A pair of initiatives that intention to rework how Canada competes globally within the automobility business have collided within the birthplace of the nation’s auto business: Windsor.
There’s now a digital twin of the Challenge Arrow automobile, a zero-emission Canadian made idea automobile spearheaded by the Automotive Components Producers’ Affiliation (APMA).
The digital mannequin of the absolutely rendered Arrow automobile will exist within the WindsorEssex Financial Growth Company’s (WEEDC) digital actuality CAVE.
“We’re challenging people’s perception of manufacturing,” mentioned Flavio Volpe, president of the APMA, who believes there may very well be near a 3rd of the Arrow automobile’s elements made in Windsor-Essex.
The digital twin will permit the mission workforce to govern a digital mannequin of the automobile in a completely immersive 3D expertise by means of the VR CAVE on the Border Logistics and Safety (IBLS) constructing in Windsor.
Not too long ago up to date expertise permits individuals to entry the mannequin by means of digital actuality programs which can be related by means of 5G.
Digital prototypes a value saving measure
Engineers and product designers will be capable of take a look at and regulate elements for the automobile digitally, chopping prices and saving time whereas a bodily idea is constructed on the Ontario Tech College in Oshawa.
“Building prototypes is expensive,” mentioned WEEDC president Stephen MacKenzie, who described the VR CAVE expertise as one thing straight out of a science fiction story.
“Depending on the complexity you need the tooling and things for — let’s call it a one-off project — that’s incredibly expensive and could be a barrier for some of our smaller companies.”
WATCH: MacKenzie and Volpe describe how these two initiatives are linked
The completion of the digital twin, which took 350 hours to build, comes as the APMA sifts through more than 300 Canadian companies interested in partnering up with Project Arrow’s concept and vision.
Project Arrow will update the virtual model in Windsor as more progress is made in the design and engineering process.
The virtual build will also be tested under real world conditions, simulated inside of the VR CAVE.
WATCH: What’s possible at the VR CAVE in Windsor
“The reality is that we’re not dealing with dot matrix printers, we’re not dealing with sketches and clay models anymore — we’re dealing with digital twins,” mentioned Volpe, describing the shifting panorama of producing.
“You can do crash testing, aerodynamics testing, computer modelling on performance and dynamics in the digital world.”
Volpe mentioned this mission goes past the tip outcomes, an all-Canadian automobile that meets automobile manufacturing requirements which can be more and more heightening zero-emission requirements.
He sees Challenge Arrow as a analysis and growth inspiration much like the Canadian-made Avro Arrow, a world main Canadian plane that was designed, examined and finally scrapped within the Nineteen Fifties.
WATCH: Here is how the unique Avro Arrow was constructed
MacKenzie and the WEEDC see Project Arrow as an example of how Windsor is harnessing a century of automotive experience to create opportunities in the increasingly digital world of manufacturing.
“Buzzword city — but industry 4.0, one of the main criteria is using technology to improve manufacturing process,” said MacKenzie.
WEEDC is working with more than a dozen companies through the VR CAVE, including additional digital twinning projects that will allow companies to design efficient floor layouts of factories, test different tools in real world conditions and run products through full sized test tracks virtually.
Ed Dawson, senior manager of automobility and innovation at WEEDC, works with local companies to develop their projects for use in the VR CAVE.
“Without spending any money or doing anything physically, let’s take it to the next level before you can go and build it,” Dawson said.
Project identifies gaps in EV supply chain
The VR CAVE is available for use by Ontario based companies with less than 500 employees that are building connected and autonomous products through an application process.
“It’s been really a blessing. It’s allowed us to pursue our own regional transition from automotive, to automaton to automobility. It’s just a phenomenal tool,” MacKenzie said.
WATCH: How Project Arrow may find gaps in the Canadian supply chain
The pinnacle of the Canadian Automobile Producers’ Affiliation (CVMA) has applauded Challenge Arrow for its innovation round creating an electrical automobile provide chain.
“They’re trying to figure out through the supply chain where Canada has the capacity to be part of the shift to electric vehicles and this is really important,” mentioned Brian Kingston, president of CVMA.
Basic Motors, Fiat Chrysler Cars and Ford have all made billion greenback investments in changing manufacturing in Ontario vegetation towards electrical automobiles.
Volpe plans to point out the finished Arrow to as many manufactures as attainable, placing Canadian made elements merchandise on show to producers.
Kingston sees this as a very good transfer for all Canadian suppliers who would possibly discover new alternatives within the shift to electrical automobiles.
“They’re going to be shifting their supply chain and their sourcing patterns because these vehicles will require different inputs,” Volpe mentioned.