Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Industrial expertise centre to help Quebec manufacturers move to Industry 4.0


June 23, 2020
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Photo: Siemens Canada

A new knowledge sharing centre will help Quebec manufacturers initiate or accelerate their digital transformation.

Longueuil’s industrial expertise centre (IEC) is now known as DigifabQG and is accessible online or in person.

The centre offers manufacturers a single point of contact where neutral experts provide a number of services that can accelerate the appropriation of technologies to facilitate their digital transformation.

“The integration of new technologies, artificial intelligence, automation and robotization have become essential to manufacturing companies that wish to increase their efficiency and productivity,” says Pierre Fitzgibbon, minister for the economy and innovation and minister for the Lanaudière region.

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“Competition is fiercer than ever on the world stage, and Quebec must have the ability to seize business opportunities quickly.”

The IEC adopted the name DigifabQG (a contraction of “digital” and “fabrication,” or manufacturing, and “QG” for “quartier général,” or headquarters), following creative consultations that sought to illustrate the sector’s desire for digital intelligence within the production process.

Digifab belongs to a network that includes four IECs in Longueuil, Saint-Laurent, Drummondville and Quebec City.

What to expect from the new centre

Digifab helps manufacturers become familiar with multiple technologies while providing access to a range of experts that can customize digital strategies prior to their implementation within production lines.

The centre includes three distinct areas: the Discovery zone, featuring success stories and existing technologies that could provide solutions; the Demonstration zone to test software, packages and technologies before use; and the Interaction zone, to provide interactive experiences that replicate real-world industrial situations for companies that are ready to purchase digital solutions.

Coaching is provided by four experienced specialists in artificial and business intelligence, robotics, advanced automation, manufacturing optimization and business strategies. These specialists have access to a vast network of partners that can accelerate the implementation of any digital project.

Digifab receives support from 15 business support organizations and educational institutions, as well as the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du Québec, Investissement Québec – CRIQ, the Association pour le développement de la recherche et de l’innovation du Québec (ADRIQ), and the ministry of municipal affairs and housing.

Siemens Canada is the first official partner of Quebec’s four IECs, and has provided $6.5 million in state-of-the-art equipment to assist manufacturers in their digital transformation.

Desjardins invested $500,000 to help set up Digifab. These funds have been earmarked for equipment purchasing, leasehold improvements and technology integration that will help propel factories into the future.

The site’s inauguration has been scheduled for September.