Research Partnerships and Innovation

Research Partnerships & Innovation

TACAM

Investment in Advanced Composites Development Centre to support technology transfer, new learning opportunities for students

November 18, 2022

Today, during Global Entrepreneurship Week, Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), announced a more than $22.7 million investment to support innovation and growth in Manitoba. This funding was awarded to 16 projects across the province, including RRC Polytech’s Advanced Composites Development Centre (ACDC), operated by the Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing (TACAM).

This investment is great news for expanding the frontiers of applied research and workforce development in Manitoba. It’s also a prime example of government, academia, and industry working together to strengthen our province.

“Our investment today will support both Manitoba’s economy and business, helping to continue to make Manitoba a great place to invest, do business, and create good jobs people can count on. Our partnership with Manitoba businesses will help them in acquiring the tools, capital, and support they need to thrive as significant contributors to the Prairie and Canadian economies,” said The Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan.

Alongside PrairiesCan’s investment, National Research Council Canada, Magellan Aerospace, and Convergent Manufacturing Technologies have put a combined $1.5 million contribution to expanding the Advanced Composites Development Centre.

The funding will enable RRC Polytech to expand our capabilities in advanced composite manufacturing using robotics, automation, and data analytics. This collaboration will also help to industrialize emerging composite manufacturing technologies, improve our knowledge base, open doors for new business opportunities for the private sector, and develop a much-needed workforce in advanced manufacturing and aerospace. 

Dr. Dele Ola, Director of RRC Polytech’s Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and manufacturing.

“The investment in the Advanced Composites Development Centre will help us do many things – build capacity for technology transfer with industry partners, specifically small- and medium-size enterprises who do not have resources for in-house research and development; teach advanced manufacturing skills to learners, using new and emerging technologies; and overall create new jobs and attract more investments in Manitoba,” said Dr. Dele Ola, Director, TACAM.  

Our province is a prairie powerhouse for manufacturing and aerospace. Together, through the strength of this collaboration of public and private organizations, we can continue to maintain Manitoba’s position as an international hub for manufacturing.

Learn more about RRC Polytech’s Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing at rrc.ca/tacam

Feature photo: L-R – Rick Penner, President, Emerge Knowledge; Jen Peters, Co-Founder, Emerge Knowledge; Louie Ghiz, Executive Director, New Media Manitoba; The Honourable Dan Vandal; DeleOla, Director, Director of the Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing, Red River College Polytechnic

TACAM Open House and Showcase

November 9, 2022

You’re invited to the Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing’s (TACAM) first annual Fall Open House and Showcase.

Date: Thursday, November 17, 2022
Time: Drop-in between 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Location: Smart Factory (Building T), Notre Dame Campus, 2055 Notre Dame Ave.
Click here for a map.
Cost: Free

Event highlights:
• Freestyle visit to all work areas within the Smart Factory and other facilities
• Showcase of leading advance manufacturing technologies
• Showcase of specific industry projects and success stories
• Connecting one-on-one with TACAM staff to discuss opportunities
• Networking with other attendees
• Refreshment and celebration

Please note that registration is required for this event. We are looking forward to seeing you at the event!

Industry Training Opportunity: 5-Axis CNC Machining Programming and Operation

January 28, 2022

RRC Polytech’s Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing (TACAM), is offering a new industry training opportunity. This course is designed for individuals working as CNC machinists. It will provide participants with the knowledge and skills required to setup and operate 5-axis milling machines as well as 3+2 and simultaneous programming. Participants will learn to use tool centre control point, dynamic work offset and cutting angles, and be able to independently set up and run a 5-axis CNC machining project.

Training Details

Available Dates*:

  • May 3 – May 21, 2022
  • Sept 6 – Sept 24, 2022

*Classes will be held on Tuesdays and Thursdays (4:00 – 8:00 p.m.) and Saturdays (8:00 a.m. – 4:00 pm)

Venue: RRC Polytech’s Smart Factory – 2055 Notre Dame Avenue, Winnipeg

Class Size: 4 – 6 participants

Total Hours: 40

Price: $2,500 CAD + GST per participant

Registration: Please contact Allan Pomanski – apomanski@rrc.ca

Cancellation policy: Notice of withdrawal from the course must be given at least seven days before the course start date to get a refund.

TACAM supports the aerospace and manufacturing sectors by providing access to RRC Polytech’s technological assets, specialized facilities and equipment and subject-matter expertise.

Industry benefits through applied research, support for product development, technology evaluation and demonstration, technical support, knowledge and technology transfer and specialized training.

To learn more about starting a project with TACAM, visit https://www.rrc.ca/tacam/how-to-get-involved/

Industry Training Opportunity: Project Management for Technology Innovation

January 28, 2022

Project Management for Technology Innovation is a course that is primarily designed to introduce managers, engineers, technical leads, skilled personnel, professionals, and other industry participants to project management best practices within organizations implementing technologies as part of their improvement strategies. The course adapts the Project Management Institute’s (PMI) Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK) as part of the best practices, making it useful for participants who may want to further build on their knowledge to pursue PMI certification.

This course runs through the tools and techniques required for project planning, executive and client engagements, cost and schedule control, risk management, and more. The course will introduce participants to common organizational structures, the project players, and the nature of various technology projects. The course ends with an introduction to the skills required for managing projects within an Industry 4.0 system and other areas of emerging technologies.

Training Details

Available Dates*:

  • May 24 – June 9, 2022
  • Sept 6 – Sept 22, 2022

*Classes will be held on Microsoft Teams on Tuesdays, Wednesdays & Thursdays (4:00 – 8:00 p.m.)

Class Size: 10 – 15 participants

Total Hours: 36

Price: $675 CAD + GST per participant

Registration: Please contact Allan Pomanski – apomanski@rrc.ca

Cancellation policy: Notice of withdrawal from the course must be given at least seven days before the course start date to get a refund.

TACAM supports the aerospace and manufacturing sectors by providing access to RRC Polytech’s technological assets, specialized facilities and equipment and subject-matter expertise.

Industry benefits through applied research, support for product development, technology evaluation and demonstration, technical support, knowledge and technology transfer and specialized training.

To learn more about starting a project with TACAM, visit https://www.rrc.ca/tacam/how-to-get-involved/

Get Smart(er): College-Industry Innovation Fund grant to enhance RRC’s Smart Factory

July 27, 2021

Researchers and students will gain new opportunities for learning and to innovate at Red River College’s Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing (TACAM), and in turn, support Manitoba industry to access, test and integrate emerging technologies.

RRC is one of 15 colleges and cégeps announced this week by the Federal Government receiving a College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) grant through the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) for research infrastructure projects. The grant supports the enhancement of TACAM’s Smart Factory, an applied research space, experiential learning facility, and technology demonstration site.

The Smart Factory enhancement enables the College to grow its capabilities to support Manitoba industry in aerospace and advanced manufacturing sectors, by expanding metals additive manufacturing capabilities, application-based robotics, composite manufacturing capabilities, and industrial network infrastructure. For example, application-based systems for post-production grinding and finishing as well as mobile factory robots and autonomous ground vehicles to facilitate material handling, can help industry boost their productivity by reducing laborious manual tasks.

Through applied research projects at Smart Factory, enterprises of all sizes can work with RRC researchers and students to find solutions to business-specific as well as larger industry challenges.

“Investments in applied research are critical in helping the College continue to support industry with opportunities to evaluate and integrate emerging technologies, improving their productivity and competitive edge,” says Simon Potter, Director of Research Partnerships and Innovation, Red River College. “They are also paramount to enriching our learning environment, exposing students to leading-edge technology and providing industry experience, in preparation for the workforce.”

Students in the Aerospace Manufacturing Technology program will have access to new technologies at the Smart Factory and Stevenson Aviation Campus to participate in capstone projects, classroom training, and direct engagement in industry research projects

Over time, knowledge generated collaboratively by industry, researchers and students will inform training and academic curricula, ensuring the next generation of RRC grads are not only  job-ready for their future careers, but ahead of the curve.

“Bringing industry partners together with researchers and students in spaces equipped with technology’s latest tools is a recipe for innovation and economic growth. This investment will enable bright ideas to be tested, applied and developed into new businesses in labs that have collaboration and partnerships at their core. The Canada Foundation for Innovation is proud to contribute to Canada’s future by supporting our extraordinary colleges, institutes and cégeps,” says Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO, Canada Foundation for Innovation.

Investments in RRC’s Smart Factory open up opportunities to support the province’s advanced manufacturing (AM) agenda through the Advanced Manufacturing Coalition as well as RRC’s aerospace roadmap, helping maintain Manitoba’s position as one of Canada’s AM hubs.

The College, alongside local and national partners, will fill identified gaps to enhance the capacity of RRC to respond to industry’s need for innovation support and workforce development.

CFI grants support applied research projects at Canadian colleges and cégeps, by providing funding for facilities, equipment and infrastructure. These investments allow colleges to expand their capabilities and advance innovation in their region and Canada-wide. The CFI funding awarded will foster and further strengthen industry partnerships, providing Canadian businesses access to technology, knowledge and expertise to stay future-focused.

The almost $900,000 CFI grant to enhance the Smart Factory marks a major contribution to the larger $2.5M project of expanding TACAM research facilities at RRC’s Notre Dame and Stevenson Aviation Campuses.

Reinventing the irrigation system wheel

June 25, 2021

Typically, agricultural irrigation systems use wheels with a steel rim and an air-filled rubber tire. As with most rubber tires, they are prone to losing air pressure, wearing out, and cracking over time. Rubber tire wheels are also difficult and time consuming to replace on large irrigation systems, causing significant downtime while the equipment is under repair.

Cascade Manufacturing (Cascade), located in MacGregor, Manitoba, designs and fabricates agricultural irrigation products, and saw an opportunity to improve the traditional irrigation system wheel. After creating a prototype for a low-maintenance, all-steel bolted wheel, Cascade worked with the Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing (TACAM) at Red River College to perform a design review to identify and address high mechanical stress areas and potential points of failure.

In order to perform the review, Cascade provided 3D CAD files of their newly designed bolted wheel to TACAM for analysis. The TACAM research team used in-house expertise in 3D modelling and finite element analysis (FEA) to evaluate the stresses throughout the wheel in accordance with design allowable limits.

Cascade used the recommendations provided to redesign the bolted wheel and engaged TACAM to re-evaluate the new design for verification purposes. TACAM provided recommendations for design improvement and cost reduction based on findings. The original bolted wheel failed under 10,000 load cycles, versus the newly designed bolted wheel is expected to last more than 200,000 cycles. The improved bolted wheel design is currently being manufactured and promoted for local and export sales.

Bolted wheel on irrigation equipment

The newly designed bolted wheel in action!

Key project benefits:

• Cost-effective design evaluation and product improvement

• Attained confidence in the load-bearing capacity of a new product being introduced to the market

• Enhanced competitiveness and innovation, and potential for an increased local and international customer base

 

 

 

 

If not for our experience with TACAM, we likely wouldn’t have determined that the grade of steel used on our wheels was prone to low cycle fatigue. With TACAM’s expertise on how to minimize stress concentration points, we were able to produce a bolted wheel with thinner grade material than we thought possible. The FEA study they conducted determined that the stresses are within tolerance, which gave us confidence to manufacture and test the product in field conditions. Overall, we are very satisfied with the results from the bolted wheel project with TACAM. -Matt Waldner, Cascade Manufacturing

The bolted wheel projected received support from:

TACAM Virtual Knowledge Event for 3D Modelling, Design and Simulation

February 18, 2021

The Technology Access Centre for Aerospace & Manufacturing (TACAM) recently hosted the first of a three-part series of virtual knowledge events. This event covered the topic of 3D design, modelling and simulation.

At this session, partners from SimuTech spoke about some of the leading-edge technology used to minimize development costs in different stages of product development.

There were also presentations from  three TACAM clients who have harnessed these capabilities. Learn about their innovation challenges, how they worked with TACAM, and the benefits realized thereafter by watching the event recording.

Click below to watch a recording of the event, and stay tuned for future events!

Collaboration with KAP and UM is ready to roll: Mini Training Tractor revealed

July 16, 2020

A collaboration between the University of Manitoba (UM), Red River College (RRC) and Keystone Agricultural Producers (KAP) driven by the need for an agricultural safety training tool, has produced a unique vehicle that will help predict, teach and demonstrate tractor roll overs.

The Mini Roll Over Training Tractor (Mini ROTT) was demonstrated at the UM’s Glenlea Research Station on July 16. Approximately the size of an average lawn tractor but with the appearance of a traditional tractor, the radio-controlled Mini ROTT will be used for teaching and demonstration of roll overs and activities that will enhance students’ and farmers’ understanding of farm safety practices.

“Keystone Agricultural Producers is proud to be a part of the roll over training tractor (ROTT) project through our Manitoba Farm Safety Program,” says Bill Campbell, President, KAP. “We look forward to using this innovative tool to further promote the need for safety awareness and training across our sector to reduce the risk of serious injury in the operation of tractors and large equipment on farms across the province. The partnership we have forged with the University of Manitoba and Red River College shows the importance of our industry to this province and showcases some of the brightest minds and ingenuity we have here in Manitoba.”

The project was initiated by the UM’s Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences to supplement hands-on safety workshops developed for diploma students and farmers.  The UM teamed up with KAP’s Manitoba Farm Safety Program staff to explore the concept of a remote-controlled tractor as an interactive training tool for teaching roll over prevention strategies.

“The Faculty, especially the farm safety training leaders in our School of Agriculture, are keenly engaged in farm safety training, both for our students and for our wider agricultural community,” says Martin Scanlon, Dean, Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences, UM. “We were excited to partner with Keystone Agricultural Producers and Red River College to create this novel training tool that will assist the University of Manitoba in delivering potentially life-saving knowledge to the next generation of Manitoba producers. This project underlines the high value and mutual benefit of collaboration with talented industry partners and other educational institutions.”

UM and KAP then engaged with RRC’s Technology Access Centre for Aerospace & Manufacturing (TACAM) and Vehicle Technology & Energy Centre (VTEC) for the fabrication process. The research staff at TACAM designed and built the tractor, with support from the VTEC team on the electronics and systems control components.

“Working with Keystone Agricultural Producers and the University of Manitoba on the roll over training tractor (ROTT) is the perfect demonstration of the value of applied research: providing tangible solutions to real-world problems,” says Fred Meier, President & CEO, RRC. “The ROTT highlights the skill and expertise of our TACAM and VTEC teams, and now that we’ve created this first product we’re excited to explore similar projects in the future. We’re proud to play a role in farm safety awareness and supporting the agriculture industry in Manitoba.”

Going forward, the Mini ROTT will be housed at the Glenlea Research Station and utilized for farm safety training for post-secondary students and Manitoba farmers. The Manitoba Farm Safety Program and UM staff plan to collaborate on expanded tractor training and develop programs aimed at creating a safer agri-food industry.

Funding for the project came from a variety of sources, including the Faculty of Agricultural and Food Sciences Endowment Fund, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada through Red River College’s TACAM and VTEC-Innovation Enhancement grants, and Keystone Agricultural Producers.

TACAM lends assets and expertise to fight against COVID-19

April 2, 2020

A typical day for RRC’s Technology Access Centre for Aerospace & Manufacturing (TACAM) includes working alongside aerospace and manufacturing industry partners to address local innovation needs.

But these are not typical days. In response to the global fight against COVID-19, TACAM is using their assets and expertise to support an important partner, CancerCare Manitoba, in the production of much-needed medical equipment.

File photo from RRC’s Nursing program

Responding to a need for more IV poles, TACAM is currently supporting the production of 100 new wheelbases for the poles. Specifically, the team is helping to manufacture 500 castor mounts for the wheelbases, which require 5 castor mounts per wheelbase.

“We’re proud to be able to leverage our assets and expertise in digital manufacturing to support CancerCare Manitoba and the incredible work they’re doing,” says Dele Ola, Ph.D., P.Eng., Director, TACAM. “We are prepared to help to support our healthcare system during this critical time in any way we can.”

While CancerCare Manitoba is well-resourced to manufacture their own equipment, the short timeframe and sheer scale of equipment required means they need to outsource certain aspects of the IV pole production. TACAM’s capabilities are well-suited to the large-scale and rapid production of equipment like the IV pole wheelbases.

“CancerCare Manitoba appreciates the ability of RRC’s TACAM to support us in the manufacturing of these components,” says Keith Sutherland, Business and Innovation Officer at CancerCare Manitoba. “TACAM’s specialized machinery allows for quicker manufacturing, which allows us to get the required IV poles into the hands of hospital staff much quicker than if we had to manufacture them on our own.”

TACAM has also signed up with Health Canada as a potential supplier of services should they need help in manufacturing medical equipment and/or devices, and have responded to a call from the National Research Council Canada (NRC), which asked to share TACAM’s capabilities in case additional support for medical equipment and devices is required.

TACAM’s capabilities include additive manufacturing/3D printing, reverse engineering, and many aspects of advanced digital manufacturing that can be quickly deployed in the production of articles needed in the fight against COVID-19.

Read about the Smart Factory in Polytechnic Canada’s Applied Research Compendium

November 26, 2019

Polytechnics Canada has recently published a compendium on Applied Research: Building a Stronger Canada, and Red River College’s Smart Factory gets a mention for its value in emerging technologies in metal additive manufacturing, collaborative robotics, autonomous factory vehicles, flexible robotic work cells, industrial automation and networking, and high-speed 3D laser metrology.

View the entire compendium here, and see page 3 for more on Red River College and the Smart Factory.