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Advancing Manufacturing & Aerospace Research

Winnipeg’s new Smart Factory Benefits Advance Manufacturing, Aerospace Sectors

The global manufacturing scene is becoming increasingly competitive, and Winnipeg, a Canadian leader in this space expects to benefit from the recently opened Smart Factory, a new learning and research centre in the Red River College (RRC) Skilled Trades and Technology Centre.

“I truly believe education and innovation go hand in hand. And even more so today, when industries and workplaces are being transformed by new disruptive technologies,” said Paul Vogt, president & CEO of RRC, noted at the Smart Factory’s July 2019 grand opening.


Winnipeg Smart Factory


The Smart Factory’s state-of-the-art equipment features technologies in metals additive manufacturing, collaborative robotics and autonomous factory vehicles, flexible robotic work cells, industrial automation, high-speed 3D laser metrology and industrial networking. 

“Students will be exposed every day in their programs to what’s coming in robotics and AI and networking,” said Vogt. “We all know that represents the future.”


Smart Factory - robot


RRC is also expanding its Centre for Aerospace Technology & Training (CATT), located at StandardAero, bringing new opportunities for the college and StandardAero to collaborate. 

“These technologies will be part of the future for aircraft engine component repair inspection as we drive for future advancements and future training opportunities and improved efficiencies in these areas,” said Brent Ostermann, StandardAero’s Vice President of Engineering. Ostermann said the expansion will allow for five new and enhanced technologies in advanced 3D digital inspection, robotic adaptive machining, cold spray metal additive repair, robotic welding seam tracking and digital X-Ray inspection analytic software. 

Adding to its arsenal of advance manufacturing R&D facilities, RRC will also soon open its new MotiveLab at the Vehicle Technology & Research Centre. The climactic chamber test facility will be the first of its kind in western Canada and allow vehicle manufacturers to test performance in extreme temperatures here, instead of sending them out-of-province or out-of-country to determine if they meet industry standards. 

Meanwhile, the role of robotics, new digital technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and 3D printing in the manufacturing process will be explored through the future National Research Council Canada's Advanced Manufacturing Program Building. Plans continue for the facility at CentrePort Canada, the country’s largest tri-modal inland port, which will serve as a key research centre and help expand the local industry. 

Canada’s Industry 4.0 technologies and next-generation manufacturing capabilities are revolutionizing how finished products and components are designed, manufactured, distributed and repaired across a spectrum of industries and climate conditions, thanks in large part to the work being done in Winnipeg. Such innovation not only drives industry, but gaining access to such deep expertise helps draw international conferences to Canada and Winnipeg, specifically. The opportunity to get hands-on on technical tours, the possibility of accessing local keynote speakers or growing an organization’s membership through industry and local champions create compelling reasons to host an event here.

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