Ford transmission plantClick image to enlargeEconomic data from the first few weeks of the COVID-19 lockdown are starting to trickle in and, as expected, the results are not good.

March’s international trade report from Statistics Canada illustrated the initial effects of a burgeoning pandemic on North American producers.

Lower trade between Canada and the U.S. pushed total Canadian merchandise trade to its lowest monthly level since January 2018. Exports fell 4.7 per cent in March, with lower shipments to the U.S accounting for about 80 per cent of the overall decline. Imports were down 3.5 per cent, almost all on account of lower shipments from the U.S.

The declines in March reflected lower shipments of motor vehicles and parts as automakers and several parts suppliers began to shutdown production as public health measures to contain COVID-19 were being implemented. 

Declines in aircraft and aircraft equipment also contributed to the reduction in trade as production in this sector was also impacted by those same public health measures. 

Production stoppages in the transportation sector continued through April and are expected to impact exports and import levels for months to come.

Canada commits to 8-year $800 M shipbuilding investment

The Government of Canada has committed to supporting the country's shipbuilding industry with an eight-year, $800 million contract for Thales Canada Inc. and Thales Australia Ltd. that will help support the Arctic and Offshore Patrol Ships and Joint Support Ships. The investment means shipbuilding companies such as Irving Shipbuilding and Seaspan's Vancover Shipyards will be building ships in Canada to support the commitment.

A "next generation" welder facility

Hobart Institue of Technology (HIWT) in Troy, OH, has opened the "Next Generatin Welder Learning Facility. The (16,000 sq ft) facility began to host classes in late October and is an important addition to the (13-acre) campus that has trained more than 100,000 welders.

Stronger demand boosts operating conditions 

Canadian manufacturers recorded another robust expansion in August, with the IHS Markit Canada Manufacturing PMI at a four-month high—and the fourth-quickest growth in 11 years.

Brampton, Ont. shop retools with lasers

Mill Finish Industries, a metal fabricator in Brampton, Ont., has pivoted its operations to produce sneeze guards, social distancing signs and medical-grade stainless-steel tanks.

Canada’s CEOs more optimistic than global peers: KPMG

Canadian CEOs are more optimistic about the future than their global counterparts, finds KPMG's latest Global CEO Outlook.

Canadian manufacturer supplies waterjet impellers to US Navy

A Canadian manufacturer has supplied the US Navy with 2 sets of four waterjet impellers. Dominis Engineering, Gloucester, ON, is one of only a few manufacturers in the world capable of machining these large, complex rotating components, says president Bodo Gospodnetic.

Italian machinery outlook brightens

The Italian machine tool, robot and automation industry witnessed a 7.9 per cent growth in 2014 and 2015 will see growth of 5.2 per cent, according to the country's industry association, UCIMU-SISTEMI PER PRODURRE.

Renishaw's additive machine for industrial use

Renishaw is in the midst of developing an additive manufacturing machine designed for production machining environments.

ESAB initiatives support welding education for students

ESAB Welding & Cutting has implemented three initiatives that will help support welding education in schools, including a welding contest open to schools in Canada and the US.

James Rogowski named vp, technical services at TRUMPF

James Rogowski has been named vice president, technical service for TRUMPF Inc., Farmington, CT.

Ferro Technique acquires Windsor's Lomar

Mississauga, Ont.-based Ferro Technique Ltd., a portfolio company of Argyle Capital Partners, has acquired Lomar Machine Repair Inc.

Creaform expands with new facility

Portable 3D measurement supplier Creaform is moving its global headquarters to a larger facility in Levis, QC, to support growing business.

Doosan North America names new CEO

Doosan Machine Tools has named James Kim the new CEO of its North American operations. Mr. Kim has spent the past 37 years working at Doosan in a variety of roles.

Zero-emission vehicle supply chain alliance launched

Accelerate, Canada’s first supply chain alliance for zero-emission vehicle partners, has been launched.

Rego-Fix expands North American team

Steven Chase and Chris Herdman have joined Rego-Fix's North American sales and marketing team.

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