Canada’s ability to maintain manufacturing and production independence is paramount: CMTS 2023 Keynote

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Sustaining and growing Canada’s manufacturing ecosystem is not only important to our economy, it’s imperative to maintain our independence.

That’s the message Diane Reko, CEO of Reko International Group Inc. (Reko Automation and Concorde Precision Machining), will be sharing at the upcoming Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show (CMTS) – Canada’s national industry event taking place this year at its new venue, Toronto Congress Centre, from September 25-28 – as she outlines her vision for a prosperous manufacturing future in this country.

“We’ve all just lived through a pandemic where the limitations of our domestic production capabilities were brought to light. Our dependence on outsourced production for things like masks and vaccines put us at a disadvantage compared to countries that had the required infrastructure,” said Reko, who learned at a young age never to take made-in-Canada for granted.

“Now, more than ever, it’s extremely important that Canadian manufacturers work together to ensure our future as an industry,” she added.

Reko’s keynote speech, entitled Charting the Future of Canadian Manufacturing will take place on September 25 at 1:00 p.m.

In her presentation, Reko will share insights from her company’s journey over the past five decades, as it continually adapted to new technology and processes in a constantly changing global landscape. She’ll also address the importance of maintaining a core base of manufacturing in Canada, an industry that currently employs more than 1.7 million Canadians directly and generates more than $20 billion in new capital, and discuss actionable strategies to sustain growth.

“To maintain our position in the global supply chain, we have to pay attention to what’s needed and what’s no longer needed, to move to where the ball is going as opposed to continuing with the status quo,” said Reko, using the recent push towards electrification in the automotive industry as an example.

“Nearly every car bumper and fascia manufactured today require holes to attach sensors. To be ready to meet that resource demand requirement, we always have to be one step ahead,” she said.

Founded by her father Steve Reko in 1976, Reko International has maintained a strong focus on serving manufacturers and producers since its inception. Its areas of expertise include factory automation solutions and the precision machining of large, critical parts.

Reko credits the company’s longevity to its willingness to invest in innovation and integrate new technology into its processes, a strategy that also helps to retain technical expertise because employees know they are valued and are given opportunities for growth.

“The importance of manufacturing to our economy came to me as an early life lesson from my father,” she said. “We can’t afford to let it slip away. As an industry, we always have to be on the lookout for a better or different way of doing things that will save time and money.”

Featuring the latest equipment and technology advancements in machine tools, tooling, metal forming, fabricating, automation, robotics, additive manufacturing, and digital transformation, CMTS 2023 is expected to draw more than 8,000 visitors from across Canada in all areas of the industry, including automotive, aerospace, energy, government, commercial, industrial, and oil and gas. The show will present 50+ sessions, 200+ new products, 500+ suppliers & OEMs, and more than one million pounds of live equipment on 250,000+ sq. ft. of floor space.

In addition to technology exhibits, live equipment demonstrations, keynote presentations, thought leadership panels, multiple networking hubs, and Smart Theatre sessions, CMTS 2023 will include an Emerging Innovators Showcase powered by MaRS and NGen, Canadian Tooling and Machining Association (CTMA) Tooling Pavilion, CWB-EWI Welding Showcase, SME Bright Minds Student Summit, and a Project Arrow display as the Automotive Parts Manufacturer’s Association (APMA) annual conference (September 26) is co-located with CMTS 2023.

CMTS 2023 is presented by SME, with strategic event partners including Canadian Machine Tool Distributors’ Association (CMTDA), Canadian Tooling and Machining Association (CTMA), CWB-EWI Group, and Automotive Parts Manufacturer’s Association (APMA).

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