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NSCC Applied Research

Taking production to the next level

Two men in a research lab looking at simulation software on a computer.
Researchers, Etienne Mfoumou and Mo Shamma, discovering how Siemen's new software can support applied research.
Every second counts in plant production. LIFE, a marine industrial company in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, knows that process innovation and resiliency are key to ensuring their business remains sustainable and profitable.

NSCC Applied Research has partnered with LIFE to discover new ways for their plant and processes to become more efficient by using custom-designed digital modelling scenarios. Engineered Technologies Applied Research Lab (ETARL) is using plant simulation tools to identify ways of lowering the production cost of propellers without jeopardizing required output.

Among smart devices and Internet of Things, ETARL will also be using Tecnomatix Plant Simulation software from Siemens and working in partnership with Longterm Technology Services (LTS), a Canadian firm specializing in the implementation and use of this software. One of the features of this software is that it runs simulations to determine the impact of new investments on production, including how long it takes to make a return on investment. This information will give LIFE a clear answer on whether a planned investment is worthwhile.

Simply having the technology is not enough, however. You need the expertise to utilize it. Siemens is working with academic institutes to empower researchers, educators and eventually students to use these powerful tools. LTS Director of R&D and Commercialization, Tengyuan Zhang, believes that Siemens Digital Industries Software will make Canadian industry more globally successful through digitalization. “This is imperative to stay competitive in the global market. I'm very excited to work with NSCC to continue down this road and looking forward to more exciting news in the future.”

NSCC Research Scientist Dr. Etienne Mfoumou explains how these digital tools can help companies make improvements to increase output and decrease production time:

“We’ll be looking at ways to improve facility layout, worker shifts and new investments in technology. The software gives us the ability to simulate tens of thousands of different facility layouts and operating scenarios to determine the best ones. The goal of our testing is not only financial savings but also increased throughput.”

It’s heartening to see the progress that Atlantic Canadian industry has made in the past decade. Projects and partnerships like this are an important part of moving the digital industry forward.