Manufacturing and Automotive Innovation Hub Research Facility

National Research Council Canada, London, Ontario
What the facility does

An open-space facility where all levels of the automotive and advanced manufacturing supply chain can collaborate

Areas of expertise

The National Research Council’s (NRC) Manufacturing and Automotive Innovation Hub is a one-of-a-kind research station where all levels of the automotive and manufacturing supply chain can collaborate on-site with NRC specialists and Canada's research ecosystem.

Located in London, Ontario, the facility supports the Canadian automotive industry, owing primarily to its proximity to the Canadian market, automaker and supplier manufacturing facilities and R&D centres. This sector is vitally important to the regional economy and is the focus of regional and provincial initiatives.

Our goals are to help Canadian businesses become industry leaders and accelerate project time-to-market with advanced technologies, expert assistance and efficient processes. Our facility is designed to be flexible and modular, with client confidentiality in mind. As such, we can address the immediate needs of industry to launch projects quickly.

Research services
  • Mechatronics
  • Artificial intelligence (AI)
  • Vehicle electrical and propulsion technology and diagnostics
  • Automated guided vehicles
  • Vehicle networking
  • Electric and electronic (E/E) vehicle architecture
  • Advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS)
  • Active safety in complex systems with sensing and perception
  • Product design
  • Industrial robotics
  • Machine vision
  • Surface engineering laser- and cutting-based microfabrication
  • Applications for the deposition of specific coatings
  • Value-adding functionalities for advanced tooling and surface texturing
Sectors of application
  • Automotive
  • Manufacturing and processing
  • Transportation
Specialized labEquipmentFunction
 Vehicle bay (custom design)Complete with lifts, related automotive shop capabilities and the ability to maintain client confidentiality
 High crane bay (custom design)Manufacturing space for scale up and/or digital factory workspace development
 Huron CNC machine, model K3X 8 FiveA 5-axis computer numerical control (CNC) machine that fabricates components and allows scaling of exiting capabilities
 Sensors (custom design)Used for connecting devices, collecting and using real-time data in manufacturing processes
 Sensor systems (custom design)Able to detect possible collisions between collaborative robots and human workers
Laser Consolidation Systems
  • 500 W and 1000 W Lasag Nd:YAG lasers
  • 500 W and 600 W IPG fiber lasers
  • Laser consolidation heads
  • Aerotech 5-axis motion systems
  • Oerlikon Metco powder feeders
A net shape additive manufacturing technology to make metallic parts that can achieve dimensional accuracy of +/-0.05 mm with surface finish up to 1 μm Ra
Robotic Laser Materials Processing Cell
  • 5 kW IPG fiber laser
  • Welding and cladding heads
  • ABB robot and part handling unit
  • Oerlikon Metco powder
  • Wire feeder
Enhances tool life and components by adding high performance materials exactly where they are needed
 Kuka Collaborative Robot, model LBR iiwa 14 R820Allows humans and robots to work together on highly sensitive tasks in close cooperation
 Mobile Collaborative Robot by Universal Robots and Robotniks, model RB-KAIROS with a UR-10 ArmMobile platform with a collaborative robot
Materials Characterization Lab
  • Hitachi S-3500 Scanning electron microscope-energy dispersive spectroscope (SEM/EDS)
  • Olympus Optical microscope
  • 100 kN Instron servo-hydraulic mechanical testing system
  • MTS mechanical testing system
  • Buehler MICROMET®5103, Micro-indentation Hardness Tester
  • Falex dry sand/rubber wheel friction and wear machine
  • Falex ISC Pin-on-Disc Tribometer
  • Intertechnology Hole-drilling Residual Stress Measurement system
  • Non-Destructive Testing equipment (NDT), including Olympus OmniScan MX Eddy Current Array/Eddy Current Testing System, Magnaflux Fluorescent Dye Penetration Kit and Magnetic Particle Test Kit
Evaluate materials properties and microstructure to improve manufacturing processes and parts performance
  • Transport Canada