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NGen invests $370K in three pilot-scale projects by SME manufacturers


Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) recently co-funded three manufacturing projects at the pilot and feasibility stage, contributing a total of $370,000.

NGen, an industry-led organization leading Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, tapped a panel of independent experts to select the projects, all of which are based in Ontario.

The funding will allow SMEs to scale-up project plans for implementation, prepare technologies for deployment in production and de-risk technology adoption and scale-up by facilitating access to the expertise, training, tools, and testbeds that are available within the Supercluster.

Project #1

AIXEL, Kitchener, Ont.
Riverside Natural Foods, Toronto, Ont.
Axiom Plastics, Aurora, Ont.
Terra Cotta Foods, Georgetown, Ont.

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These partners have developed an artificial intelligence (AI)–powered plug-and-play camera solution that automates visual quality inspection for manufacturers.

This project will use vision systems and AI as part of an automated manufacturing process to ensure higher product quality than could be achieved using human inspection methods. The technology can be used in a wide range of industries spanning automotive, plastics, and food and beverage manufacturing.

Project #2

CG Belle Industries, Oshawa, Ont.
Spectral Devices, London, Ont.

CG Belle and Spectral are developing an advanced manufacturing process to remove various coatings from metal surfaces using laser technology, eliminating the need for the toxic chemicals or hazardous materials typically used in this application.

Although the initial target of the project is the automotive industry, the knowledge and expertise developed in this project will create a localized cluster for laser ablation technology applicable to multiple industries.

Project #3

Kepstrum, Vaughan, Ont.
Stackpole International Engineered Products, Mississauga, Ont.

The companies are partnering to undertake a feasibility study to identify analytical algorithms that will create a system capable of identifying compound production problems that cannot be detected by current quality control processes.

This will help address the increasing levels of recalls that the Canadian automotive manufacturing industry is experiencing as a result of unidentified product failures during production.

Kepstrum CEO, Payman Kianpour, emphasizes that for the first time, this approach will use the mathematical concept of “Uncertainty Quantification & Error Propagation” to design a unique end-of-line test system to the Map the Production DNA, increasing control of product quality resulted from tighter manufacturing tolerances.

“NGen is not just about supporting the big projects, it’s also about connecting SMEs with the partners they need and providing them with financial support that enables them to take the risk on advanced technology development and implementation projects,” says Jayson Myers, CEO of NGen, in a statement.

“This ultimately leads to larger projects, improving the capacity of Canada’s manufacturers and technology companies to innovate and create the solutions that will help Canadian manufacturers be more competitive.”