new programs and new RFQs are strong. 32% of our respondents have US corporations, 32% have Mexican corporations and 10% have businesses in India or elsewhere. In the previous week, there were more issues with a complete lack of product; this week, it’s limitations in quantities that are driving shortages.

An important note to remember is that the survey will now shift to a monthly schedule based on the ramp up and the drop off in survey participants. 

Discover more information on this week’s survey results here.

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