New scientific facilities for the Canadian automotive and advanced manufacturing sectors open in London, ON.
The National Research Council’s (NRC) Manufacturing and Automotive Innovation Hub is an open-space concept laboratory intended to be a collaborative workspace.
The 75,000-sq.-ft. (6,970-sq.-m) hub is part of the NRC’s Automotive and Surface Transportation Research Center.
It is described as a one-of-a-kind research station where all levels of the automotive and manufacturing supply chain can collaborate on-site with NRC specialists and Canada’s research ecosystem.
The hub features a 6,000-sq.-ft. (558 sq.-m) space with 30-ft. (9.1-m) ceilings; four expandable laboratories for flexible and confidential work; two vehicle bays with lifts and related automotive shop capabilities; a high crane bay as a manufacturing space for scale-up and/or digital micro-factory workspace development; private office workspace; meeting areas; and conference rooms.
The labs with offices, along with NRC research, design and development staff, are available to manufacturers, integrators and equipment makers.
In the digital factory, collaborators can visualize and develop advanced manufacturing processes.
In the automotive lab, they can integrate and develop technologies related to connected and autonomous vehicles, vehicle lightweighting and alternative propulsion/electrification.
“Through this facility, we will provide technical solutions and apply them directly to our collaborators’ products and processes,” the NRC says in a statement.
The focus is to help Canadian automotive manufacturers adopt advanced manufacturing approaches, including mass customization, process industrialization and data-driven factory automation.
It also will be used to manufacture new materials and other new vehicle technologies.
The NRC says it’s working to bring companies, governments, universities and colleges together to collaborate on breakthrough projects.
“New capabilities will be developed to enable the digital factories (Industry 4.0) that will produce transportation technologies such as connected/autonomous vehicles,” it says in a statement. “Through this facility, we will provide technical solutions and apply them directly to our collaborators’ products and processes.
“Our facility is designed to be flexible and modular, with client confidentiality in mind. As such, we can address the immediate needs of industry to launch projects quickly.”