NGen co-funds three SMEs in the Canadian advanced manufacturing industry
by CM Staff
NGen-funded Feasibility Studies and Pilot Projects offer growth opportunities for SMEs
HAMILTON — Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (NGen), the industry-led organization representing Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, has co-funded three projects at the Pilot and Feasibility stage, supporting SMEs as they prove out and de-risk advanced manufacturing development and implementation projects.
“Canada’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative has always been about breaking down silos and supporting collaboration across a range of highly innovative industries and among SMEs to generate bold ideas and ambitious solutions,” said the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry. “Smaller, earlier-stage projects are a critical component in creating an advanced manufacturing ecosystem to develop and scale high-potential technologies in Canada.”
The following projects were approved for NGen co-investment, and were selected by a panel of independent experts:
- AIXEL Inc., Kitchener, ON, Riverside Natural Foods Ltd., Toronto, ON, Axiom Plastics Inc., Aurora, ON, and Terra Cotta Foods Ltd., Georgetown, ON, 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.
- CG Belle Industries Inc., Oshawa, ON, and Spectral Devices Inc., London, ON, 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.
- Kepstrum Inc., Vaughan, ON, and Stackpole International Engineered Products Ltd., Mississauga, ON, 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.
These projects are part of the increasing portfolio of NGen-funded advanced manufacturing initiatives under Canada’s Innovation Supercluster Initiative. NGen’s commitment of $370,000 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.