Digital technologies are gaining traction in many Canadian factories. However, only a small percentage of small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) manufacturers have fully digitalized their production, while less than half have yet to get started on implementing advanced technologies. Driven by the goal to help position Canada as a leader in smart manufacturing, the National Research Council of Canada's (NRC) Advanced Manufacturing program will assist transportation equipment manufacturers (aerospace and ground transportation such as light- and heavy-duty, train, mass transit and recreational) by spearheading breakthrough advanced manufacturing (AM) research to generate impact and reduce design, supply, processing and assembly costs.
Given the new reality of industry digitalization, where all manufacturing processes, production cells and plants are intimately intertwined, the program will encourage new technology adoption to:
- increase digital maturity to better meet the needs of Industry 4.0
- transform existing manufacturing processes into smart manufacturing processes
Smart manufacturing aims to take advantage of digital manufacturing technologies to enable flexibility in physical processes to address a dynamic and global market.
The NRC is positioned to support advanced manufacturing innovation through its diverse expertise, ability to establish collaboration with industry and academia, and long term holistic approach. See our capabilities in advanced manufacturing to learn more.
Collaborate with us
Our advanced manufacturing experts work with collaborators from industry, academia, cluster groups (namely Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen)), as well as other government departments and agencies to position Canada's manufacturing sector for economic growth and global success.
Setting a vision to conduct fundamental and applied advanced manufacturing research, we can help develop novel manufacturing methods for component and product assembly, predictive and real-time models, and advanced sensing and control techniques for smart manufacturing processes.
The program's scientific and industrial research in advanced manufacturing will aim to:
- improve the current manufacturing processes and methods used in Canada for metallic, polymer and composite components and their assemblies using data modelling, decision aid systems and robots, leading to increased and optimized agility, efficiency, reliability and sustainability
- develop and implement new digital technologies such as vision systems, embedded sensors and artificial intelligence to capture and increase the value of the process data at the factory level and in the manufacturing value chain
- benefit from more sustainable, less non-renewable resources and energy-efficient products in the Canadian marketplace by focusing research on lightweighting of transportation equipment, additive manufacturing and transformation of Canadian biomasses, industrial byproducts and waste into value-added products.
Industrial and multiparty R&D groups
In addition, Advanced Manufacturing program clients and collaborators can join focused industrial R&D groups to share costs and risks associated with technology development, while gaining access to the NRC's experts and exceptional facilities.
The program enables companies to access its world-class expertise and state-of-the-art facilities to address technical issues and make research and technology development (R&TD) available through research and license agreements and scientific publications. We can serve as your research extension and leverage rapid technological change in advanced manufacturing to:
- raise your digital maturity
- assist you in adopting emerging and innovative AM technologies
- reduce product time to market
- increase technologies transferred to Canadian companies to better position them in the global ecosystem
- enable more lightweighting products
- improve the manufacturing supply chain's environmental footprint
- create novel value chain networks
Program technical expertise
The Advanced Manufacturing program's key strength is providing you with access to a broad skill set supported by more than 245 researchers and technical experts. Our team's extensive depth of knowledge in metals, plastics and composites manufacturing are the solid foundations to help clients decrease the technological risk associated with materials, processes and digital manufacturing research.
The program addresses complex industry challenges by promoting multidisciplinary, large-scale research projects supported by 3 key technology areas:
Polymer and composite products manufacturing and systems:
- Biomaterials and sustainable manufacturing
- Polymeric products and processing
- 3D printing of polymers and composites
- High-volume production technologies of high-performance composites
- Smart parts and hybrid processes
Metal products manufacturing and systems
- Additive manufacturing for mass customization
- Smart tooling
- Smart machining, polishing and surface finishing of hard material in complex shapes
- Advanced mechatronic platforms for incremental manufacturing
- Corrosion and durability assessment in a multimaterial context
Digital manufacturing technology:
- Manufacturing process modelling and simulation
- Manufacturing cell virtualization
- Manufacturing process data acquisition and engineering
- Data analytics on manufacturing process data
- Digital platforms
Clients gain access to specialized infrastructure and facilities such as:
- Aerospace manufacturing technologies centre (Montréal, QC)
- Vision and cobotics research facility (Ottawa, ON)
- Aluminium technology centre (Saguenay, QC)
- Design systems and modelling software (Boucherville, QC)
- Laser processing and surface modification facility (London, ON)
- Manufacturing and automotive innovation hub (London, ON)
- Polymer, composite and biomaterial processing and testing (Boucherville, QC)
Michael Kilfoil, Program Director, Advanced Manufacturing Program
David Fraser, Director, Business Development
Transportation equipment manufacturers