Humber College said willkommen to 15 German automation and advanced manufacturing companies as part of the fourth annual German Technology Day.

The Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation (CTI) was home to the trade show and conference as the companies, which are based in Canada but have headquarters in Germany, set up booths to display the latest in their respective technologies.  

The event was targeted to engineers, technicians, and supply chain professionals in industrial manufacturing and it featured industry trends and high-level concepts of interest to managers and executives.

It was a busy day in the Barrett CTI as those in attendance perused the displays and chatted with representatives from the companies. It was an opportunity to learn more about the latest technology releases from the German companies in the Canadian marketplace.

Four of the companies – SICK Sensor Intelligence, KUKA, SEW-EURODRIVE and Festo – are Humber partners and are some of the founding partners of Humber’s Advanced Manufacturing Skills Consortium within the Barrett CTI.

The other companies in attendance were Murrelektronik, Ifm, Wieland Electric, Pilz, Weidmuller, WAGO, Beckhoff, Rittal, Eplan, Phoenix Contact and Samson.

“Humber’s approach to polytechnic education combines deep, theoretical learning with applied, hands-on experience,” said Kelly Jackson, Humber’s vice- president, External Affairs and Professional Learning. “Through our partnerships with the private sector, we can provide students with a variety of work-integrated learning opportunities to develop critical, career-oriented skills and prepare them to contribute to companies like yours.”

A bag with the words German Technology Day written on it is displayed on a table.

The day was full of presentations and technical sessions and had the participating companies offering live presentations on a variety of relevant industry topics that focused on the event’s theme, The Future of Automation: Digital, Sustainable and Connected.

Sabine Sparwasser, Germany's ambassador to Canada, spoke about the importance of technology in light of the many challenges facing the world including COVID-19, climate change, soaring energy prices, inflation and the war in Ukraine.

“When in a cascade of crises, it is crucial to find levers to stop the downward spiral,” said Sparwasser. “Technology very often is one of the key answers to disrupting the trajectory of that downward spiral.”

Doug Taylor, an engineering project manager with Prism Machinery Ltd., made the drive from Barrie for the event. He uses technology from several of the companies that were there and felt attending was a convenient way to see the new technology on display and ask any questions he might have.

Also part of the event was the Innovation Hub. It highlighted collaborative innovations from the companies and showcased how technology and automation companies can collaborate to help their customers succeed by removing barriers to new ideas in the factories, plants, or facilities.

A machine prepares to sort a series of screws that are resting in a container.

Craig Smith, president, SICK Sensor Intelligence Canada, remarked at how impressed he was with how German Technology Day has grown over the years.

“It’s hard to believe this is the fourth event and the growth and support of it is remarkable,” said Smith.

Calvin Wallace, managing director at Beckhoff, said the event was an excellent way for the companies to showcase what they offer, adding that German technology is “a force to be reckoned with” in automation.

A second German Technology Day is being held on November 3 in Montreal. Visit the German Technology Day website for more information.