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NRC opens Manufacturing and Automotive Innovation Hub


December 10, 2018
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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December 10, 2018 – The National Research Council of Canada (NRC) recently opened the Manufacturing and Automotive Innovation Hub in London, Ontario, a 75,000-square-foot set of renovated scientific laboratories intended to bring together companies, governments, universities and colleges together to collaborate on breakthrough projects.

The NRC’s research, design and development staff are available to manufacturers, integrators and equipment makers for collaborative research and development. Some of the areas NRC staff specializes in are mechatronics, artificial intelligence (AI), automated guided vehicles (AGVs), vehicle networking, product design, industrial robotoics, machine vision and more.

In the hub’s digital factory, which enables Industry 4.0 processes such as machine learning, big data, digital twins and cloud computing, partners can visualize and test advanced manufacturing processes. A Huron five-axis computer numerical control (CNC) machine fabricates components and allows further scaling up of the lab’s existing capabilities in micromachining and surface functionalization. 

In the automotive lab, companies can develop technologies for connected/autonomous vehicles, vehicle lightweighting and alternative propulsion.

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The Manufacturing and Automotive Innovation Hub includes work cells for advanced automation, laser manufacturing and advanced machining, for activities such as, but not limited to, additive manufacturing, micromachining, collecting data from sensors, digital twinning, developing specialty coatings, and testing cybersecurity. 

An area with 30-foot high ceilings allows for large-scale projects, and two 1,500-square-foot vehicle bays offer lifts, automotive shop capabilities and 12-foot by 14-foot roll-up doors. Four laboratories are on site for confidential work, as well as private office workspaces, meeting areas and conference rooms.