The Ontario Advanced Manufacturing Consortium (AMC), a joint partnership between McMaster University, University of Waterloo, and Western University, is helping to accelerate industry adoption of advanced manufacturing technologies, which will create jobs and strengthen the province’s reputation as a leading manufacturing region.
Since AMC was launched in April 2017, nearly 100 companies have benefited from the advanced manufacturing experts and state-of-the-art facilities at Waterloo.
To simplify industry-friendly R&D from conceptualization to implementation, AMC at Waterloo provides access to advanced manufacturing equipment as well as over 200 researchers and technical specialists across the following R&D groups:
- Centre for Intelligent Antenna and Radio Systems (CIARS): a world-class facility for transformative research in radio science and technology that explores unconventional approaches to meet future challenges.
- Multi-Scale Additive Manufacturing (MSAM): the most comprehensive university additive manufacturing facility in Canada.
- WatCAR Manufacturing: comprised of the Forming and Crash Lab, Centre for Advanced Materials Joining, Fatigue and Stress Analysis Lab, Impact Mechanics and Material Characterization Group, and the Precision Controls Lab. This diverse group, the most comprehensive of its kind in North America, supports product and process development in the automotive, aerospace, and defence industries.
- RoboHub: A novel research and testing facility focused on control, planning, perception, and human interaction challenges in advanced robotics.
William Melek, director of Waterloo’s mechatronics engineering program and RoboHub, says industry connections with AMC have been invaluable to all parties.
“AMC provides insight into our manufacturing industry partners’ process automation challenges, which allows us to align our advanced robotics and machine learning research to increase capacity, productivity and manufacturing throughput,” says Melek.
Waterloo AMC success story
Ontario Drive & Gear (ODG), a gear manufacturing company in New Hamburg, Ontario, collaborated with WatCAR Manufacturing to improve its approach to process development and quality control.
Waterloo researchers created a virtual machining software that predicts optimal process parameters and quality control. The Waterloo team deployed the software, trained ODG engineers and process developers on-site, and offers continued support.
ODG reported up to 24 per cent production improvement for high-volume gear production for major Canadian customers, including a forestry equipment producer and a Tier 1 automotive supplier.
The reduction in production cycle times freed up ODG’s machine capacity to grow the existing business and develop new customer relationships. This business growth has translated to a proportionate increase in shifts and hiring new manufacturing, quality control and support staff.
“The impact of our work with the Precision Controls Laboratory at Waterloo has significantly increased productivity and decreased costs by enhancing the capabilities of ODG engineers,” says Liam Tiernan, general manager and vice president, Gear Division, Ontario Drive & Gear.
Register now for AMC’s upcoming Showcase
To discover more about AMC’s advanced manufacturing capabilities, research expertise, and successful industry partnerships, members of the industrial, academic and government communities are invited to attend Waterloo’s inaugural Advanced Manufacturing Consortium Showcase on April 23.
The AMC Showcase includes presentations of AMC’s key research areas, targeted breakout sessions with lab representatives and networking opportunities.