Red River College will be home to a new Smart Factory and will be expanding its Centre for Aerospace Technology and Training (CATT) as part of a $10 million investment over five years by Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD).
“These new facilities will ensure our students and industry partners in aerospace and manufacturing remain at the forefront of research and training,” said Paul Vogt, president and CEO of Red River College. “This is a very strategic investment on the part of the Government of Canada that will help Red River College to continue to develop Manitoba-grown industry leaders and innovations.
“This expansion is going to have far-reaching impacts across the province and will be able to serve both the aerospace and non-aerospace industries through direct access to the College’s equipment, facilities, and expertise.”
The Smart Factory will be located at RRC’s new Skilled Trades Technology Centre – currently under construction and expected to open in 2018 – and will be an applied research space, experiential learning facility, and technology demonstration site. It will combine emerging technology including robotics, automation, additive manufacturing, high-speed robotic inspection and industrial networking.
The Smart Factory will enhance learning at Red River College by allowing students to experience and work in factory settings, while also providing Manitoba companies with access to state-of-the-art equipment, instructors, researchers and students in order to test and prepare their technologies for incorporation into their own operations.
The CATT was established in 2009 as a strategic partnership between Red River College, StandardAero and federal and provincial governments. This centre, the first Industrial campus at RRC, is co-located at StandardAero’s Plant 5 facility. In addition to the federal funds announced today, both StandardAero and RRC committed to in-kind contributions of $4.5 million and $1.2 million respectively.
“We continue to be proud to partner with Red River College on initiatives that build upon the strengths of our industry,” said Russell Ford, CEO of StandardAero. “Having access to this kind of space and technology helps us to consistently be trailblazers in innovation.”
These enhancements mark the third expansion of the CATT, which will include cold spray technology, non-contact inspection and high-speed laser scanning systems, robotic welding seam tracking, a compressor blade profiling system and upgrades of existing digital X-ray, lasers systems and induction heating.
Manitoba is leader in aerospace and manufacturing, with the province boasting the largest aerospace sector in Western Canada. These projects will ensure that RRC remains on the leading edge in providing highly-skilled students and industry professionals to key areas of the economy, including advanced materials processing, robotics and automation, industrial networking and data analytics.
These projects also complement the College’s existing Technology Access Centre for Aerospace and Manufacturing (TACAM) that provide ongoing research, innovation and customized training support to the aerospace and manufacturing sectors in Manitoba.