Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing
The Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing (CIM) is embedded in the campus of Red Deer College (RDC). The CIM is a collaborative centre built and equipped with the financial support of Red Deer College, the Province of Alberta and Western Economic Diversification. The Centre currently houses $4.2 M in cutting-edge, industry-leading prototype and advanced manufacturing equipment. Since its opening it has seen an overwhelming demand for its services from across the Province. The Centre has gained a reputation for its approachability, relevant technical expertise and broad industry support capabilities. It has a long list of satisfied clients and a growing record of successful new and improved products and processes, created in partnership with Alberta companies.
The Centre was conceived and developed as a direct response to local industries’ expressions of need for assistance, and it has a mandate to engage local companies and organizations in order to assist in developing a competitive manufacturing advantage in the region. Since inception, the CIM’s capacity and reputation for responsiveness has created a high demand for services. The Centre provides its industry partners with access to state-of- the art equipment and services to assist with applied research initiatives. The CIM helps companies define and develop new products and processes, solves existing manufacturing problems or operation bottlenecks, as well as gives guidance with business management, sales and marketing issues and facilitates partnering of client companies with others in Canada that can provide additional technical assistance or become distribution or joint venture partners, thus augmenting the value chain.
The CIM does not do production work, as it would then be competing with the very companies that it works with. The CIM’s primary focus is to engage with industry to provide design, 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) modelling, design engineering, proof-of-concept and prototype fabrication services, among others. This is usually an iterative process with multiple versions and improved models.
The CIM can take the client’s ideas and turn them into an actual product by providing its expertise to develop the idea. Primarily, this is done by project managing the required design engineering, 3D CAD modelling, and prototype fabrication for the company so that it is production ready. The CIM often works with Confidentiality Agreements and it takes no interest in company intellectual property (IP).
View a video (courtesy of Todayville) of Naveen Anand, former Director of Applied Research and Innovation at RDC, to learn about the role and impact the Centre for Innovation in Manufacturing has on our community.