On Wednesday April 12, the 10 WMCO member company participants in the WMCO Project: Optimization of Information and Material flow Opportunities in the Ontario Value-Added Wood Manufacturing Cluster: Industry 4.0 met at Archmill House for the end of project status review. We were also joined by NRCan reps from Ottawa, Chelsea Hockley and Richard Coxford. WMCO CEO Mike Baker welcomed everyone and thanked Archmill House for hosting this important event.
The WMCO member companies participating in this project each had individual projects to attack the gaps in digital integration to achieve Industry 4.0. . Each company had an opportunity to share their experiences, citing obstacles and hurdles as well as successes. These evolved into a dynamic round table discussion that saw both large and smaller companies share their successes and challenges.
Examples of projects included CAD integrations to ERP, ERP integration to shop floor, parts tracking implementation, and installation integration. Elimination of paper processes, and the reduction of data entry were all common goals; each scaled uniquely across different business models. Take-aways included the paradox of mass customization, and lessons learned actually from the smaller shops that benefitted the bigger ones. This was a event of true collaboration at its best.
Archmill House then treated all to a factory tour, and a fine lunch.
The Investments in Forest Industry Transformation (IFIT) program facilitates the adoption of transformative technologies and products by bridging the gap between development and commercialization. The IFIT program aims to create a more competitive and resilient forest sector with a focus on low-carbon projects that result in new or diversified revenue streams.
WMCO continues to work with government partners to execute collaborative projects whereby government programs can be administered to multiple wood manufacturing companies at once through the WMCO cluster model. This is how programs flow to our competitors in the EU. We are starting to catch up here in Canada. Stay tuned for more WMCO collaborative projects that benefit our companies to hep our industry thrive.