5th Networking Meeting features Software for Design and Manufacturing, plus a Primer on Applying for Grants and SR&ED Tax Credits

A sunny June 5th found over 40 people at the Walkerton Clean Water Centre for the first networking meeting of the new fiscal year for the Bluewater Wood Alliance. Responding to the request of our members at the last meeting, the topics for coverage on this day were accessing funding and getting an update on what is new and possible with design and manufacturing software.

A sunny June 5th found over 40 people at the Walkerton Clean Water Centre for the first networking meeting of the new fiscal year for the Bluewater Wood Alliance. Responding to the request of our members at the last meeting, the topics for coverage on this day were accessing funding and getting an update on what is new and possible with design and manufacturing software.

The program started out with an update on what has been happening in the past three or four months with the BWA. In that time, we have been covered on CTV’s Provincewide show and in the Globe and Mail Report on Business, as well as having some continuous coverage in Woodworking Magazine, the voice of our industry in Canada.

The suggestion was made that members take advantage of the members only section to speak with one another and help each other to solve production headaches and other day-to-day issues where it would be helpful to get some other opinions. There was also a discussion on the value of putting a directory of services up on the members only section to highlight areas where members can sell other members services, like custom machining, to keep some of that business up in the area.

The first presenter of the day was Scott Lidgely of CAD MicroSolutions in Toronto, who brought the audience up-to-date on the furniture design features of SolidWorks. The solid modeling capabilities of the software are quite remarkable and user-friendly. Scott also showed how the designs could be integrated into the office ERM system and transferred to the shop floor through CAM software. See below for his presentation.

Planit Canada, represented by Giulio Bordignon and one of Planit’s technicians, gave a presentation on their design software for cabinet shops and casegoods furniture manufacturers. One of their outstanding selling points is in the ability to take designs from screen to machine in a very easy way, creating pricing, cut lists and hardware requirement files once the design is put together.

On the funding side, Greg Garant and Ryan Scodeller of Xurbo gave their presentation on the changes that have come to pass with the latest rules for Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) tax credits. The difficulty with applying for these tax credits is in keeping the records on an ongoing basis of costs related to R&D. As Adam Hofmann of B&G Furniture said, “I take a few hours a month to make sure that I document the costs in labour and materials for any ongoing development projects. That way, when tax time comes, it is not such an onerous task to put together the claim.” See below for the Xurbo presentation.

The last guest speaker on the roster was Richard Adair, Industrial Technology Advisor from the Industrial Research Assistance Program of the National Research Council of Canada. They have shown a very real interest in fostering the concept of cluster formation to improve the prospects for manufacturers in Canada. They have committed to helping the Bluewater Wood Alliance to continue to grow and to provide leadership in the area of clustering.

The meeting wrapped up with lots of conversation between the members, guests and supplier friends who were present. Look for the next meeting in early September.