To chase scale manufacturing, or not to chase scale manufacturing
That is the question…
In this episode of ‘Making it in Ontario’, President and CEO of LAVAL Tool and Mould Ltd., Jonathon Azzopardi, shares his thoughts about the future of scale manufacturing. As he explains, chasing scale manufacturing contracts is addictive because, if successful, it means a lot of revenue for your company. However, he warns that if you can’t land the next large scale contract (for whatever reason), you need a backup plan.
China and other low-cost regions cut their unit costs by manufacturing at a very large scale with low-cost labor. Jonathon’s plan is to use advanced manufacturing technology to bring costs down. We recently attempted to better define advanced manufacturing which proved harder than expected. However, for Jonathon, the definition is simple: advanced manufacturing = regional, flexible manufacturing (see timestamp below for discussion). He wants to use advanced manufacturing to ensure that if Ontario needs a product, we can affordably manufacture it ourselves.
Jonathon has already started his journey to make regional flexible manufacturing a reality here in Ontario – and he’s starting with his own shop. In the podcast, he explains how using digital twins on his shop floor helps to improve processes (see timestamp below for discussion). Figuring out how to use the latest technology to cut costs in manufacturing will undoubtedly open the door for new opportunities for Ontario’s manufacturing ecosystem. Learn more about these opportunities on this episode of ‘Making it in Ontario’.
00:00-04:20 – Nick’s Intro
04:20-07:37 – Meet Jon Azzopardi and his unique philosophy
07:38-09:42 – Taking a look back (over the past 70 years)
09:43-13:11 – Nick and Jon are both Star Trek fans (Or, how to compete with China)
13:12-14:16 – Digital twins, according to Jon
14:17-16:40 – Advanced Manufacturing = Regional Flexible Manufacturing – J. Azzopardi
16:41-20:44 – The matter replicator on Star Trek as a business model for Ontario manufacturing
20:45-23:45 – What’s needed is a shift in culture in manufacturing philosophy
23:46-27:15 – ‘We haven’t been challenged in a while, and it shows’ – Slow adoption of I4.0
27:16-30:32 – Industry 4.0 in mold making = commitment to excellence before you even start the process
30:33-33:28 – Why can’t we build Nick’s microphone in Canada?
33:29-36:30 – The threat of getting stuck on capital investment
36:31-41:33 – Investing in new and better machines and tech
41:34-43:43 – The risks of investing in scale manufacturing
43:44-45:59 – ‘We are not challenged enough to innovate’, revisited
46:00-48:59 – Canada’s lost Piano industry – ‘Who stole my cheese?’
49:00-53:17 – How can Trillium help? – Industry 4.0 guidance and demystification