For Canadian manufacturers, engineering is playing a decisive role in successfully adapting to shifting economic trends.

At Polytechnique Montréal, a leading engineering university, professors, researchers, and students are sharing knowledge and developing innovative technologies to assist industry players with process improvements and resource optimization.

In the field of robotics, research into human-robot collaboration is leading to advancements in interactive tasks in factory settings. With so-called teach programming, industrial robots “learn” gestures with no coding required. Artificial-vision and image-analysis algorithms, as well as auto-adaptive mechanical fingers — which are used for object recognition and gripping — are improving existing robots’ versatility and autonomy.

In advanced manufacturing, fractal analysis is driving improvements to the monitoring of wear on tools and the surfaces of innovative composite materials, leading in turn to cost reductions and improved machining quality in aerospace and other industries. In the Poly-Industries 4.0 Lab, professors and researchers are pooling their skills on interdisciplinary projects to develop leading-edge technologies to meet the specific needs of firms in a range of fields.

By training the next generation of engineers, and developing new technologies, Polytechnique Montréal is giving manufacturing companies the tools they need today to tap the business opportunities stemming from the Fourth Industrial Revolution.