Manufacturing supercluster funds flexible automation solutions

HAMILTON — Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led organization leading Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, has co-funded a private-sector consortium led by MDA to help integrate AI, industry 4.0, data sharing and collaborative robotics into manufacturing.

Each project partner will develop transferable technologies that can help other Canadian manufacturers achieve long-term success.

Aimed at new space manufacturing challenges, MDA will develop industry 4.0 solutions in automated assembly and testing for high-volume satellite constellations. Promark Electronics will develop new solutions in flexible robotic systems for small parts electronics assembly, and use artificial intelligence for production planning and business insights. AV&R will develop new solutions to apply AI in manufacturing for robot & cobot task management and optimization, data management and analysis inside automated systems, 3D metrology capabilities and reconfigurable robotic systems.

The resulting responsiveness opens opportunities for Canadian manufacturers to out-compete global producers who rely on traditionally slower, inflexible, labour-intensive production methods. This improved competitiveness can increase penetration into existing markets and expand the partners’ reach to compete in novel, non-traditional markets.

These projects are part of the increasing portfolio of NGen-funded advanced manufacturing initiatives under the Canadian Government’s Innovation Supercluster Initiative. Rather than small, incremental improvements to stretch existing manufacturing systems, NGen support and funding allows project teams to reach beyond and rebuild operations that ensure long-term competitiveness.