Automation in Action
Oct. 27, 2015 - In the last 10 years, when mentioning the word ‘drone’ in good company, it can either provoke strong opinions about their usefulness in society or harsh criticism regarding the industries and jobs these machines will no doubt affect. Regardless if one is for or against these nearly autonomous creations, drones are changing the world we live in on many different levels and doing so at a radical pace.
Oct. 13, 2015 - With 32 manufacturing facilities around the world, Porto, Portugal-based manufacturer Sodecia is a designer of highly automated assembly systems for the automotive industry. Sodecia strives to deliver higher performance and functionality while keeping cost under control, and has increased reliance on PC-based control technology in recent years.
Sep. 2, 2015 - Have you ever looked at a cruise ship, 18-wheeler, or wrought iron fence and wondered how it was made? Each of these modern masterpieces are crafted out of metal using advanced and precise machinery. Constructing ships, producing automobiles, and turning metal into artwork are all unique processes yet, they use similar cutting, assembly, and welding processes to achieve their final product. Special thanks to Messer Cutting Systems for sharing this interesting infographic!
Jun. 16, 2015 - Early predictions suggested that manufacturing would lag behind other industries in Cloud adoption by two to three years. This has not been the case. In fact, a 2013 KPMG survey revealed that 41 per cent of respondents are already using Cloud-enabled services in finance, accounting and financial management and 35 per cent of respondents are likely to adopt such services within the next 18 months. The primary driver of Cloud adoption was also thought to be Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and, in reality, speed, agility and risk mitigation have proven to be great motivations for Cloud investments.
May 20, 2015 - With a yo-yoing Canadian dollar and the lingering uncertainty of the industrial sector, the need for manufacturers to pursue innovation has never been more pertinent. These days, there is pressure for manufacturers to be innovative, stay innovative and, of course, stay cost-competitive. Hoping to help achieve that goal, a number of innovation centres have popped up across the country recently, boasting state-of-the-art equipment, technology and skilled support personnel for manufacturers.
Mar. 17, 2015 - Siemens Canada is hitting the road for its 2015 Innovation Tour, travelling to cities across the country to showcase its latest in PLCs, HMIs, IPCs, networks, RFID, drives, motors and industrial components.
Feb. 23, 2015 - When you think of innovation, what names come to mind? Jeff Bezos or Richard Branson? Or you might think of companies like Apple, Google or Zappos — companies that have set the bar through the continuous introduction of new products and services, both inside and outside their niche.
Sept. 29, 2014 - Andy Mavrokefalos calls himself a dreamer. But he is more than that.
The Scientific Research and Experimental Development (SR&ED) Tax Credit claim program, administered by the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA), underwent many changes at the beginning of 2014. A SR&ED tax credit claim can have a substantial impact on a company’s cash flow, providing a refundable tax credit on eligible R&D expenditures. It is, therefore, important to understand how the changes may affect your business.
Sustained innovation is a key objective promoted by the SME’s “Take Back Manufacturing” initiative toward maintaining and improving Canada’s global competitiveness in manufacturing. As R&D investments are made by private and government organizations to promote the invention and improvement of products and manufacturing technologies, it is crucial that Canada’s investments be protected so that Canadians can reap the rewards. Patents and other forms of intellectual property (IP) can help protect R&D investments in the manufacturing sector.  
With warmer temperatures finally sweeping across the country, the weather is not the only climate trending upwards. Small to mid-sized businesses are also looking to take advantage of favourable conditions for global expansion.
Apr. 25, 2014 - Design and manufacturing companies must adapt quickly to the demands of an increasingly global and competitive economy. To speed time to market for products, they need to be able to collaborate and manage design life cycles effectively with offshore, mobile and remote employees. At the same time, they have to maintain security and control over intellectual property even as their workforce becomes more mobile and distributed, and their computing environment becomes more diverse.
Not your typical widget, tomatoes are fragile, have a short shelf life and come in many shapes, colours and sizes. Processing the highly popular “cocktail cherry” variety was a challenge for Clifford Produce of Leamington, Ont. Varying weather conditions were creating ever-varying tomatoes, and it didn’t help that customers’ orders differed by the types of packaging they wanted and the combinations of same-sized or different-sized, same-coloured or different-coloured tomatoes to be packaged. Adding to this challenge was that in order to stay fresh, the produce arriving from the fields had to be processed quickly.
These days, manufacturing overseas has become the norm for many companies that produce high-tech products—but not for Avigilon, a Vancouver, B.C.-based designer and manufacturer of high-definition video surveillance solutions. Since its inception in 2004, the company has manufactured its cameras for a growing number of global customers at its facility in Richmond, B.C. And they’ve done it with much success. In fact, the company increased its manufacturing footprint by 150 per cent this year to accommodate growing customer demand.
The BLOODHOUND supersonic car is aiming to break the 1,000 mph speed barrier in the summer of 2015—and it’s getting a little help from 3D printing technology. One of the most critical components is the nose tip for the car, which will be the very first part to break through any new land speed record. The tip is subject to forces as high as 4,915 pounds per square foot. To cope with such loadings, a prototype tip has been designed in titanium and will be bonded to BLOODHOUND’s carbon fiber monocoque body, which forms the front-half of the car. Renishaw is providing a manufacturing resource to the project team to produce the nose tip with its laser melting machines, which use an additive manufacturing process to fuse together very thin layers of fine metallic powders to form highly complex, functional components. The prototype will be used by the BLOODHOUND team to evaluate possible manufacturing processes and carry out further engineering analysis. Dan Johns, lead engineer at BLOODHOUND SSC responsible for materials, processes and technologies, says: “We believe that the key benefit of using an additive manufacturing process to produce the nose tip is the ability to create a hollow, but highly rigid titanium structure, and to vary the wall thickness of the tip to minimize weight. To machine this component conventionally would be extremely challenging, result in design compromises, and waste as much as 95 per cent of the expensive raw material.” Simon Scott, director of Renishaw’s Additive Manufacturing Products Division, says, “With 3D printing having such a high profile in the media and political circles, it is fantastic that the only UK manufacturer of a metal-based additive manufacturing machine is able to contribute to this iconic British project which aims to inspire a new generation of engineers here and around the world.”
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