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NGen supports SMEs proving and de-risking advanced manufacturing projects


December 10, 2021  by Manufacturing AUTOMATION/NGen

Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen) has co-funded twelve projects of SMEs trying to prove out and de-risk advanced manufacturing development and implementation projects. NGen is supporting the projects at the pilot and feasibility stage with over $4 million.

“In partnership with Canada’s Innovation Superclusters, we are building a successful innovation ecosystem that will support important areas of the economy where Canada has a significant competitive advantage,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “We are proud to support projects like these, which demonstrate Canadian SMEs’ ability to develop groundbreaking products, processes and technologies.”

“These projects highlight what NGen does best, bringing Canadian partners from across the country to collaborate on new transformative projects, and providing critical financial support at a time when they need it most,” said Jayson Myers, CEO, NGen. “It’s expensive and risky to create something new; to develop world-leading solutions, it’s critical that we support and de-risk technology development at its early stages.

The following projects were approved for NGen co-investment, and were selected by a panel of independent experts:

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  • Quali Artificial Intelligence Incorporated, Kitchener, ON, and Novo Textile, Coquitlam, BC, are developing a solution for manufacturers to increase their productivity by allowing an operator to remotely take over the control of a robotic arm. This capability acts as a work force multiplier to help manufacturers to increase their throughput and yield, enabling one worker to operate and supervise multiple robots remotely.
  • Macrodyne Technologies Incorporated, Concord, ON, and Ridgetech Automation, Cambridge, ON, are developing a technology that will reduce materials and labour costs in the automotive sector. The project will focus on the Electrical Vehicle sub-sector of the Automotive Industry.
  • Petra Hygienic Systems International Limited, Concord, ON, and Sidac Automated Systems Incorporated, Toronto, ON, are building new machine vision technology that will be applied to COBOTs for randomized product selection, starting with bottles and pumps. New vision computing software, coupled with machine learning, will create a solution that addresses a gap in the mid-market process manufacturing sector, where there is no automated, flexible, and economic solutions.
  • Apex Industries Moncton, NB, and a partner company based in Saint John, NB, are developing a novel manufacturing process and installation method for manufactured stone veneer panels, enabling them to present a complete manufacturing process to the market. APEX plans use the technology to establish a production line for manufactured stone, growing significantly in the large $1.5B North America market over the next number of years.
  • 3D BioFibR Incorporated and biomaterials experts from Dalhousie University will create a transformative advanced biofiber manufacturing process in Canada capable of producing spider silk, collagen, and several other protein fibers for a wide variety of applications. The new process seeks to improve the manufacturing process to produce multifilament protein fibers that have the lengths, linear density, and strengths necessary to be processed using industrial weaving and braiding equipment. This milestone would allow 3DBF to integrate with existing industrial textile capabilities, enabling numerous new products including braided spider silk sutures for microsurgery and woven collagen tubes for nerve repair.
  • Cast Analytics Incorporated, Vancouver, BC, along with partners Empower Operations Corporation, Surrey, BC, and Applied CCM Incorporated, Ottawa, ON, are undertaking the development and industrial demonstration of a new software solution for metal casting. The project will create a metal casting digital twin with integrated artificial intelligence driven optimization. A digital twin is essentially a digital replication of the casting manufacturing process. The project has the potential to transform Canadian SME metal casting foundries, increasing performance and competitiveness by using advanced manufacturing processes tailored to Canadian needs.
  • Datec Coating Corporation, Mississauga, ON and its partner, Process Research Ortech Incorporated, Mississauga, ON, are developing a chemical manufacturing technology that will produce a third-generation green disinfectant in the 700 MM$ chemical market for waste water disinfection. The disinfectant may also be used in drinking water treatment, bio-solids remediation, food processing, medical equipment disinfection, industrial effluent treatment and specialty chemicals synthesis. This new technology is a potential disruptor due to its superior manufacturing efficiency, inherent safe design and green chemistry.  It is an enabling technology which may displace the incumbent chlorine-based disinfection chemistry and its associated disinfection byproducts with a more sustainable solution for water treatment applications.
  • Deep Cryogenics International Incorporated, Lunenberg, NS, and partner Induspec, North Bay, ON, are manufacturing a deep cryogenic treatment tank (DCT) for use in the mining, power, marine and energy industries. This breakthrough technology simultaneously reduces wear, corrosion and material fatigue in metal alloys using a one-time, through-material process that is fast, inexpensive, environmentally friendly and permanent. The project will introduce the first manufactured, industrial-use DCT tank in the world, producing a made-in-Canada product for domestic and export use.
  • Synaptive Medical, Toronto, ON, and MRIdt, London, ON, will design and build a flexible production line for MRI gradient coils, developing the capability to simulate, optimize and manufacture more advanced gradient coils. This production capability will be the first of its kind in Canada, enabling Synaptive to create a Canadian presence in the MRI manufacturing sector.
  • Additional projects are being led by Hazelett Castechnology ULC, Kingston, ON, Exergy Solutions, Calgary, AB, and Advanced BioCarbon 3D, Rossland, BC.

These projects are part of the growing portfolio of NGen-funded advanced manufacturing initiatives under Canada’s Innovation Supercluster Initiative. To date, NGen has approved investments of $209 million in 135 projects leveraging a total of $515 million in new innovation spending. NGen’s funding commitments to these Pilot Projects and Feasibility Studies will help SMEs 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.

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