Smart factories hail the next industrial revolution

We’re in the midst of another industrial revolution: Industry 4.0. Coined at the 2011 Hannover Fair in Germany, Industry 4.0 is a high-tech strategy that marries computerized manufacturing and the Internet of Things to create so-called “smart factories.”  In the Industry 4.0 age, factory robots communicate with each other and with humans using cyber-physical systems, internet-enabled communications, and cloud computing.

Kelowna company making noise with smartphone technology

While most smartphones are adept at capturing close-range speech, noisy environments like rock concerts pose a different challenge. Screaming crowds drown out the music, leading to poor playback quality on the phone.

LG turned to ESS to develop audio-amplifying microchips that can distinguish between the melody and “malarkey” in a concert venue.

UNB postdoc combines engineering and computer science to improve quality, performance, and safety in factories

Eigen’s CEO, Scott Everett, contacted his former professor, Dr. Rickey Dubay, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of New Brunswick, to see if he could help. Through a Mitacs Accelerate internship, Professor Dubay, in turn, connected Scott with postdoctoral fellow Soheil Parsa who had the expertise to address the challenge.

Video game tech brings auto assembly into the 21st century

At the start of their collaboration, Professor Cort’s team set out to use game-like software to create simulations that mimic a worker’s motions during the installation of parts on the assembly line. 

Driving fuel cell technology in cars of the future

With a demonstration fleet of B-Class F-Cell vehicles unveiled in 2010, Mercedes-Benz has established itself as a key competitor in this emerging market. The breakthrough came as a result of thousands of hours of research and development into fuel cell technology at Mercedes-Benz’s North American pilot manufacturing plant.

From research to robots

“These people were my heroes,” he said. “I knew that I wanted to follow in their footsteps one day.”

And he did.  At the age of 20, he invented an electronic system to control lighting in luxury houses with the use of a remote. Shortly after, he created an electro-mechanical device that could be installed on the wheels of bikes and vehicles which emitted pulsating lights to increase safety and visibility at night and sold 3,000 units.

Keeping an eye on climate change

Sina was beginning his program at the University of Northern BC’s Natural Resources and Environment Studies department when he was given the opportunity to apply his specialized knowledge of watershed management to an Accelerate project for lumber giant Canfor.

“We have a pulp mill in Prince George that draws water from the Nechako River,” says Mike Bradley, Director of Sustainability for Canfor Pulp. “That means the water level and its clarity are very important to us. We were concerned about how changes over time would affect our business.”

Giving Canadian companies a real-world advantage

Han Chen, a Mechanical Engineering Masters student at McGill University, has created what amounts to a virtual factory, where new tools and equipment can be designed and tested, significantly reducing their real-world production time and creating a lot of opportunities.

Mitacs Entrepreneur Awards: Richard Beal, COFOVO Energy

Richard is an alumnus of the University of Ottawa's SUNLAB.

 


Mitacs gratefully acknowledges Western Economic Diversification, the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the governments of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, and New Brunswick for their support of Mitacs Elevate. In addition, select Elevate fellows are supported through Mitacs Accelerate and its funding partners.

Helping businesses take a green turn

KDC is a manufacturer of personal care products with facilities in Ontario, Quebec and the USA. The company connected with Kathryn Battista, Mitacs Accelerate intern and graduate student in Master's in Environment & Sustainability at Western University, for a research project aimed at enhancing KDC’s environmental practices under the supervision of Professor Ian Colquhoun from the Department of Anthropology.

“Kathryn’s internship focused specifically on designing and implementing boundaries around our waste management,” says Sonya D'Cunha, Director of Sustainability at KDC.

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