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Majority of Canadian manufacturing companies to increase machinery spending in 2011: survey

Nearly 60 per cent of Canadian manufacturing companies are planning to spend more money on manufacturing equipment this year compared to 2010, according to a national survey conducted by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).


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August 1, 2011 by Canadian Plastics

Nearly 60 per cent of Canadian manufacturing companies are planning to spend more money on manufacturing equipment this year compared to 2010, according to a national survey conducted by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).

Approximately 30 per cent, meanwhile, are prepared to spend the same year over year.

The survey was taken in conjunction with the SME’s upcoming Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show, which takes place October 17-20 at the Direct Energy Centre in Toronto.

The SME’s survey also showed that, at the same time, close to half of respondents cite “keeping production costs under control” and “improving workforce productivity” as their most pressing challenges. “That means ongoing investment in new technology and processes is not only happening, but continues to play a key role as manufacturers rebound from the economic downtown of 2008-2009,” said the SME’s Nick Samain.

When asked to name the most pressing challenges they face today, one-third of SME survey respondents pointed to either expanding into new markets, finding and retaining qualified personnel, or updating equipment and processes. Meanwhile, 22 per cent reported difficulty keeping up with industry trends.

Additionally, the survey revealed that 58 per cent of respondents have increased their manufacturing equipment budgets this year while 29 per cent have maintained the same budgets; 60 per cent of those surveyed are exploring areas for diversification, with 62 per cent planning to upgrade their machining and equipment as part of that strategy; and just under 75 per cent of respondents plan to invest in manufacturing equipment this year, with budgets ranging from $1 million and over (10.5 per cent), $250,000 to $999,999 (16.3 per cent), $50,000 to $249,999 (25.4 per cent), and under $50,000 (21.8 per cent).