Industry Canada

Industry Canada

December 21, 2006 11:00 ET

Canada's New Government Announces R&D Investment in State-of-the-Art Automotive Manufacturing Systems

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(CCNMatthews - Dec. 21, 2006) - Jeff Watson, Member of Parliament for Essex, on behalf of the Honourable Maxime Bernier, Minister of Industry, today announced a $6.1 million repayable investment in a research and development (R&D) project that will help to strengthen Canada's manufacturing capabilities, opening up new opportunities for future automotive investments. The $20.2 million project by Valiant Corporation of Windsor, Ontario, will reduce costs for vehicle manufacturers while improving their capabilities to respond quickly to market trends.

"The automotive industry is a critical engine for economic growth in Canada," said Mr. Watson. "Canada's New Government encourages companies like Valiant to undertake R&D projects that allow them to be more efficient and innovative in the face of global competition."

This project will research and develop six technologies in advanced automotive manufacturing. It will focus primarily on the development of flexible automated production systems capable of more easily producing multiple vehicle models on a single production line. The benefits of this technology include a more efficient and cost-effective process, allowing auto manufacturers to react quickly as trends change in the marketplace. By increasing the flexibility of vehicle manufacturers, Valiant's systems will help to foster innovation and commercialization within Canada, and assist the company in maintaining a leading edge in the industry.

The R&D activities will also include advancements in robotic cleaning and nozzle technologies that will help to reduce water and energy consumption, in addition to the development of ergonomically friendly conveyer systems.

"The changes in our industry have forced Valiant, and many companies like ours, to look for new ways of doing business," said Marty Solcz, Chief Operating Officer of Valiant Corporation. "This investment will allow the company to create unique solutions with the kind of cutting edge technology that is changing the way the world manufactures products."

This repayable investment is being made through Technology Partnerships Canada, an agency of Industry Canada, using a new model contribution agreement (http://tpc-ptc.ic.gc.ca/epic/internet/intpc-ptc.nsf/en/hb00526e.html) that emphasizes enhanced transparency and accountability.

Backgrounder

Canada's New Government Invests in Advanced Automotive Manufacturing Systems

Canada's New Government is making a repayable investment of $6.1 million in a $20.2 million project being undertaken by Valiant Corporation for the applied research of six technologies focused on the development of flexible automotive manufacturing systems to reduce costs and produce efficiencies.

This project will focus primarily on developing a complete Valu-Flex body shop for automotive companies. Valiant is the only privately-held Canadian company that provides body-in-white framing and welding systems to automotive manufacturers. Body-in-white is the term used to describe the vehicle in basic sheet metal form, prior to being primed or painted. The Valu-Flex system will enhance Valiant's body-in-white technology by making it easier for automotive assemblers to switch from manufacturing one vehicle model to another on a single production line.

The new process will have advantages over current production systems by providing automotive manufacturers with more flexibility. The system uses small tooling called Geo Pods to hold the exact geometry of the vehicle, while the robots provide the required welding. Easier retooling between models will make manufacturing less costly, saving the assembler both time and resources, allowing it to more quickly adapt to new trends in the marketplace.

This investment will also help Valiant undertake the applied research of five other technologies that will advance the standardization and accuracy of its manufacturing systems:

- a robotic machine to form metal rims or edges on automotive pieces as they pass through the assembly line;

- a robotic industrial washer with reduced energy and water consumption, compared with the type of washer currently used;

- an ergonomically-friendly conveyer system;

- an enhanced cutting machine with sonar technology to determine how much energy will be required to make a specific cut; and

- advanced mould-making technologies for the tool and mould industries.

Windsor-based Valiant specializes in automated production systems for the automotive industry, and employs 1,066 people in its sixteen facilities located in seven countries. Valiant equipment is found in every automotive assembly plant located in Ontario.

This investment is being made through Technology Partnerships Canada, an agency of Industry Canada, using a new model contribution agreement (http://tpc-ptc.ic.gc.ca/epic/internet/intpc-ptc.nsf/en/hb00526e.html) that emphasizes enhanced transparency and accountability.

The news release and other documents are available on the Technology Partnerships Canada Web site at http://tpc.ic.gc.ca.

Contact Information

  • Office of the Honourable Maxime Bernier
    Minister of Industry
    Isabelle Fontaine
    613-995-9001
    or
    Industry Canada
    Media Relations
    613-943-2502