CASE STUDY 9: Georgian College: Competitive Smart Manufacturing Program
Georgian College is developing teaching and applied research capacity around Competitive Smart Manufacturing (CSM). CSM is part of Industry 4.0, the application of advanced technologies to traditional manufacturing practices. Georgian is committed to growing their CSM expertise and resources in areas such as automation, computer control, robotics, customization, and adaptability in product & process improvement. Doran is working with Georgian to develop and fund programming centered on CSM.
Ontario accounts for almost 50% of Canada's total manufacturing sales (Stats Can, 2016). To be competitive Ontario manufacturers must find ways to lower costs, deliver products quickly, provide custom solutions, source cost-effective & sustainable raw materials, and, in most cases, integrate automation and robotics. In fact, for Ontario manufacturers to survive, they need to be adopting the latest technologies right now.
CSM awareness is low across Canadian manufacturers. Those that understand its ramifications fall into two camps, the trail blazers (evangelists) and the hungry.
The trail blazers invested early in technologies like robotics and automation, and are now exploring solutions tied to artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT), technology-enabled products, and full-circle manufacturing feedback (product-customer-manufacturer).
The hungry are most Canadian manufacturers. They know they need to adapt Industry 4.0 modes of operation, but they are unsure how to start, in which technologies to invest, and what types of talent they will need to succeed.
Georgian College’s Competitive Smart Manufacturing (CSM) program aims to address the needs of trail blazer and hungry manufacturers by offering access to state-of-the-art manufacturing technology, experienced research faculty and eager students. The program will help Ontario companies gain a foothold in Industry 4.0 and deliver highly trained graduates to the workforce. The CSM Program is tied to a new building at Georgian, the Advance Technology Innovation Research Center (ATIRC).
Doran worked with Georgian College, helping them secure funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (CSSCTP Program) to launch the program. Work continues to secure additional support from the Canadian Government to expand the program and acquire new resources and talent.