Chateauguay, Que.-based CMP Advanced Mechanical Solutions manufactures aluminum, steel and stainless steel enclosures. The privately-held company expects revenue of $70-million for the next 12 months. Mr. Zimmermann won’t say whether this is an improvement from last year.
What he will discuss is the $5-million he has invested in the past few years in a new product, one whose efficacy he’s betting will not only be a bigger business than CMP but will revolutionize manufacturing. And, he’s hoping, will be yet another argument supporting his conviction that manufacturing offshore is a rusty, outmoded idea.
“I read all the time that soon North America will only be good for finance, service industries, retail, IT and burger flipping,” he says. “It’s ridiculous.”
CMP’s just-in-time learning system, VKS or Visual Knowledge Share, officially launched in Indianapolis at the American Society of Quality Conference in May, uses bar-code scanners and touch screen computers. As parts for processing arrive, the bar code is scanned and a set of instructions, drafted by engineers and designers, made up of schematics, video and large font text, pops up on the screen. Production staff no longer have to flip through file cabinets of paper instructions which are often misfiled, out of date or torn and stained.