Canadian Manufacturing

SPONSORED: Humber College’s manufacturing consortium: doing their part during the COVID-19 pandemic

by Jennifer Larson, Humber College   

Humber College
Sponsored by Humber College
Manufacturing Technology / IIoT

The Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation leverages Humber’s proven strength in advanced manufacturing, augmented and virtual reality, design, automation, robotics, and system integration

The Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation. PHOTO: Humber College

In April 2019, before terms such as physical distancing and flattening the curve were part of our everyday vocabulary, Humber College opened the ground-breaking Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation (Barrett CTI), pioneering a new model of collaborative education focused on industry partnerships and advanced technology.

The Barrett CTI leverages Humber’s proven strength in advanced manufacturing, augmented and virtual reality, design, automation, robotics, and system integration.

Benefits to Industry

Many companies face significant barriers when it comes to adopting new technologies and investing in R&D. Humber College and the Barrett CTI provides support through access to faculty expertise, as well as state-of-the-art facilities, equipment and technical resources. This includes unique equipment, such as the first automated guided vehicle built by a Canadian post-secondary institution and the only cyber-physical factory in Ontario. Working with Humber and the Barrett CTI allows organizations to collaborate with students and faculty with specialized expertise in various fields of research and facilitates a lower-risk environment for R&D.



The Barrett CTI is home to Humber’s Advanced Manufacturing Skills Consortium, which consists of eight of the of country’s leading technology and innovation companies, which are focused on applied research projects, collaboration between partners, and training and development solutions for the Canadian workforce. The founding partners are Cisco Canada, DMG MORI Canada, Festo Didactic, Javelin Technologies, KUKA Robotics Canada, Rockwell Automation, SEW-EURODRIVE, and SICK Sensor Intelligence.

Advanced Manufacturing Skills Consortium Partners’ Response to COVID-19

Members of the Advanced Manufacturing Skills Consortium are contributing to the COVID-19 pandemic response and are committed to being there for their customers.


Helping Businesses and Supporting Communities

Cisco Canada has donated hundreds of permanent mobile access point hardware and has contributed fees for some internet circuits to provide technology access for vulnerable Torontonians during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working Remotely Through Webex

As businesses shift to conducting their operations remotely, Cisco is making sure their customers’ business needs are being met through Cisco Webex, a tool for video conferencing. Cisco is now offering free 90-day licenses to businesses that are not Webex customers. They are providing round-the-clock assistance to ensure businesses can run smoothly during these difficult times.


In this exceptional situation, DMG MORI Canada’s highest priority is to protect its employees, customers, partners and suppliers. They have taken early and comprehensive precautions to continue to be a strong and reliable partner at their customers’ side. Personal contact with customers is of the utmost importance to DMG MORI Canada, and regular sales and service contacts are available as usual by telephone via their service hotline or by e-mail. All locations and contacts can be found HERE.

Recent developments have shown that digitization and connectivity are more important than ever. Consulting is available via their NETservice, via Skype or Microsoft-Teams. DMG MORI Canada offers its customers maximum service to support them even in this challenging situation.


Online Tools for Uncomplicated and Efficient Teaching

Festo Didatic is a leading provider of technical education equipment and training. With remote learning on the rise, Festo Didactic is offering free of charge licenses for FluidSIM®, a leading planning and simulation program for pneumatics, hydraulics and electrical engineering. FluidSIM® enables instructors to continue providing lessons in an uninterrupted online format amid the COVID-19 outbreak.

Free Access to LVSIM-EMS to Electrical Engineering Students

Festo Didatic is now providing free access to LVSIM-EMS, an online simulation software commonly used by electrical engineering students. The simulation allows students to perform actual experiments using virtual equipment as part of their distance learning.


Robot-assisted Rehabilitation – ROBERT® and KUKA facilitate mobilization

Life Science Robotics has developed a medical product for robot-assisted therapy and for mobilizing patients. For this, they have made use of the LBR Med from KUKA, which is ideally suited for integration into the medical product. The robot, also known as ROBERT® works individually with patients to allow them to be mobilized faster regardless of whether a therapist is allowed contact with patients. The product is already in use in Denmark and Germany.

KUKA Robots Sort Up to 3,000 Blood Samples Per Day

Testing and sorting blood samples has always been a manual, time-consuming, and repetitive process. KUKA robots have now automated this process in Aalborg University Hospital, the largest hospital in the North Jutland region of Denmark. By automating and simplifying this strenuous process, KUKA robots reduce errors and relieve healthcare workers in hospitals allowing them to focus on more demanding tasks.

KUKA is the leading global supplier of intelligent automation solutions. The KUKA group is headquartered in Germany and has a Canadian facility.


Stay Safe and Connected with Free Access to FactoryTalk® InnovationSuite™ Vuforia Chalk

To help customers maintain business continuity while keeping employees healthy and safe, in partnership with PTC, Rockwell Automation is offering free access to Vuforia Chalk, a collaborative remote assistance tool, through June 30, 2020. This augmented reality software program helps employees who need to share real-time instructions and guidance without being physically on-site.

Vuforia Chalk leverages augmented reality to connect employees in different physical locations with collaborative operation, maintenance, and repair of products of all kinds. Visit HERE to download.

Rockwell Automation is a global leader in industrial automation and digital transformation.


Response to COVID-19 and North American Operations

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, SEW-EURODRIVE is working to reassure their customers that they are doing everything reasonably possible to minimize service disruptions. This includes maintaining their inventory levels to help ensure the delivery of components and products to their customers. They are consistently monitoring the situation and are making the required adjustments to their operations to safeguard business continuity. SEW-EURODRIVE’s top priority is to keep their employees, customers and communities healthy and safe by taking the appropriate safety measures mandated by the Canadian government through physical distancing, eliminating all nonessential travel and visitation.


Sensor Solutions for the Everyday People

SICK worldwide is helping their essential service customers succeed by ensuring their transportation, healthcare, and food supply needs are completely supported. For SICK as a company, the health of all employees is a top priority. Many of their employees can work from home, while other colleagues continue to leave their homes every day to come to work to produce sensors in their manufacturing facilities and send them out into the world. Everyone – whether in their locations or at home – makes an important contribution to SICK. It is only with the virtual interaction of colleagues and the continuous work of all that SICK sensors can continue to reach their customers and partners.


COVID-19 Manufacturing Support

To aid in the Canadian COVID-19 response, Javelin Technologies is taking full advantage of their experience in the manufacturing and medical industry to create personal protective equipment for healthcare workers. As a 3D solutions provider, Javelin Technologies is also lending its 3D printing services for designers, manufacturers, and healthcare professionals who are looking to create medical-grade components for COVID-19 response initiatives. Also, with their access to a variety of production methods, materials, and their 3D printing capabilities, Javelin Technologies can react and respond efficiently to the ever-changing needs of healthcare professionals.

Supplying Materials for Production of Personal Protective Equipment

Javelin has partnered with Sunnybrook Research Institute to collaboratively develop, manufacture, and rapidly-deploy personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic for frontline workers across Canada. In addition, Javelin has been supporting their customer base in gearing up for COVID-19 initiatives; their team has supported the University of Waterloo’s Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing (MSAM) Laboratory, AV Gauge and Fixture, ODC Tooling, Viking Air, AB Sciex and Honda Canada, among others, in pursuing several projects to fight the pandemic.

Humber College Supporting Students, Organizations and Workers

Humber College recognizes this is a challenging time for many. Classes are being delivered remotely, and campuses and facilities, including the Barrett CTI, remain closed.

With the support of Humber faculty, staff, alumni, donors and partners, Humber College has established the COVID-19 Support our Students (SOS) Fund to address the economic needs of vulnerable students.

Along with other post-secondary institutions, Humber College has pooled their resources and supplies to help frontline workers and to help address food insecurity during the pandemic.

The Barrett CTI and the Advanced Manufacturing Skills Consortium are committed to helping companies grow and innovate. While Humber looks forward to reopening when public health agencies advise it is safe to do so, virtual discussions about collaborating are continuing.

How companies can get involved

• Work with us to complete an applied research project
• Host an event or run corporate training at the Barrett CTI
• Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up-to-date with Barrett CTI news
• Contact
• Visit to learn more.


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