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The Role of Additive Manufacturing in Canada’s Automotive Industry

By: Ali Emamian – Research Council Officer and Application Engineer at NRC- Automotive and Surface Transportation Portfolio (AST)

  • Additive manufacturing enables OEM to react to constrains in order to increase the efficiency and cost effectiveness.
  • AM helps the automotive industry to create opportunities to produce tooling and fixturing in minimal time and to avoid delays in receiving tooling and parts from suppliers.
  • Benefits of AM includes flexibility to create custom tooling, reducing inventories of tooling and fixturing needs, and the ability to repair or remanufacture tools using processes such as Direct Energy Deposition.

Automotive Industry in Canada
The automotive sector is one of the most important industries in Canada. One in seven Canadians are either directly or indirectly employed in the automotive industry. It is one of Canada’s most strategic business sectors and is the single biggest contributor to Canada’s manufacturing Gross Domestic Product (GDP) (12% nationally; over 20% in Ontario alone). The auto sector directly employs over 550,000 Canadians across the country in 11 light-duty and 3 heavy-duty vehicle and assembly plants, more than 550 major component and OEM auto parts manufacturing operations, 3,949 dealerships, and aftermarket automotive product and service retailers. There are hundreds of thousands of additional Canadians whose jobs are in industries that support the auto industry; including transportation, financial services, mining, steel, chemicals, oil and gas, aluminum, and high tech just to name a few. Chrysler, Ford and General Motors along with their dealers directly employ some 102,000 Canadians and directly support an additional 50,000 Canadian retires.

The auto industry’s export orientation (roughly 85% of vehicle production and 60% of all parts production is exported) is a key source of foreign exchange.

Important coming change is intelligent cars that sense the world around them is more fuel efficient and safer. Ontario could be a winner in this scenario by investing on emerging technologies such as additive manufacturing and smart tooling in automotive industry. National Research Council of Canada (NRC), helps and supports industries in this regard by conducting research, industrial collaborations and technical services.

Direct Employment 120,000
Total Employment (counting “spin-off” jobs) over 400,000
Total Shipments
    Assembly $56 billion
    Parts $27 billion
Total GDP $17 billion value-added
Exports $66 billion (second-most important export industry)
Productivity $210,000 per worker per year (assembly)
Average Annual Incomes
    Assembly $72,000
       Parts $55,000

Table 1. Canada’s auto industry by the numbers -Sources: Unifor, Statistics Canada, Industry Canada-2014

Mold, Tool, and Die (MTD)
Mold, die and tools are the key elements for manufacturing in the automotive sector. Generally, the word “tool” is a common term for many industrial sectors but in this document tool means any mean that use to cut, and to form metal and other materials. Dies are made of metal and used for forging, stamping and shaping the materials, specifically metals. Molds are used to shape powder metals, composites, or liquid metal.

Mold tool, and die makers (MTDM) industry is a highly skilled job and requires technical people with specific expertise in machining alloys, inspection and metrologies. On the other hand, mechanical and materials engineers play a crucial role in effective designs and materials selections, respectively. Proper team work results in more MTDM durability, appropriate dimension accuracy and less failure in service that all save millions of dollars for the automotive sectors.

Injection moulding tools are most widely manufactured with conven­tional processes such as milling, lathe or CNC lathe. Over the years these conventional manufacturing processes have developed with the onset of computer aided technology used for designing tools, high-speed machining, improved precision and process automation.

Injection moulding is a $170 billion global industry and the manufacturer of a multitude of consumer products. In 2010 alone the US plastics industry produced an estimated 7 billion kg of injection-moulded products for applications in packaging, electronics, household goods and biomedical areas. Although this technology has led to the faster production of tools, product development cycles are still long and expensive. Tooling costs account for 15% of injection moulded part costs; however, considering global competition and the require­ment for shorter manufacturing times, innovative manufacturing methods for tool production such as Additive Manufacturing have been explored to manufacture tools for injection moulding.

Moulding cycle times account for 35% of the part cost and innovative mould designs and materials using Additive Manufacturing appear to offer the promise for further impacting the cost-per-part produced by injection moulding. The rising industrial mold imports originate largely in Japan, the Netherlands, China, Germany and South Korea. When Canadian molds are included, these six countries account for nearly 90% of all mold imports, with Japan alone accounting for nearly half.

Tool and die imports have risen by about 22% since 1997, with Japan and Canada remaining the top two origins. The mandate to have lighter vehicles and more environmental friendly vehicles in one hand return the MTDM to stable market and on the other hand it introduces them to new challenges, which is undertaking the use of new technologies and novel materials.

Automotive Sector in Ontario
Ontario is one of the most important and strategic location for Automotive sector in Canada and Windsor region in Canada is a strategic North American Centre for automotive and equipment.

Although after recession in 2008, many automotive industry and mould, tool and die makers (MTDMs) were affected and did not have any choices but downsizing or closing. Number of workforces became half of than that of 2000. Trend of growth started again in 2011 and since then MTDM companies are looking to expand their activities and some of them are considering using emerging technologies to reduce the cost and increase efficiency. Many economics predict the extraordinary growth for automotive sector in next 5-8 years. Some automakers have planned to add 60 to 70 new lines in next couple of years.

Within Canada the tool die and moldmaking industry is closely tied to the automotive industry. The industry has weathered the recent recession and there is a current trend to reshore work to protect intellectual property and reduce the travel costs of molds. Cost competition from Mexico remains a concern as does the exchange rate, particularly fluctuations (it is best if $CA around 80-85 cents US).

Additive Manufacturing in Automotive Industry
Today studies show that automotive industry needs to give more attention to revenue. There are some factors that are retarding the trade in vehicles  (specifically brand new ones). For example, more people are working from home, decreasing the mileage and wear and tear they put on their cars, and theoretically prolonging their cars’ lives. In addition, fewer people of driving age have licenses, as a significant number of people have opted to live near and use mass transportation. In the first quarter of 2005, the average length of new vehicle ownership was 50 months. In the first quarter of 2016, it was 77.8 months. High rate of car insurance for young drivers who are the main targets for OEMs specifically for sport and luxury cars, new phenomena such as Uber and carpool are some of the examples affecting the automotive market.

Additive manufacturing enables OEM to react to these constrains in order to increase the efficiency and cost effectiveness where both can help to reduce the price for vehicles in the market. This technology also can bring an excellent opportunity for OEMs and even smaller automotive producers to customize and personalize the vehicle based on customer needs and conditions.

AM helps the automotive industry to create opportunities to produce tooling and fixturing in minimal time and to avoid delays in receiving tooling and parts from suppliers. Two benefits of this technology include the flexibility to create custom tooling, reducing inventories of tooling and fixturing needs, and the ability to repair or remanufacture tools using processes such as Direct Energy Deposition.

OEMs were asked for reduction of components weights through novel designs and materials without sacrificing the safety until 2020. AM processes are potential ways to design, manufacture, material and part development, which result in clean, lighter and safer products.

AM has played a crucial role in making prototypes and re-engineering in the last two decades. Moreover, prototypes can be tested and evaluated before spending a considerable amount of money for dies and tool making. Reducing time to market, reducing production cost by minimizing the number of tools and ability to change design are some examples of AM’s advantages. Nowadays, scientists and engineers believe that AM is nothing less than extraordinary to consider as a manufacturing process for final parts. This approach can alter the business models of OEMs and tier 1 and 2 suppliers. Using additive manufacturing as a process to produce final products (instead of just prototyping). But still need some knowledge to understand the difference between conventional methods and AM in terms of design, materials and cost. In this author’s opinion the first and most important rule to know is that AM is not and never has been a competitor for conventional manufacturing such as forging and casting. Therefore, AM might not be an ideal process for all parts. Part size, shape, materials, production rate, and design are the main factors that should be considered since AM has its own constrains. However, this technology brings unique opportunities, for example, parts with complexity in design such as internal freeform for functionality and performance (conformal cooling, wiring channels) enables industry to optimize the design. In tools and dies the optimized design can minimize the cooling cycle and increase the production rate and bring on a higher life span to molds.

The second rule is that as of today AM is not a possible choice for mass production of parts and components. Instead, industries should search for specific applications that support the mass production in efficient ways. One example AM can be used for tools manufacturing (especially more complex pieces, such as those with conformal cooling channels) but at the same time can be a substitute for expensive tooling equipment (with shorter development and manufacturing time). In addition, replacement and maintenance of tooling becomes easier, faster and more cost-effective because AM allows spare parts to be produced ‘just in time’.

Other approaches can be producing single pieces to avoid several post processing resulting in final products with less risk of leakage and minimizing or eliminating the assembly in tools and dies should be the main scope for AM in automotive industry.

Challenges in AM
Of course nobody doubts the benefits of AM, but the main reason that AM is not implemented, as a full trusted manufacturing process is the challenges in adopting this technology. Some of them are discussed below.

Capitals:
Of course AM machines and materials that can be used in AM are pricy, but with the benefits that are offered by AM, it is very reasonable. Firstly, I believe the reason that industry cannot adopt AM technology is not the capital investments. Personally, I do not think that OEMs have any problems to invest on this technology. It is because of limited to low volume production of parts with this technology that does not satisfy OEM expectation of higher volume production. Although some of OEMs confess to a dramatic cost reduction in prototyping (previous example 4 month conventional prototyping with 500,000$ compared to 4 weeks and 3000$), they also expect AM to contribute in mass production but AM is not yet at that stage.

Secondly, there is no need to buy a machine in the beginning in order to adopt this technology. My recommendation is hiring a service bureaus or research centers such as NRC. These research centers can develop parts, or accessories to assure industries performance. In other words, industries can gradually adopt the technology when they feel comfortable to have their own machines. OEMS and Tier one, also have this chance to observe capabilities of different AM machines available at research centers and help make accurate choices if and when they decide to purchase AM machine(s).

Materials and certification:
Machine providers can guarantee the mechanical properties of material (feedstock) that they supply. It means some machines cannot be run if the feedstock is not the original one. This adds limitations to functionality of AM and increases the costs since the number of alloys that can be compatible with this technology is very limited. Small range of material groups have been certified to us that bring road blocks in manufacturing by AM technology compared to conventional manufacturing methods, such as casting with almost no materials constrains.

Part size:
One of the main questions remaining for many OEMs is how big the parts can be by the limited build envelope. In my opinion it is not a non-addressable problem compared to other AM limitations. All AM machines need is the bigger envelope size that might involve in some research and development and apply that to current size results for machine developers. Let’s assume that it becomes possible to develop a full size engine with all details and features with minimum necessary post processing. This scenario can change the automotive industry road map.

What items Industry needs to adopt AM successfully?
In current manufacturing processes, parts are assembled together to deliver final parts. This includes large numbers of supply chains involved creating a complexity in supply chain management. Moreover, when number of parts is increased, price, and complexity of assembly also increases. Now consider that AM produce a part that overcome the need for multi components and parts for assembly and decrease the length of supply chains. This is game changer approach to manufacturing that brings benefit not just for the money and time, but for quality and uniformity in part production offered by AM. Growth in adoption of AM in automotive industry impacts on supply chains that might need separate investigations. Just in time production (JIT) by AM can put many suppliers out of the business since they cannot adampt to this radical change in their manufacturing.

In order to be successful in adopting additive manufacturing in creating dies and molds as quick as possible, the first need would be research and development. This needs funding, training or hire new high-qualified people (HQP) and working closely with universities. It is worth noting that the author of this document strongly believes that research and development has to be conducted at research centers to address industry problems. The objective is to obtain reliable process parameters and materials for commercialization after conducting certain numbers of tests and certifications.

Currently, most of the automotive industries are looking into AM capabilities and opportunities offered by this technology without major change in their business model. To the best of this author’s knowledge prototyping for part demonstration, design feasibility, and conduct testing are the main activities for OEMs and Tier one suppliers.

It is worth noting that down the road, investing, particularly in AM offers flexibility in scale and scope at the same time. It means smaller automotive producers and custom built cars/parts can enter and be active in the market. Currently major OEMs cannot offer custom built cars/parts because of the high cost of tools and dies.

Bibliography

Jesse Garant Metrology Center launches exclusive high energy CT inspection service

Canada Makes partner Jesse Garant Metrology Center announces the launch of its new high energy industrial CT scanning service. With this system, the company will be the only private lab in the world that provides this specialized inspection service. The new capability will transform the landscape for non-destructive testing and support innovation within advanced manufacturing.

The system is the first of its kind that pairs a 3 MeV cone-beam x-ray source with a large format 2k x 2k flat panel digital detector array. It will be able to accommodate rapid inspection of mid-size parts, up to 44.5 inches in diameter by 63 inches in height. This will be advantageous for internal inspection of engineered parts, metal castings, and 3D printed alloy parts for a variety of industries, including aerospace, space, defense, automotive, and oil and gas.

“It’s always been embedded in the vision of the company to provide trusted solutions that create meaningful advancements in industry. The new computed tomography system is a huge leap forward for mid-size part validation and feasible high-volume part inspection,” says Jesse Garant, President.

The unique system offers multiple advantages for non-destructive testing, including a drastic reduction in inspection time for scanning mid-size parts and assemblies. While existing high energy CT inspection services may take 4-16 hours to complete scans, the new system is able to scan parts in less than an hour. The service will also be beneficial for inspection of multi-material parts and assemblies, allowing for cleaner separation of materials, and inspection of higher density materials not possible with lower energy systems.

“We’re helping manufacturers qualify and validate parts that either weren’t possible because of limitations with existing technologies or weren’t feasible because the service was too costly or took too much time,” adds Garant.

The company aims to fill the gap in current inspection technologies that limits the application of industrial CT technology due to part size and density. This will allow for internal inspection and dimensional validation of high value parts that would otherwise go into production without proper inspection. The new capabilities will also directly support the growing additive manufacturing industry, allowing for rapid and viable inspection of larger 3D printed parts made from ferrous and non-ferrous materials.

The costly endeavor lead by the company required a sizeable $4.5 million investment in technology as well as three years of planning, design, development, and construction to reach full operation. The new system required sourcing from both local and international manufacturers, vendors, and specialists, including the construction of the largest 1m x 1m flat panel detector in the world.

With federal operational permits currently in place, the new system is now live. Jesse Garant Metrology Center is currently taking on orders from companies who wish to access this innovative technology during the system’s ramp up period.

Founded in 2009, the company was one of the early pioneers of using CT technology for industrial inspection in North America. Since its inception, the NDT and metrology lab has conducted tens of thousands of inspections for major companies from around the world. With a total of $15 million invested into imaging technology over the past five years, the company has steadily expanded to meet the growing demand for frequent and large volume inspection projects in the North American market.

About Jesse Garant Metrology Center
Jesse Garant Metrology Center is a globally recognized part inspection company, providing NDT and Metrology services using advanced imaging equipment. The company specializes inindustrial CT scanningindustrial x-ray, and 3D scanning, with locations in Dearborn, MI and Windsor, ON. For more information, please contact 1-844-JGARANT or visit jgarantmc.com.

To learn more about the high energy CT system and how our services can support your part inspection needs, contact:

Mike Earish
Project Manager
mikee@jgarantmc.com
519-962-5300 ext. 303

Tekna joins Canada Makes

Mississauga September 2017 – Canada Makes is pleased to announce Sherbrooke, Quebec based Tekna as its newest Leadership level partner. With more than 200 equipment installed worldwide and a large portfolio of Fortune 500 customers, mainly in the medical and aerospace industries, Tekna is a world-leader supplying equipment and materials for additive manufacturing (AM) applications.

“Tekna is proud to join Canada Makes network. Manufacturing high quality spherical powders for AM is one of Tekna’s main activity and our growth in this sector is quite phenomenal. We use our patented core technologies to manufacture industrial powders for the largest organizations producing parts by metal-AM. Thus, being actively involved in the Canada Makes network is important for our organization”, said Luc Dionne, CEO of Tekna.

Jean-Francois (Jeff) Carrier of Tekna and Frank Defalco Canada Makes at CMTS in Mississauga Ontario.

“I cannot understate how important the addition of Tekna is to the Canada Makes network,” said Frank Defalco Manager Canada Makes. “We can now call upon their experience and leading expertise in advanced additive manufacturing powders like titanium to help develop Canada’s AM supply chain.”

For over 25 years, Tekna’s been innovating and evolving their automated industrial processes with the goal of offering the perfect powder. Their process combines the power of their patented technologies and repeatability for 24/7 production of advanced high-quality powders. Their plasma process used is electrodeless and yields ultra-high-purity powders. Their two product lines, plasma systems and advanced materials, will help support Canadian companies in reaching current and future technical goals.

About TEKNA Plasma Systems
TEKNA, a subsidiary of Arendal Fossekompani ASA (AFK: NO), has been conducting manufacturing of industrial plasma systems and metal powders for more than 25 years, based on their strong R&D leadership. Today, TEKNA (headquartered in Canada) is a world-renowned actor for the quality of its products and its ability to respond quickly to the growing demands of its customers.

About Canada Makes
Canada Makes, a Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) initiative. CME is Canada’s largest trade and industry association, and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada. Canada Makes is a network of private, public, academic, and non-profit entities dedicated to promoting the adoption and development of advanced and additive manufacturing in Canada. It is an enabler and accelerator of AM-adoption in Canada.

Canada Makes congratulates AP&C on receiving ISO13485 certification

AP&CCanada Makes would like to congratulate its partner AP&C in receiving ISO13485 certification. Advanced Powders & Coatings (AP&C), a subsidiary of Arcam AB and a GE Additive Company, is the world’s largest producer of titanium powder for additive applications.  The ISO13485 is particularly designated for the orthopedic implant industry. In addition to the new ISO13485 certification, AP&C is already certified to ISO9001 and AS9100.

“The ISO13485 certification proves our firm’s commitment in producing quality powder to the industries we serve. With the certifications and our recently inaugurated new state of the art powder manufacturing plant we are well positioned to serve our customer’s needs”,
says Alain Dupont, President of AP&C.

“The demand for high-end titanium powder is driven by the accelerated growth and industry adaptation of Additive Manufacturing. Arcam, AP&C and GE Additive are committed to disrupt conventional manufacturing and help the industry evolve into Additive Manufacturing by offering high quality and cost-effective solutions. This ISO13485 certification is one more step into the future of Additive Manufacturing”, says Magnus René, CEO of Arcam.

AP&C just recently inaugurated its new cutting-edge facility in Saint-Eustache, Québec. The manufacturing plant will welcome 106 new employees by the end of the year, making it one of the largest employers in the region and marking a significant growth for AP&C, which has quadrupled in size over the last two years.

About AP&C (Advanced Powders & Coatings Inc.)
AP&C, a subsidiary to Arcam AB, a GE Additive company has over the past 10 years developed extensive experience working in the production of metallic powders used in additive manufacturing (3D printing). AP&C is specialized in the production of high purity titanium metal powders used in various metallurgical applications: additive manufacturing (3D printing), injection molding, isostatic pressing and coatings. The company mainly serves the aerospace and biomedical markets. There are nearly 175 employees working at AP&C’s facilities in Boisbriand and Saint-Eustache, Québec.

EOS introduces module for their M 290 making material handling easy and secure

Canada Makes partner EOS, the world’s leading technology supplier in the field of industrial 3D printing of metals and polymers, introduces the material handling solution IPCM M pro. The module is made specifically for the EOS M 290, a highly productive system for the Additive Manufacturing (AM) of metal components, equipped with a special process chamber door with coupling points to connect with the IPCM M pro and material containers. The combination of system and periphery enables users to convey material quickly and safely out of the system before sieving and refilling it back into the system – thus, simplifying the industrial 3D printing process with its machines and processes.

EOS M290 IPCMMpro

EOS M290 IPCMM pro (image courtesy of EOS)

Closed process chain for efficient material handling
In Additive Manufacturing, a laser beam fuses powdered material at points defined by computer-generated component design data. With the IPCM M pro, material not fused during the build process can be directly conveyed out of the AM system without opening the process chamber door and therefore without the operator coming into direct contact with the material. A vacuum pump removes the powder from the system and into the IPCM M pro, where it is sieved under inert gas within the module at a throughput of 120 kilograms of material in 30 minutes – 50 percent faster than previous solutions. Powder treated in this way can be reused for future builds.

For the user, this semi-automated, dust-free material handling within the process chamber of the AM system has clear advantages in terms of health and safety because it reduces the risk of contact with the metal powders. This enables the user to wear more comfortable protective equipment without compromising safety in any way. At the same time, even large volumes of material can be sieved and conveyed more quickly while reducing manual tasks. Moreover, the IPCM M pro module is mobile, which means it can be efficiently used for several systems. The features contribute to the improvement of user-friendliness and productivity of Additive Manufacturing.

Proven solution for entering industrial 3D printing
With the EOS M 290 system and the IPCM M pro module, companies are provided with the right solution for a swift entry into the world of industrial 3D printing as an established manufacturing technology. The EOS M 290 system features a reproducible high part quality, a broad range of validated materials and processes, and extensive software solutions for data preparation and quality management. With over 500 systems around the world, the EOS M 290 is one of the most successful AM systems for processing metal materials that the market has to offer. With the IPCM M pro module, EOS expands this established AM system to even broader markets that require easy and safe material handling. Together with the comprehensive range of consulting services that EOS provides, companies have access to a holistic portfolio of solutions that enables them to successfully enter the world of 3D printing with a short learning curve.

Dr. Tobias Abeln, chief technical officer (CTO) at EOS: “Industrial 3D printing has proven its worth as a manufacturing method across industries and is being increasingly used for serial production. Companies should therefore consider now how they could make best use of the technology to strengthen their business. The EOS portfolio gives companies one single source for all the elements they need to successfully set up and leverage Additive Manufacturing to meet the challenges of production with an established, future-proof technology.”

EOS is currently presenting its EOS M 290 and IPCM M pro at the EMO Hannover 2017.
EOS is at the EMO at stand D52 in hall 27, showcasing its EOS M 290 system and the IPCM M pro module, supplemented by numerous applications that have been successfully realized using EOS Additive Manufacturing technology.

For further information, please go to: www.eos.info/emo-2017.

About EOS
EOS is the world’s leading technology supplier in the field of industrial 3D printing of metals and polymers. Formed in 1989, the independent company is pioneer and innovator for comprehensive solutions in additive manufacturing. Its product portfolio of EOS systems, materials, and process parameters gives customers crucial competitive advantages in terms of product quality and the long-term economic sustainability of their manufacturing processes. Furthermore customers benefit from deep technical expertise in global service, applications engineering and consultancy. www.eos.info

Precision ADM Receives ISO13485 Medical Device Certification

Precision ADM

Canada Makes partner Precision ADM Inc. is pleased to announce that it is the first Canadian metal Additive and Subtractive manufacturing services company to receive ISO 13485:2016 Quality Management System certification. This industry standard represents the comprehensive set of requirements for the design and manufacture of medical devices.

Implementing this standard enables Precision ADM to manufacture medical devices, such as Orthopaedic Implants, using the latest digital manufacturing technologies. Using these technologies, Precision ADM can lower production costs by reducing waste and decreasing time to market by simplifying – or eliminating – tooling and equipment.

Additive Manufacturing also makes it possible to produce custom, patient-specific designs and devices with complex geometries, with potential lower cost than traditional manufacturing methods. Precision ADM is currently targeting additively manufactured medical devices produced in materials such as Titanium, Cobalt-Chrome, and stainless-steel alloys.

“Achieving ISO 13485 Registration and Certification using both metal Additive and Subtractive Manufacturing methods for Medical Devices is a first for any Canadian AM services company,” said Martin Petrak, CEO. “We are proud of our team’s accomplishment in achieving this significant milestone and are excited to work under this quality system with our existing and new clients.”

Dale Kellington, General Manager, added “The design and manufacturing controls this Certification demands gives our medical device customers the confidence they need that our manufacturing output will meet their stringent requirements. Our experience in product innovation and validation testing through our parent company, the Orthopaedic Innovation Centre, gives us a unique perspective on medical device manufacturing.”

“The expertise and experience our engineers possess give us the ability to solve the complex issues facing the medical field today,” said Derek VanDenDriessche, Director of Medical Sales.

AP&C unveils new state-of-the-art additive manufacturing facility in Saint-Eustache

Canada Makes partner AP&C opens a second plant in QuébecAP&C

Advanced Powders & Coatings (AP&C), a subsidiary of Arcam AB and a GE Additive Company, the Canadian leader in the additive industry and the world’s largest producer of titanium powder for additive applications, today officially inaugurated its new cutting-edge facility in Saint-Eustache. The manufacturing plant will welcome 106 new employees by the end of the year, making it one of the largest employers in the region and marking a significant growth for AP&C, which has quadrupled in size over the last two years.

The ceremony unfolded in the presence of Mr. Alain Dupont, President and CEO of AP&C, Magnus René, President and CEO of the Arcam Group, Mohammad Ehteshami, Vice President and General Manager of GE Additive, Per Sjögren, Swedish Ambassador to Canada, Ms. Christine St-Pierre, Minister of International Relations and La Francophonie, Ms. Linda Lapointe, Member of Parliament for Rivière-des-Milles-Îles, and Mr. Pierre Charron, Mayor of Saint-Eustache.

AP&C benefitted from the guidance, counsel and financial contribution of Canada Economic Development, Montréal International, Investissement Québec and the Quebec Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation. With the additive industry growing exponentially, AP&C is an asset for Quebec in its transition to a renewed and innovative manufacturer.

“The construction of this new plant, as well as the creation of more than 100 jobs, demonstrates that AP&C is at the heart of the economic activity and vitality of the region. In addition, this project is part of the government’s priorities to support entrepreneurship, build on innovative manufacturing and promote exports,” said Christine St-Pierre, Minister of International Relations and Francophonie, and Minister responsible for the Laurentides region.

“The metallic powder market is growing very rapidly. As a result, the Saint-Eustache plant will enable AP&C to respond to an increase in demand from its customers, while also positioning the company advantageously in global markets and being even more competitive. This type of project is beneficial not only for the Laurentides region, but for the entire Quebec economy!”, said Dominique Anglade, Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation and Minister responsible for the Digital Strategy.

“One year ago, I was here to announce CED Canada’s assistance to AP&C, which allowed them to set up a second plant. Today, I am here again at the official opening to highlight the success of a company based in my riding. Congratulations to Mr. Dupont and his team, who not only provide excellent jobs, but also make our riding of Rivière-des-Mille-Îles innovative through their processes.”, Linda Lapointe, Member of Federal Parliament for Rivière-des-Mille-Îles.

A subsidiary of the Swedish firm Arcam AB, a GE Additive company, AP&C has invested a total of $31 million in this highly automated plant. With a total production capacity of 750 tons, and eventually 1,250 tons at full capacity, the new plant is poised to meet the growing demand in terms of quality and capacity, as well as skilled labour.

“Our new facility represents a new and inspiring phase for Arcam and GE Additive, and a major step for AP&C at a time when we strive to respond to the growing demand for Additive Manufacturing, stated Alain Dupont, President of AP&C, and continued, “We are very pleased that the factory was delivered on time and on budget, thanks to the dedicated efforts of our team who led the development project. We are also especially thankful to our investors and partners without whom this accomplishment could not have been possible.”

“The need for high end titanium powder is driven by the fast growth and adoption of Additive Manufacturing. Arcam, AP&C and GE Additive are determined to serve the industry through cost efficient solutions thus converting traditional manufacturing into Additive Manufacturing. A requisite is to offer highest quality powder for production at competitive cost and sufficient volumes'”, says Magnus René, CEO of Arcam, and continues, “the new production facility is a significant commitment to the business and growth strategies for the future.”

“I can only be enthusiast when seeing such a promising project come to life and to welcome at the heart of an exceptional technology park an innovative company like AP&C. We are convinced that the presence of AP&C in the park, in addition to the creation of about 100 quality jobs, will attract partners, suppliers and companies to create an ecosystem of organizations that interact and prosper together in the Innoparc Albatros,” said Pierre Charron, Mayor of Saint-Eustache

About AP&C (Advanced Powders & Coatings Inc.)
AP&C, a subsidiary to Arcam AB, a GE Additive company has over the past 10 years developed extensive experience working in the production of metallic powders used in additive manufacturing (3D printing). AP&C is specialized in the production of high purity titanium metal powders used in various metallurgical applications: additive manufacturing (3D printing), injection molding, isostatic pressing and coatings. The company mainly serves the aerospace and biomedical markets. There are nearly 175 employees working at AP&C’s facilities in Boisbriand and Saint-Eustache.

SOURCE AP&C 

For further information: Source : Magnus René, President and CEO, ARCAM AB, C +46 702 79 89 99 T +1 781 266 6957, magnus.rene@arcam.com; Media contact: Andréan Gagné, Edelman, 438-823-8615, andrean.gagne@edelman.com

Coffee lovers create portable pour-over kettle on NAIT 3D printer

Pursuit of the perfect cup leads to a prototype and a new business venture

The pour-over may be one of the simplest yet most appreciated brewing methods among coffee connoisseurs. In boutique cafés, baristas add water to cones of gourmet grounds placed over cups, extracting maximum flavour and richness. Discerning customers happily wait from 2-and-a-half to 4 minutes for their caffeine kick.

Edmonton entrepreneurs Matthew Semaka and Steven Osterlund wanted to enjoy that same experience – and coffee – outside the café. “We talked about being able to go to the river valley and make a cup of nice coffee with a small kit,” says Osterlund. “It has just kind of grown from there.”

With the help of NAIT’s 3D metal printer – the only one west of Winnipeg – the pair has developed a one-of-a-kind, insulated kettle specifically designed for the perfect, portable pour-over. It’s a back-to-basics approach to coffee-making that might provide a new entry point into a market worth $6.2 billion in Canada alone.

“Coffee is a huge, huge industry – manual brew is just exploding,” says Osterlund.

prototype pour-over coffee kettles made on NAIT's 3D metal printer by Edmonton entrepreneurs Matthew Semaka and Steven Osterlund

The art of the pour-over

Originating in Japan, the pour-over is almost meditative in practice: pouring a slow, steady stream of water heated to a particular temperature over a precise amount of perfectly ground beans. It’s also effective in ways other manual brew methods aren’t, as fresh water is continuously added to the coffee, essentially releasing the flavour out of the bean and into the cup.

“Heat consistency and stability is important while conducting a manual coffee extraction,” says Semaka.

Semaka and Osterlund knew that there were good kettles – featuring the distinctive, slender gooseneck spout required for the technique – already on the market. But many had plastic components that would melt when heated over a fire or outdoor stove and were too bulky to be portable. The only solution they could see was to make their own.

After a chance meeting with Paul Dews, NAIT’s manager of innovation support services, they discovered they could do just that through the polytechnic’s TechGym. There, they had access to equipment for prototyping and small-scale manufacturing, including the printer, which makes objects by depositing layer upon layer of metal.

Osterlund wasn’t surprised that NAIT had a 3D metal printer. He was, however, “more surprised that us, just being members of the public, were able to come in and utilize it.”

The team drafted a couple of computer-generated designs and by January 2017 had their first printed stainless-steel prototype. It took 3 days to print, and weighed just over 1 kilogram. But it was the start they needed. In March, Semaka and Osterlund incorporated as Ketl Lab.

coffee pour-over kettle made by Edmonton entrepreneurs Matthew Semaka and Steven Osterlund on NAIT's 3d metal printer

Pursuit of the perfect cup

Two versions later, the kettle has changed substantially. It’s now about one-fifth the initial weight and more compact. The handle has been made unnecessary thanks to innovative insulation (the same used by NASA) that keeps the exterior cool while heating water faster and holding a consistent temperature.

The potential applications have evolved as well. Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), the country’s largest trade and industry association, believes the technology could also be used in hospitals or on construction sites.

Much of the work so far has been made possible by grants from Canada Makes, a CME network dedicated to promoting additive manufacturing in Canada. NAIT was instrumental in introducing Ketl Lab to this program, says Semaka.

Now, what began as a hobby and was nurtured in a lab at NAIT, may soon be a marketable reality. The fourth – and potentially last – kettle prototype is in the works, with tweaks that may include a Bluetooth monitoring system. While it’s possible a product may be ready for sale within a year, the team won’t rush it.

The company’s focus, Osterlund says, is on “getting it right than getting it released.”

Time may be on their side. “What we are doing is not on the market today – it doesn’t exist,” says Semaka. Their potential customers, too, are likely the patient kind. Like a perfect pour-over coffee, good things are worth the wait.

SOURCE – Words: Amanda Stadel | Images: Blaise van Malsen

CME Survey: Women in Manufacturing. Have your Say

Help Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) and our partners support, promote and inspire women to pursue careers in manufacturing.

Did you know in Canada, women account for 48 per cent of the labour force but only 28 per cent of the manufacturing workforce? More concerning still is that there has been no increase in the share of manufacturing jobs held by women over the last 15 years. Only six per cent of employed women in Canada have a job in manufacturing compared to 13 per cent of all men.

Attracting more women into manufacturing professions is critical to helping companies grow and to replace the existing and aging workforce. To do this, we must better understand the current realities of women in Canadian industry.

This survey aims to identify the challenges women face in advancing their careers in manufacturing, the perception of manufacturing as a career option for women, and the barriers that impede women-led manufacturing firms.

Please help us by filling out this survey.

We would also be grateful if you would encourage women working in your organization and in your network to complete this survey.

The survey itself consists of no more than 30 questions and should take less than 10 minutes to complete. The deadline for completion is September 22, 2017 and your responses will be held in strict confidence.

Survey link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/cmewim

Based on the survey findings, CME and our partners will work with the manufacturing community, government leaders and industry stakeholders to create and implement an action plan that can assist Canadian manufacturers in attracting, retaining and advancing women in manufacturing careers in Canada. This action plan will be released in the fall of 2017 at CME’s Annual Meeting and Advanced Manufacturing Symposium, The New Face of Manufacturing in Ottawa.

Thank you in advance for your input and your support.

Background 
Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters’ (CME) Women in Manufacturing Working Group was launched by National Board of Directors Chair Rhonda Barnet in March 2017. The Working Group was created in response to a key recommendation from CME’s Industrie 2030 initiative regarding the need to attract more women to manufacturing to help address chronic labour and skills shortages in the sector.

Chaired by Elise Maheu, the Working Group includes women and men representing CME member companies from a wide range of sizes and industries. The Working Group is dedicated to supporting, promoting and inspiring women to pursue careers in manufacturing.

If you have any questions or require anything further, please do not hesitate to contact Marie Morden, Manager, Stakeholder Relations, CME at marie.morden@cme-mec.ca.

CAD MicroSolutions Partners with Canada Makes to Enable Innovation in Canada

CAD MicrosolutionsOTTAWA, Ontario, August 30, 2017 – Canada Makes is pleased to announce a new partnership with CAD MicroSolutions Inc., a leading provider of mechatronics and additive manufacturing solutions in Canada. This strategic partnership comes as CAD MicroSolutions has recently expanded their additive manufacturing profile to include the full Markforged 3D printing line of products, Nano Dimension’s 3D PCB printer the DragonFly 2020, and HP’s Jet Fusion 3D printing solutions.

At the cusp of the 4th industrial revolution – Industry 4.0 – Canadian manufacturers are required to be agile, innovative, and make informed investments to remain competitive in an exponentially growing market.

“CAD MicroSolutions is thrilled to be part of Canada Makes and play a significant role in Canada’s Industry 4.0 and Additive Manufacturing (AM) sector.” Said Hargurdeep Singh, Additive Manufacturing Consultant at CAD MicroSolutions. “Our role as an Innovation Enabler is to provide top-notch systems in automation software, training and consulting to help ensure that our clients realize the greatest value from their technology investment.”

CAD MicroSolutions has been enabling innovation in Canada for over 30 years by providing clients with business solutions which address the full product lifecycle from conception through design, prototyping, visualization, simulation and production. With an increasingly significant position in the additive manufacturing industry, CAD MicroSolutions has chosen to establish this partnership to contribute to the growth, awareness and adoption of additive manufacturing in Canada, and to gain exposure to Canada Makes’ vast, nation-wide network of engineers, designers and manufacturers. With a large clientele base in the same space, CAD MicroSolutions anticipates that this partnership will enable their clients to network and collaborate across organizations, participate in and attend demonstrations, workshops and events, and stay at the forefront of additive manufacturing trends in Canada.

The Canadian Manufacturing Technology Show (CMTS) takes place September 25-28 at The International Centre in Mississauga, and CAD MicroSolutions will be hosting booth #1043. They will also be hosting a number of Launch Events throughout Ontario in October to explore the latest in SolidWorks 2018 3D CAD software as well as additive manufacturing solutions, virtual reality business solutions, and the latest in Industry 4.0 trends.

About CAD MicroSolutions
CAD MicroSolutions, headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, has been providing engineers, designers and manufacturers with 3D technology and training for the entire product development lifecycle for over 30 years. CAD MicroSolutions is uniquely positioned to help their clients enable innovation across Canada, selling and supporting 3D printing solutions and Virtual Reality solutions as well as design automation software, training and consultation to help clients in mechatronics innovate, design and succeed. For more information about CAD MicroSolutions, please visit www.cadmicro.com or call 1-888-401-5885.

About Canada Makes
Canada Makes, a Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME) initiative. CME is Canada’s largest trade and industry association, and the voice of manufacturing and global business in Canada. Canada Makes is a network of private, public, academic, and non-profit entities dedicated to promoting the adoption and development of advanced and additive manufacturing (AM) in Canada. It is an enabler and accelerator of AM-adoption in Canada.