NRC capabilities in advanced manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing is the use of innovative technology to improve new and existing products and processes.

Canadian Manufacturers and Exporter

Manufacturing is at the heart of the Canadian economy

Manufacturing innovation

The 4th industrial revolution

  • Integration of advanced manufacturing technologies with the next generation of information and communication technologies
  • Digitalization of the manufacturing process

Key NRC program technologies

NRC is positioned to support advanced manufacturing innovation through its diverse expertise, ability to establish collaboration with industry and academia, and long term approach in the following areas.

High-volume, high-performance thermoplastic composites

  • Fibre reinforced thermoplastic systems with superior performance and good recyclability
  • Thermoplastic composite process for high-speed, cost-effective manufacturing of lightweight parts
  • Reduction of cycle times for stamping of thermoplastic composites for high volume market segment products
  • Process mapping, manufacturing guidelines, process modeling and simulation
  • Part integration/complex parts and efficient multi-material assembly
  • Control of manufacturing cost with the development of metal or composite hybrids

Related success story:

High-volume, high-performance thermoset composites

  • Fibre reinforced thermoset systems with superior performance
  • Reduction of cycle times for infusion and resin transfer moulding-based manufacturing technologies using rapid cure resin technology for medium volume market segment products
  • Low-cost manufacturing of advanced thermoset composites: compression moulding and low-cost prepreg compression moulding
  • Optimization of processing to maximize composite performance and quality
  • Process mapping, manufacturing guidelines, process modeling and simulation
  • Part integration/complex parts and efficient multi-material assembly
  • Increase in geometry complexity and cost reduction in one moulding step with the use of discontinuous reinforcements
  • Automation and part integration

Related success story:

Overmoulded smart parts

  • New generation of structural electronics to replace complex assemblies using printable electronic technology
  • Novel overmoulding technology combined with patented conductive molecular inks to create parts with increased complexity and design freedom
  • Overmoulded smart parts with integrated LEDs, capacitive sensors, heaters, antennas and other features
  • Smart component development from concept to prototype

Related success story:

Biorefineries and sustainable manufacturing

  • Transformation of non food grade biomass (wood, straw, industrial vegetable oils, etc) biomass residues and plastic waste into raw materials for the production of ecoresponsible resins, fibres and additives
  • Formulation, efficient processing, performance evaluation and application development of bioplastics and biocomposites with positive end-of-life management
  • Recycling of plastics and composites to minimize environmental impact and promote circularity

Sustainable Packaging:

  • Maximization of the use of renewable resources and/or recycled content
  • Development of alternatives for hard-to-recycle plastics
  • Design packaging for recyclability or/and biodegradability while improving food safety and reducing food waste
  • Minimization of plastic weight thus plastic waste via smart structure and materials design

Added-value polymeric products and processes

  • Components lightweighting (plastic glazing, structural foams, compounds, nanocomposites)
  • Cost-effective and recyclable polymer glazing in transportation by developing novel protective coatings with enhanced durability
  • Cellular polymers (low density foams):
    • Evaluation of environmentally-friendly alternative blowing agents
    • Development of innovative polymer foams using the extrusion foaming process
    • Production of expandable polymer beads using direct extrusion technologies
  • Additive manufacturing of polymers and composites: formulation, process optimization, numerical modeling, machine vision and robot 3D printing

Related success story:

High-performance, high-integrity product forming

  • Die-less sheet forming, rapid/low-cost die manufacturing
  • Reduce weight with new alloys
  • Hot superplastic forming, thin and variable wall extrusion, casting of hollow-core components, etc.
  • Hybrid manufacturing (extrusions, forgings, castings)
  • Intelligent tooling to improve efficiency and life of tooling

Innovative machining, polishing and surface-finishing technologies

  • Increasing material removal rates
  • Reduced lead time for new and existing parts
  • Zero-scrap generation
  • Improved quality and increased tool life
  • Reduced waste produced by processes

Assembling of complex multimaterial products

  • Joining solutions for specific/complex applications
  • Advanced joining techniques for high-integrity application
  • Multi-material joining using adhesive bonding, friction stir welding and laser welding

Advanced surface engineering and corrosion protection

  • Control of corrosion on multimaterial assembly
  • Complex alloy microstructures and relation to corrosion
  • Corrosion-assisted fatigue of multimaterials structures
  • Design best practices and standards improvement
  • Coatings to improve harsh environement durability

Flexible manufacturing cells and adaptive manufacturing

  • Autonomous and semi-autonomous robots
  • Collaborative and human-assisted robots
  • Mobile and reconfigurable manufacturing systems

Robotics and mechatronic systems

  • Future robotic platforms for assembly, finishing and joining
  • Future robotic platforms for part manufacturing
  • Adaptive robots

Additive manufacturing

  • Cold spray
  • Electron beam deposition system
  • Laser deposition system
  • Material characterization
  • Formulation of high-performance polymers and composites for additive manufacturing

Design to manufacture and performance evaluation

  • Crash worthiness
  • Manufacturing data object
  • Computer-aided design
  • Computer-aided manufacturing
  • Computer-aided engineering
  • Finite element analysis
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Product lifecycle management
  • Bills of materials

Machine vision

  • 3D vision systems
  • Imaging sensors
  • Processing and analysis software
  • Geometric modeling and dimensional inspection
  • Big data analytics

Digital manufacturing and Internet of things

  • Smart factories
  • Industry 4.0
  • Industrial Internet of things
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Sensor integration
  • High-performance material formulations; nanocomposites

Modelling and process simulation

  • Blow and injection molding
  • Forming
  • Machining
  • Additive and surface treatment
  • Composites manufacturing
  • Assembly processes

Artificial intelligence

  • Computer vision and image understanding
  • Adaptive robots; future robotic platforms for part manufacturing
  • Understanding human emotions from language
  • Next generation information extraction using deep learning
  • Speech recognition
  • Artificial intelligence to optimize talent management for human resources

Big data analytics

  • Predictive equipment maintenance
  • Energy management
  • Artificial intelligence for optimizing energy storage and distribution
  • Understanding and tracking of hazardous chemical elements
  • Process and design optimization

Printed electronics for Internet of Things

  • Inks and materials
  • Printing technologies
  • Large area, flexible, stretchable, printed electronics components
  • Applications: sensors for Internet of Things, wearables, antenna, radio-frequency identification tags, smart surfaces, packaging, security, signage

Aerospace manufacturing technologies centre (Montréal, Quebec)

  • Aerospace advanced manufacturing solutions
  • Advanced material removal technologies
  • Aircraft assembly
  • Intelligent machining processes and tooling

Boucherville, Quebec

  • Additive manufacturing
  • Design systems and modelling software
  • High-performance, high-integrity product forming
  • Polymer, composite and biomaterial processing and testing

Vision and cobotics research facility (Ottawa, Ontario)

  • Machine vision
  • Big data analytics
  • Materials characterization and testing

Aluminium technology centre (Saguenay, Quebec)

  • Assembly process development and aluminium forming
  • Aluminium transformation processes
  • Manufactured products characterization and testing

Manufacturing and automotive innovation hub (London, Ontario)

  • Additive manufacturing
  • Product development
  • Laser consolidation
  • Micro-machining
  • Automotive advanced manufacturing solutions

Winnipeg, Manitoba

  • New (Advanced manufacturing center)
  • Process design, modelling, simulation
  • Manufacturing systems engineering and integration
  • Flexible manufacturing pilot laboratory

Contact us

For further information on how the NRC can support your advanced manufacturing needs, contact:

Mélissa Després, Program Director, Advanced Manufacturing Program
Telephone: 450-641-5467
Email: Melissa.Despres@cnrc-nrc.gc.ca