You needn’t look any further than Canada’s national pastime to see how innovation can dramatically change a game, according to Gary Goodyear.
“Hockey sticks used to be made of wood,” noted the Minister of State (Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario), who was on campus Monday to kick off the 47th annual International Academy for Production Engineering Conference on Manufacturing Systems, continuing through the week at the Ed Lumley Centre for Engineering Innovation.
“They didn’t provide the flexibility that players demanded,” Goodyear said of the old wooden sticks. “Now they use composite sticks, which are much lighter, provide better control, and the velocity of the puck is approaching levels that are astonishing and downright frightful.”
He said the evolution of the stick is a good example of how manufacturers are always looking for innovative ways to improve their products.
“Manufacturers have to evolve and adapt in order to survive in a rapidly changing, global, knowledge-based economy,” he said.
Expanding the metaphor, he said conferences like the ones going on here this week bring together the right players – academia, industry and government – to protect Canada’s manufacturing sector.
“The University of Windsor is a perfect example of the excellent institutions we have in Canada,” he said. “Working as a team, we can all work together to translate knowledge in to products, and do it efficiently.”
More than 200 engineers and industry representatives from 21 countries were here this week to attend the manufacturing systems conference, which wrapped up Wednesday. Immediately following that conference, the sixth annual conference on Industrial Product-Service Systems began this morning, with more than 100 manufacturing researchers and industry leaders from Canada and worldwide in attendance.