Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Calgary opens apparel research and dev. centre


February 4, 2016
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Feb. 4, 2016 – Western Canada’s first open-access apparel research and development facility has officially opened in Calgary, Alta., and aims to provide businesses with services to test, design and manufacture innovative apparel products for the consumer apparel and industrial protective clothing markets.

Western Economic Diversification Canada, through the Western Diversification Program, invested close to $3 million to enable Olds College, in partnership with AGM Wear Ltd. (Alberta Garment), to establish the Apparel Innovation Centre. Through the investment, the centre was able to purchase product testing and prototype development equipment, as well as garment design hardware and software.

“The Apparel Innovation Centre’s grand opening will help increase innovation, productivity and competitiveness in Canada’s apparel industry,” said Navdeep Bains, minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada. “The Government of Canada is proud to support the Centre, as it works with western Canadian apparel companies and entrepreneurs to develop and test new products for the market.”

Claiming to house North America’s most advanced apparel research and development equipment and technologies, the Apparel Innovation Centre features hot liquid and steam protection testing chambers, allowing businesses to test personal protective equipment (PPE) for burn resistance. It is also home to a thermal comfort testing chamber, equipped with a Newton Thermal Manikin. The chamber simulate a variety of physiological conditions that replicates the human thermoregulatory system. The comfort and thermal sensation data produced will allow researchers to further study and evaluate the performance of the apparel.

“We applaud the Government of Canada’s vision and commitment to help create the world-class Apparel Innovation Centre. It will become a magnet for innovative thinkers in the apparel industry as it fulfills its mission of helping entrepreneurs create innovative apparel and enhancing the growth of the economy of Western Canada,” said Adrian Bussoli, president of Alberta Garment.

The centre complements Olds College’s Fashion Marketing and Apparel Technology programs and is connected to the Alberta Garment Manufacturing facility in northeast Calgary.