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May 17, 2018

Meeting the test of wear and tear

There’s more than a pattern and needle and thread needed to create today’s clothing, and the Apparel Innovation Centre in Calgary, Alberta was set up in 2015 to help businesses — from start-ups to big name companies — develop innovative new products. The result of a partnership between Olds College and Alberta Garment, the Apparel Innovation Centre was launched with funding from the federal government’s Department of Western Economic Diversification. The Centre provides unique services to help companies commercialize innovative products. That includes testing clothing such as winter jackets, wearable technology, thermal comfort for athletic wear, safe clothing for welders,... Read more
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May 17, 2018

Packaging dreams by robot

Bright and shiny lottery tickets get purchasers seats to fantasyland—a destination so popular that it’s hard for Pollard Banknote Ltd., a leading global producer of high-volume gaming tickets, to keep up with the high demand for the tickets it produces in its facility in Sault Ste. Marie in Ontario. But for Pollard to expand its market it needs to make its packaging more efficient — by automating with robotics. That need led it to partner with Sault College researchers, who were asked to develop custom software, and to design and deploy hardware in the College’s Robotics lab. By working with... Read more
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May 17, 2018

Plugging into a new housing concept

Family dynamics in Canada are fast becoming more diverse, but the housing industry has been slow to adapt to them. It used to be that families remained in one house for decades or even generations. Today, according to the Vanier Institute of the Family, each Canadian on average owns five houses over a lifetime, upsizing and downsizing as children are born, age, and eventually move out of the nest. Often, families renovate rather than move, which can be an expensive and disruptive process. This is making the traditional notion of the family home obsolete. Families today need innovative housing models... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Easier video surveillance

Lanoptic Video Solutions Inc. designs, sells and supports digital video devices for security and surveillance. It recently developed a system for installing digital video cameras that combines the mounting system with tools and a fastener. Called Novattach, the system makes cameras much simpler and faster to install than traditional methods. Lanoptic, however, wanted to reduce the device’s overall cost without affecting its functionality and turned to researchers and students at Durham College for help, with a goal of ultimately creating a family of engineered solutions. Two students from the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program worked on this project, creating designs for... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Flying out of college to a job with kiteboarding innovation

Ocean Rodeo came to Camosun College with a problem. The company, a kiteboard manufacturer, wanted to build a new kind of composite control bar for kiteboards — but could a "plastic" bar hold up to the rigours of kiteboarding? After meeting with the Camosun Innovates team, Ocean Rodeo agreed to partner with the college on an NSERC Engage Grant, and first year mechanical engineering technology student Ben Costin was hired to work part time with Camosun Innovates on the project. Ben conducted a series of destructive tests that mimicked and exceeded the stresses and forces that kite-boarders would put on... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Power line research shocks and impresses

Shannon Developments Corp. assesses power lines around the world. For more than 20 years its assessments have helped utilities to replace only the power lines that are wearing out, instead of going through scheduled replacement, which may mean lines that are still performing are taken down. Recently, Shannon’s assessment process has evolved toward digitized analysis — and company owner Douglas Shannon needed samples of power lines that had deteriorated in different ways. With them, he could create digital files to be used in an analytical computer model. Rather than using actual corroded power lines for his research, Shannon needed a... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Refining brewing at Refined Fool Brewery

The idea of students getting immersed in beer doesn’t exactly go hand in hand with words like “efficiency” and “productivity,” — but they did when a group from Lambton College worked with Refined Fool Brewing Company, a micro-brewery in the heart of downtown Sarnia. Refined Fool approached Lambton College for help in minimizing the space and labour their brewing process required, while increasing energy savings, efficiency and productivity. The first part of the project allowed the brewers to monitor the brewing process off site using smart devices. The second part automated keg washing, which was previously done by hand. Faculty... Read more
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May 16, 2018

The SeatBOT: automating quality assurance

Up, down, forward, back, straight or tilted or down, push button or lever — car seats have a whole range of motions that have to work. A team from Humber College helped to build a system to let auto manufacturers test that range robotically. The Humber team – faculty members Neal Mohammed and Mohammad Al-Rady, and electromechanical engineering technology students Theodor Willert and Joshua Donnelly-Robertson – worked with industry partner 416 Automation Inc. to build SeatBOT, which eliminates the need for a person to do the functional and electrical tests automotive seats require. SeatBOT can automatically test buckles on seatbelts,... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Innovation in free flow as students redesign fountain technology

The sight of water dancing in a fountain always captivates — but how many of us give any thought to how that magic comes about? Today’s elaborate fountains are masterpieces of mechanical engineering; and, Toronto-based, internationally known Crystal Fountains recently turned to Humber College for help with design. The challenge Crystal Fountains brought to a team of faculty and students from Humber’s School of Applied Technology was to build an electromechanical drive system for fountains, which they felt would be more cost effective and reliable than a traditional pneumatic system. The deliverable Crystal was looking for was a fully functional... Read more
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May 16, 2018

Students learn to lean

A Saint John company’s need to improve its processes provided New Brunswick Community College (NBCC) Students with an excellent opportunity to improve their mechanical engineering skills. Bourque Industrial, a company that does custom fabrication of carbon steel, stainless steel, nickel alloy and aluminum — both new parts and repairs — approached NBCC for help improving productivity and efficiency. The company’s systems hadn’t kept up with growth and expansion over a number of years. After discussions with Bourque’s CEO, engineering technology instructor Bill Chamberlain saw an opportunity to turn the company’s problems into applied research projects for mechanical engineering technology students... Read more
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