Transformative Automotive Technology Projects Get Boost

HAMILTON, Ontario, July 28, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led organization behind Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, has co-funded three projects supporting the critical growth of innovative technologies in the Canadian automotive sector with over $11 million in collaborative funding.

“Our country’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster is creating bold new ideas in cutting-edge sectors like machine learning, electric vehicles, and robotics that are helping to take us further,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Important partnerships with organizations of all types and sizes like the ones supported through the projects being announced today will advance the Canadian manufacturing landscape and create new and good job opportunities for Canadian workers in the manufacturing industry – a cornerstone of our modern economy.”

“As one of Canada’s largest manufacturing sectors, the automotive industry is an important area of focus for NGen,” said Jayson Myers, CEO, NGen. “Canada has the innovative capabilities and technical knowledge to develop transformative, flexible and clean technologies, but often companies need support to deploy their innovations and scale-up production – that’s where NGen can make a difference.”

The following projects were approved for NGen co-investment, and were selected by a panel of independent experts:

  • Polar Sapphire Limited, Mississauga, ON, Nature Alu Incorporated, La Baie, QC, and Dynamic Concept, Saguenay, QC have established a Canadian High Purity Alumina (HPA) consortium to demonstrate the commercial production of superior grade alumina suitable for electronics applications, particularly lithium-ion battery separators (LIBs) used in electric vehicles (EV). This will be Canada’s first high-grade HPA production facility, establishing the country as a leading supplier for this high-demand material both domestically and in international markets.
  • Autometrics Manufacturing Technologies Incorporated, Vancouver, BC, and Macron Metalfab Incorporated, Delta, BC are piloting an automated inspection system for robotic welding operations. The real-time quality management system, Inspection 4.0, uses proprietary approaches powered by machine-learning software to provide automated monitoring and detection. This pilot project collects data for machine learning and validations and addresses challenges around the deployment of the technology at an industrial scale and over different welding equipment, operations.

    “Industrial technologies commercialization involves a high cost of implementation in production lines and validations,” said Mike Mohseni, Founder, Autometrics. “For machine learning-powered solutions requiring industrial process data, an additional layer of technical risk further obstructs commercialization. The network and resources provided by NGen greatly de-risk technology deployment for manufacturers and foster a collaborative testbed for further developments of data-centric solutions.”

  • Magna International Incorporated, Aurora, ON and Maple Advanced Robotics Incorporated, Richmond Hill, ON have developed an Autonomous Adaptable Robot System (AARS). The novel robot integration solution is for manufacturers who require flexible solutions but may not have the scale of work or resources needed to justify larger investments in automation systems. Using the latest in 3D vision technology, software and robotics, the solution will allow operators to easily modify the robot path and workspace.

To date, NGen has approved 105 projects with 242 industry partners, investing $181.2 million of Supercluster funding and leveraging $437.5 million in total project investment. NGen investments are leading to new R&D investments by industry, creating new companies, supporting 63 new products in development and enabled the creation of 177 new IP assets and subsequent licensing opportunities for NGen members.

About NGen – Next Generation Manufacturing Canada

NGen is the industry-led not-for-profit organization that leads Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster. Its mandate is to help build world-leading advanced manufacturing capabilities in Canada for the benefit of Canadians. NGen works to strengthen collaboration among its membership of more than 3,800 manufacturers, technology companies, innovation centres, and researchers, and provides funding and business support to industry-led initiatives that aim to develop, apply, or scale-up transformative manufacturing solutions in Canada for commercialization in global markets.

Media contact:
Robbie MacLeod,
Next Generation Manufacturing Canada

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