The National Research Council Canada (NRC) is the Government of Canada's leading resource for industrial research, development and technology-based innovation. At NRC’s world-class facilities located in London Canada, researchers are focused on developing innovative solutions for Canadian companies working in the automotive and construction sectors. NRC Automotive helps Canadian automotive companies meet the increasing costs and societal challenges faced by their industry by focusing on key research and development expertise. These include improving vehicle lightweighting using aluminium and biomaterials, enhancing the energy efficiency of propulsion systems, lowering the manufacturing cost of vehicle electrification, and reducing design times using interactive design-to-manufacture software. NRC Construction applies data/information management, modeling, and system simulation expertise to help industry develop technology-based solutions to reduce energy consumed by buildings and their operational costs.
In 1997 the NRC opened the Integrated Manufacturing Technologies Institute (IMTI) in London. The Institute's focus is on the integration of manufacturing technologies as they relate to discrete product manufacturing.
IMTI is a leader and catalyst for the research and development of manufacturing technologies to allow the Canadian manufacturing industry to be competitive. Specifically, IMTI activities are concentrated in two areas:
Design - IMTI provides the tools so manufacturers can exchange design, manufacturing data and information in real time with others (customers, suppliers and others) anywhere in the world. IMTI's Virtual Environment Technologies Centre (VETC) is the most advanced centre of its kind in the world. The Centre offers manufacturers the chance to create a virtual reality model of a product to better view any design flaws so that changes can be made without the time and expense of creating a scale model. This technology drastically reduces the time between concept, design and manufacturing.
Production - IMTI provides manufacturers with novel production processes to fabricate the products that their clients want. IMTI takes full advantage of material properties and produces shapes that are difficult or impossible to make with conventional processes. IMTI's new Precision and Freeform Technologies Centre (PFTC) provide industries with tools to develop new technologies that can lead to commercialization. It can organize and conduct joint development and application projects that integrate new or hybridized process technologies into machines and systems.
The integration of these two areas to create new machines or systems that users can buy is crucial. To this end, IMTI seeks the collaboration of users and system integrators (machine suppliers, equipment builders) to participate in the R&D and the transfer of technology. For highly competitive companies, these resources can make the difference between success and failure.
More Information on Automotive Sector Research & Development(PDFs)