[PHOTO] Minister of Science Navdeep Bains visits Xerox Research Centre
Cooperation and interest between the public and private sector is an important part of a healthy economy. This month Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development provided an example of this interest with a visit to Ontario’s Xerox Research Centre of Canada to explore some of the manufacturing innovations under development at the location.
“Today’s tour of the Xerox Research Centre of Canada was an impressive demonstration of the great R&D that is taking place here in Mississauga,” said Bains in a statement addressing the visit. “Through its investment in the XRCC, Xerox Canada is making an important commitment to developing the kind of innovative and ground-breaking products that will help transform and improve the lives of Canadians, while also reinforcing the strength and innovative capacity of Canada’s manufacturing sector. My tour, along with the roundtable discussion with the Association of Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters, has shown me that Canada’s manufacturers are capable of tremendous, and potentially ground-breaking innovation.”
One important innovation under development at the Research Centre is “printable electronics,” a technology that can allow other manufacturers a way to inexpensively create smart products using Xerox’s conductive silver nanoparticle inks. This kind of development is progress for not just Xerox, but other Canadian businesses that can use this technology to grow and make new ideas a reality.
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“Innovation is a critical success factor for Canada’s long-term economic resilience,” said Dr. Paul Smith, Vice President, Xerox Research Centre of Canada. “We have a long-standing commitment to supporting Canada’s capacity to innovate and commercialize research outcomes. We were very honoured to show Minister Bains some of the work we are doing in advanced materials research and the partnerships – including the creation of the Canadian Campus for Advanced Materials Manufacturing with the National Research Council Canada – that we are developing to help Canadian start-ups commercialize their ideas right here in Canada.”
Intelliwave SiteSense boosts APTIM material tracking
“We’ve been engaged with the APTIM team since early 2019 providing SiteSense, our mobile construction SaaS solution, for their maintenance and construction projects, allowing them to track materials and equipment, and manage inventory.
We have been working with the APTIM team to standardize material tracking processes and procedures, ultimately with the goal of reducing the amount of time spent looking for materials. Industry studies show that better management of materials can lead to a 16% increase in craft labour productivity.
Everyone knows construction is one of the oldest industries but it’s one of the least tech driven comparatively. About 95% of Engineering and Construction data captured goes unused, 13% of working hours are spent looking for data and around 30% of companies have applications that don’t integrate.
With APTIM, we’re looking at early risk detection, through predictive analysis and forecasting of material constraints, integrating with the ecosystem of software platforms and reporting on real-time data with a ‘field-first’ focus – through initiatives like the Digital Foreman. The APTIM team has seen great wins in the field, utilising bar-code technology, to check in thousands of material items quickly compared to manual methods.
There are three key areas when it comes to successful Materials Management in the software sector – culture, technology, and vendor engagement.
Given the state of world affairs, access to data needs to be off site via the cloud to support remote working conditions, providing a ‘single source of truth’ accessed by many parties; the tech sector is always growing, so companies need faster and more reliable access to this cloud data; digital supply chain initiatives engage vendors a lot earlier in the process to drive collaboration and to engage with their clients, which gives more assurance as there is more emphasis on automating data capture.
It’s been a challenging period with the pandemic, particularly for the supply chain. Look what happened in the Suez Canal – things can suddenly impact material costs and availability, and you really have to be more efficient to survive and succeed. Virtual system access can solve some issues and you need to look at data access in a wider net.
Solving problems comes down to better visibility, and proactively solving issues with vendors and enabling construction teams to execute their work. The biggest cause of delays is not being able to provide teams with what they need.
On average 2% of materials are lost or re-ordered, which only factors in the material cost, what is not captured is the duplicated effort of procurement, vendor and shipping costs, all of which have an environmental impact.
As things start to stabilise, APTIM continues to utilize SiteSense to boost efficiencies and solve productivity issues proactively. Integrating with 3D/4D modelling is just the precipice of what we can do. Access to data can help you firm up bids to win work, to make better cost estimates, and AI and ML are the next phase, providing an eco-system of tools.
A key focus for Intelliwave and APTIM is to increase the availability of data, whether it’s creating a data warehouse for visualisations or increasing integrations to provide additional value. We want to move to a more of an enterprise usage phase – up to now it’s been project based – so more people can access data in real time.