September 21, 2016
On Wednesday, September 21st, Mr. Michael Thomlinson, M.Sc., P.Eng., hosted a presentation and tour of the Industrial Technology Centre (ITC) in Winnipeg, MB. The presentation explained what ITC does, and the tour covered their facility and equipment.
Michael Thomlinson, P. Eng. is the Manager of Engineering and Technical Services at the Industrial Technology Centre. Michael received his MSc in Mechanical Engineering in 1994 and has been with the ITC since 2004.
The Industrial Technology Centre (ITC) was established in 1979 by the Province of Manitoba, and was reconstituted in 1996 as an Special Operating Agency (SOA) of Manitoba Growth, Enterprise and Trade. ITC’s primary directive is to support technology based economic development in Manitoba by providing to local companies engineering and technical services, specialized testing facilities, as well as information and awareness through demonstration, evaluation, and pilot projects.
Vibration testing machine - credit Ryan Thomson
ITC’s lab is ISO 17025 and 9001 certified, as well as CLAS and SCC accredited. It contains a rapid prototyping machine, robotic welder, various 3D scanners, inspection tool calibration equipment, as well as vibration, thermal, corrosion and mechanical testing machines. The facility is available to the public and industry across Canada, but is mandated not to have an unfair advantage over existing companies who offer similar services.
Michael and Rohan Lall - credit Ryan Thomson
We would like to thank Michael for the presentation and tour of ITC and the valuable services it provides.
Magellan Aerospace – Winnipeg Advanced Satellite Integration Facility
May 18, 2016
Magellan Aerospace – Winnipeg Advanced Satellite Integration Facility
May 18, 2016
On May 18, 2016, Mr. Emerich Kovacs III, with the help of Ms. Aimee Carvey, hosted a presentation and tour of Magellan Aerospace’s space systems division, including the new Advanced Satellite Integration Facility. The presentation gave a brief overview of the company, focusing on their space systems. Other business areas include aeroengines, aerostructures, advanced composite manufacturing, and propulsion. The tour was of their space systems facility, testing and assembly areas.
Magellan Aerospace describes themselves as a global enterprise providing integrated products and services to the aerospace industry worldwide. The company has offices in Canada, the USA, Europe, and India. Magellan Aerospace Winnipeg was founded in 1930, and now holds 835000 square feet of production area in the St James industrial area. In addition, they have 3800 acres north of Winnipeg which supports rocket propulsion activities.
Emerich is an electrical engineering student at the University of Manitoba. Starting in May, 2014, Emerich took on a 16 month work term with Magellan Aerospace. He provided testing support for the Radarsat Constellation Mission (RCM) Power Control Unit. He was then brought onto a Space Technology Development Program (STDP) and worked primarily on hardware simulations while providing design and test support for a new space reprogrammable processing platform. From there, Emerich worked on the Command and Data Handling (C&DH) team and performed card and unit level hardware testing. After the internship, Emerich went back to the University of Manitoba to continue his studies until rejoining the C&DH team in May of 2016.
The Winnipeg facility supports most of Magellan’s market segments. They manufacture and maintain critical gas turbine components for commercial, military, and industrial customers, design and manufacture structural components and assemblies, both metallic and composite, and have an advanced laboratory and cleanroom for composite manufacturing. The site north of Winnipeg provides testing grounds for rockets such as the Black Brant and CRV7, as well as various booster motors and meteorological rockets which are sold to various countries.
The tour was of the space systems facility in Winnipeg. The group was shown various vibrational and thermal test laboratories, and some of the processes and design methodologies were explained. An interesting design feature of satellites is various degrees of redundancy in the electrical and mechanical systems. Even with significant shielding, radiation in space is capable of changing the states of bits in memory, which may result in corrupt data. With redundant memory and registers, these upsets can be detected and corrected extending the life of the satellite and improving its reliability. During the tour the group was shown the final assembly area for the three Radarsat Constellation Mission satellites in various states of assembly. These satellites are scheduled to be launched together in one Falcon 9 rocket in 2018 and will provide Canada with improved maritime surveillance, disaster management, and ecosystem monitoring.
Aimee, Emerich, and Ed Hohenberg - credit Irene Wasilewski
We would like to thank Emerich, Aimee, and Magellan for the intriguing tour.
February 24, 2016
On February 24, 2015, Mr. John Yestrau, P.Eng, hosted a presentation and tour of the composite design and manufacturing facilities of Boeing Canada Winnipeg. The presentation gave an outline of Boeing’s history, focusing on the Winnipeg plant. The tour featured a walkthrough of their brand new expansion, as well as the main facility.
John began working for Boeing in 1996 as an engineering summer student. Over the years he has worked in various design and manufacturing roles, and is currently working in tooling engineering supporting the 737 MAX program. John has been a member of SAE since 1997, and was the SAE Formula team lead in his graduation year, 1998.
Boeing is a massive company, with over 165 000 employees in 65 countries. They have over 21000 suppliers, and had over 65 billion dollars in sales in 2015. There are more than 12 000 Boeing aircraft in service today. Boeing started in Canada in 1971, and has grown into one of the largest companies in Winnipeg. Their silver LEED certified facility covers 800 000 square feet, and employs 1500 people.
|Credit: Ed Hohenberg|
The Winnipeg facility specializes in design and manufacture of complex composite structures such as large, high precision composite panels with a lot of curvature. It is not uncommon to see panels over 10 feet in two dimensions with a profile tolerance of 20 thousandths of an inch. They also do panel assembly, which includes attaching aluminum or titanium fixtures to the panels for mounting or reinforcement. They build parts such as fairings, landing gear doors, and ducting for several planes, including the 737, 747, 767, 777, and 787. Their newest expansion was built for the construction of the new inner barrel for the 737 MAX. The facility has provisions for every stage of composite construction, including CNC cloth cutting, a clean room for layup, an enormous autoclave, CNC trimming machines, nondestructive inspection, and post-treatments such as drilling and paint.
|Credit: Ed Hohenberg|
We would like to thank John Yestrau for his excellent presentation and tour of Boeing Canada – Winnipeg.
Tour of Holley Performance Products Canada
February 4, 2016
On February 4, 2016, Wayne Shellekens, P.Eng. and Fred Oberbuchner, P. Eng. of Holley Performance Products Canada hosted a presentation on the engineering behind Holley’s Electronic Fuel Injection systems, specifically focusing on the digital dash and engine control products.
Wayne has been working with electronics and embedded systems since 1990. Before being taken on by Holley, Wayne worked for several Winnipeg companies including IMRIS, Micropilot, Arrista Technologies, Nortel, BNI and AECL. In addition, Wayne has been involved with the student SAE teams in Winnipeg, and enjoys racing formula cars at Gimli Motorsports Park.
Fred has worked in the aftermarket automotive electronics market for over 25 years. Before the company was acquired by Holley, Fred was the proprietor of FJO enterprises. FJO provided aftermarket automotive electronic support to several companies under various brands.
The presentation included the lineup of products designed and produced in the Winnipeg facility, such as the digital dash, bolt-on EFI systems, and Dominator control systems. These products are used by a variety of customers, from professional racers to individual consumers.
Mr. Shellekens explaining some of the functionality of a 7" digital dash. Credit: Ed Hohenberg
Since the products are designed for racers, by racers, they include features that are very pleasing to the consumer. Fred and Wayne spend a lot of time talking to other racers in order to develop a broader understanding of what the customer wants. The result is highly functional, very robust, and easy to use systems.
The tour showcased their newly acquired design and shop space. The mechanical design of Holley EFI products is done in Bowling Green, Kentucky, but the electronic design of the components is done exclusively in Winnipeg by Wayne, Fred, and their team. Some products are produced in their shop, such as assembly of the Digital Dash, ECU’s and some of the smaller EFI systems. The shop also features some special machinery such as a 3D printer, 3D engraver, injection molding machine, and wiring harness equipment.
|An injection mold for a small electronic component housing. Credit: Ed Hohenberg|
We would like to thank Wayne Shellekens and Mr. Fred Oberbuchner for their engaging presentation and tour.
|Credit: Irene Wasilewski|
Tour of Fort Garry Fire Trucks
November 10, 2015
Written by Ryan Thomson
On Tuesday, November 10th, Mr. Gordon Draskovic P.Eng. gave a presentation of Fort Gary Fire Trucks (FGFT) and a guided tour of the company design and manufacturing facility. Mr. Draskovic has been with FGFT for 12 years and has spent his working career focusing on diesel engines and vehicle systems design and integration.
Mr. Draskovic of FGFT and Mr. Smith of SAE MB (Photo credit: Ed Hohenberg)FGFT builds custom fire trucks, pumpers, tankers, and related firefighting and rescue equipment. The company employs a dozen engineers and two dozen skilled labourers, constructing around 100 trucks each year, which are sold to cities, municipalities, and towns around the world. FGFT stands apart from the competition in several ways. The designers will sit down with the customer and design a truck from the ground up, with custom features, materials, layouts and other specifications. The trucks are made with only high quality marine grade aluminum and stainless steel alloys which provide a 20-25 year service life even in the most extreme environments. The designs are largely modular which ensures a quality, cost effective product. Designs focus on corrosion resistance, functionality, reliability and serviceability.
FGFT manufacturing facility (Photo credit: Ed Hohenberg)Although fire trucks is FGFT’s main business, its roots are in rubber manufacturing, and the company maintains a rubber design and manufacturing division which serves the transportation, mining, and print industries. For most of the attendees, Mr. Draskovic’s presentation was very enlightening as it was not generally known how complex and customized fire trucks are and what challenges their design must address. We would like to thank Mr. Draskovic and FGFT for the interesting presentation and tour.
Tour of MacDon Industries Ltd.
May 20, 2015
Written by Ryan Thomson
On May 20, 2015, Ben Foster of MacDon Industries Ltd. hosted a presentation focused on the benefits and challenges of Tier 4 emissions standards as they pertain to the company, followed by tour of MacDon’s manufacturing facilities.
MacDon Industries is the successor of Kilberry Industries which was founded in 1949. Killbery was a manufacturer of agricultural equipment including cultivators, seeders, sprayers, and grain augers. In 1951, Kilberry produced one of the world’s first self-propelled windrowers. (image courtesy MacDon.com)
The MacDonald family purchased Killbery Industries in 1971. Through the pursuit of harvesting excellence, MacDon continues to be an industry leader in harvesting equipment such as draper, auger, rotary, and pickup headers as well as self-propelled windrowers. Every machine is conceived, designed, and built in Winnipeg, Manitoba, by 1600 employees situated on 900 000 square feet of buildings on over 85 acres of land.
Ben Foster graduated from McGill University as a Mechanical Engineer, and began his career with MacDon in 2011. He started out as a field test technician, working with prototype machines out in the field, reporting the machine’s performance back to the engineers in Winnipeg. He moved into a field test leader role in 2012, now organizing and supervision a crew of field test technicians. In 2014 Ben was offered the position of SP Windrower Product Manager. His responsibilities now include managing and directing the engineers developing the next generation of windrowers.
Ben’s presentation was focused on North American EPA Tier 4 emission standards, and how the standards affect the engineering of the SP windrowers, which use 100-200 HP diesel engines. The emissions regulations vary by geographic location, and different classes of engines often follow different regulation timelines. In order to commercially sell a product with an engine, you must meet these standards or your company will be subject to substantial fines.
In general, diesel engines consume fuel and air, producing work, heat, and exhaust. Diesel exhaust contains, largely; air, water vapour, carbon dioxide, oxides of nitrogen (NOx), Particulate matter (PM), and an array of burnt or partially burnt hydrocarbons, including carbon monoxide. (HC, CO).
NOx emissions are toxic and contribute to smog and acid rain. PM emissions are solid particles of soot, ash, and sulphates that have negative effects on the human respiratory system. HC emissions have an irritating odour, and can be carcinogenic. CO is a colourless, odourless, tasteless gas that is toxic in high enough concentrations.
Tier 4 emissions standards specifically target an 80% reduction in NOx, a 90% reduction in PM, and a 50% reduction in HC emissions from Tier 1 emissions, which were regulated in 1996. There are a variety of strategies and technologies used to reduce these emissions in order to meet the regulations.
Carefully controlling the inputs to the engine; air and fuel, allows for more precise control of combustion and therefore, emissions. Air pre-cleaners, variable geometry turbochargers, and precisely controlled injection are key technologies in improving fuel economy and reducing emissions.
After treatment technologies include Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR), Diesel Oxidation Catalysts (DOC), Diesel Particulate Filters (DPF), Selective Catalyst Reduction (SCR), and the use of Diesel Exhaust Fluid (DEF).
EGR routes a portion exhaust gas back through the combustion chamber, processing combustion products a second time. This process adds inert gas to the combustion process and increases heat capacity, which reduces combustion temperatures, which in turn reduces NOx emissions.
DOCs use a honeycomb of precious metals that reacts with and reduces HC and CO emissions at high temperature.
DPFs use a porous medium that captures soot and ash particles from the exhaust. The medium must be cleaned periodically, and is done so through a high temperature regeneration cycle. The regeneration cycle cannot remove all ash and soot from the filter, and must be periodically serviced to remove it manually.
SCR uses ammonia, supplied through DEF, to react with oxides of nitrogen producing gaseous nitrogen and water, reducing NOx emissions. These units must occasionally be regenerated to remove crystalline deposits.
Although most engine manufacturers employ only a selection of these technologies, these after treatments require large canisters in the exhaust system which must be nested under the hood. This presents space, heat, and durability challenges for engineering. MacDon’s M series SP windrowers use Cummins engines, which utilize EGR, DOC, and SCR technologies to meet Tier 4 emissions. The engine bay was carefully organized to maintain a slim hood profile for visibility. The DEF tank was mounted under the platform with the fuel tank, and is heated to prevent the DEF from freezing in colder temperatures. Larger air, water, and hydraulic coolers and fans were used to combat the increased heat rejection requirements. The engineering was done to meet the 2015 release, while staying competitively priced and maintaining or increasing product performance.
(Image courtesy of Macdon.com)
The tour to follow covered MacDon’s production facility which is spread over 760 000 square feet, including all stages of the production process; shipping and receiving, laser cutters, bending breaks, welding bays including robotic welding, assembly lines, and one of Canada’s largest powder-paint ovens including an overhead conveyer system with over 7000ft of track.
Thanks again to Ben Foster and MacDon industries for putting forth the effort to host a valuable technical presentation and tour.
Presentation and Tour of Price Research Center North
April 23, 2015
Written by Rohan Lall
On Thursday April 23, Kelli Goldstone hosted a presentation of Price Industries’ Price Research Center North (PRCN). Afterwards, those in attendance were treated to an interactive and guided tour of the PRCN.
The PRCN is geared towards helping Price’s customers find the best possible solution for any HVAC project. The setups and displays within the lab allow for understanding the range of products and services Price provides provide
In 2013, Price added 9000 square feet to the PRCN, bringing the total area of the lab up to 28500 sq ft. Created in 1978, the lab was originally comprised of two rooms. Today it contains 13 specialised testing rooms, 3 fan rooms and 2 sound testing chambers. The flexibility of the PRCN allows Price and their customers to create mock setups and trial HVAC designs while performing tests for various system configurations. This along with leading edge technology also attracts many top researchers in the industry to the PRCN to perform research and development in the field. And of course it’s always helpful to own the only lab of its kind in North America to help out with Price’s own product development.
Kelli Goldstone has been a part of the Price family for a number of years including time spent working as a summer student. Currently she is the Team Leader for the Grill, Register and Diffusers Engineering group and the Critical Environments Applications Engineering group. Kelli works with customers to ensure proper product selection and relies on her knowledge and experience in HVAC to assist clients with troubleshooting issues they may have. Her and her teams provide training seminars and make use of the PRCN to validate the design and performance of their proposed solutions. Kelli is a graduate of the University of Manitoba’s Mechanical Engineering Program.
The tour was led by Ryan Stodgel, the PRCN Manager, and it featured the impressive capability of the PRCN. A number of remarkable demonstrations were portrayed to the group, a few of which can be seen below. There was so much to see and such a high level of interest that the tour could have gone on for hours! Afterwards, guests definitely understood the benefits of the lab and appreciated why it plays such an important role in the relationship between Price and its customers.Here are some photographs from the event, along with a shot of Rohan Lall thanking Kelli. SAE Manitoba would like to thank Kelli, Ryan and Price Industries for their time and co-operation in hosting this technical meeting.
May 28, 2014
Written by Irene Wasilewski
SAE Manitoba members and guests made the trip to Winkler Manitoba on Wednesday May 28th, 2014 for a presentation on Triple E Recreational Vehicles (Triple E) and a tour of their facilities.
In 1965 Triple E was formed, a family business fabricating small and charming 13 foot travel trailers. Today they build some of the most creative Class B and C motorhomes on the market, known and recognised for their product quality. They still, however, remain a family business. Designed and built in their Winkler production facility, Triple E performs most of its work on-site thanks to its capabilities including paint, fibreglass, welding, metal fabrication, upholstery and woodworking. This allows them to customize and comply with their designs and drawings for whatever application they require.
The presentation guided us through Triple E’s established history and covered aspects from their inception, to their struggles, to their current successes. It was followed by an in-depth tour of their facilities where we were able to see the end product first hand along with many of their in-house processes.Ryan Elias, our presenter, is a descendant of Peter Elias who is one of the founders of Triple E. His last name also represents one of the ‘E’s in the company’s name. Ryan and the other tour guides were very welcoming and treated all guests with beautiful pens and notebooks. They encouraged any feedback we had and were open to suggestions of ways to improve their business. Overall it was an extremely enjoyable evening and a successful technical meeting. SAE Manitoba would like to thank Ryan and Triple E for their time and co-operation in putting together this event. Below is a photo of Irene Wasilewski thanking Ryan following the tour and presentation.
New Flyer Industries Electric Bus and the Electric Highway – Presentation and Tour
April 29, 2014
written by Rohan Lall
Members of SAE Manitoba and guests alike were treated to two presentations at New Flyer Industries (Flyer), Tuesday, April 29, 2014. Showcased were the contents and developments regarding Manitoba’s Electric Vehickle Road Map along with details surrounding Flyer’s prototype all-electric transit bus.
The New Flyer New Product Development (NPD) department’s latest output is the all-electric next-generation Xcelsior transit bus. It can be seen running Winnipeg Transit routes throughout the city. The bus uses an electric motor as its power source and makes use of a bio-diesel powered liquid fuel heater during extremely cold conditions. Otherwise all other systems are powered electronically, relying on the bus’s onboard power converter. The background of the bus project and how it came to be is rather interesting; the team overcame many speed bumps during development to achieve the project’s goals. Targets such as asset value and electric only range were very influential and the end product had to have an uncomplicated re-charging process.
Manitoba’s Electric Vehicle Road Map was released in 2011 with a goal of establishing a better future for electric vehicles within the province. Although the plan is off to a slow start, there has been progress in the years since the Road Map was announced. Information about the plug-in partnerships with automakers, the electric vehicle advisory committee and the electric vehicle learning and demonstrating centre was highlighted from within the Road Map. Details about the many trials and tests were performed using Manitoba’s existing infrastructure and the electric and hybrid-electric vehicles available on the market. The outcomes highlighted points of success along with areas where much improvement is needed. Nevertheless it remains easy to find a growing number of electric vehicles on today’s roads. This is a sign of progress to date and potential success of the Road Map in the future.
The electric bus presentation and tour was led by Thomas Small, a Director of the NPD department at Flyer. A former SAE Manitoba Board member, Thomas currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Composites Innovation Centre. He has been with Flyer since 2000 when he started as a Production Engineer. Over that time span, he moved in to a Project Engineer position in the NPD department and managed many projects, eventually being responsible for high magnitude developments and ventures. Thomas Is a Mechanical Engineering graduate of the University of Manitoba and developed his skills working as a technical publications writer and editor, Test Engineer and Project Engineer at prior companies. This experience was a valuable asset to him as he emphasized on powertrain development within Flyer’s NPD department.
Robert Parsons led the second presentation of the evening. Working in the Energy Division of the Government of Manitoba, Robert works as a business development consultant on advanced and emerging energy technologies. He has been involved in many electric vehicle activities for the province, one of which included working on the New Flyer all-electric transit bus prototype project. Robert is well educated and continues to learn. Of his four university degrees, he recently completed his Doctorate in Biosystems Engineering at Winnipeg’s own University of Manitoba. He also possesses a Master of Business Administration with Distinction from the Schulich School of Business at York University, Toronto.Below is a picture of Derek Hoorman thanking both speakers, Thomas (middle) and Robert (right). SAE Manitoba would like to express its gratitude to Thomas, Robert and New Flyer for their time and efforts in making this technical meeting a success.
Presentation and Tour of Parker Hannifin Canada
April 17, 2013
written by Rohan Lall
Ljiljana Zlatanovic-Kovacevic hosted a presentation and tour of Parker Hannifin Canada’s Highly Accelerated Life Testing (HALT) chamber and Parker’s Electronic Controls Division (ECD) production facilities.
The ECD of Parker Hannifin provides recognised original equipment manufacturers with engineering design and production for many electronic devices. They supply components such as sensors, displays, clusters, control modules and Controller Area Network bus controllers to the likes of Bobcat, Case New Holland, Caterpillar and New Flyer. The addition of the HALT chamber will aid in the design of more robust and dependable products, yielding improved reliability in the field while reducing warranty costs. HALT is a series of tests used to find weak links in the design and fabrication processes of a component during the design phase. The tests can be performed in many fashions and are able isolate the limiting factors while sacrificing only a few units. The process is not a pass/fail context but allows for an accelerated testing procedure and provides valuable results within a matter of days as opposed to months or years using other methods.
The presentation and tour were led by Ljiljana Zlatanovic-Kovacevic, a 12-year member of Parker Hannifin Canada’s ECD. As a Design Verification Testing (DVT) Engineering Specialist in the Product Assurance department, her role has been essential in the selection, procurement and maintenance of the HALT chamber equipment at Parker Hannifin. In addition to her proficiency with HALT, Miss Zlatanovic-Kovacevic has a background in Mechanical Engineering and significant experience in other Parker DVT methodologies including vibration, environmental (temperature and humidity), salt corrosion and International Protection sealing codes.
The detailed presentation explained what HALT was, its design and the steps involved in its operation. The benefits of the system and the key differences versus traditional testing were illustrated to the audience. A tour of the facilities followed where those in attendance were shown the HALT chamber and other Parker ECD production areas and equipment.
Thanks again to Parker Hannifin and Ljiljana Zlatanovic-Kovacevic for their time and co-operation.
Winnipeg Transit Presentation, Tour and Ride
November 17, 2012
written by Irene Wasilewski
Winnipeg Transit has a strong history of being an innovator in the industry from 1882 when the first transit ‘vehicle’, which consisted of a horse car, ran to 1971 when the Transit Department of the Metropolitan Corporation of Greater Winnipeg became the first City-owned Transit System to the milestone in 2005 of having half of the fleet consist of easy-access buses (low floor). Winnipeg Transit is continuing the tradition of improving their service through new programs such as real time passenger information, improved stops and the rapid transportation corridor.
The presentation, tour and ride were guided by Winnipeg Transit’s director, Dave Wardrop. Mr. Wardrop has led a team of 1,300 employees through a series of improvements that have successfully expanded transit ridership and service in the City of Winnipeg. Since Mr. Wardrop joined Winnipeg Transit, Transit’s long-standing trend of decreasing ridership has been replaced by 6 consecutive years of growth totaling 19%, or an increase of 7.5 million rides per year.
Mr Wardrop’s presentation highlighted some key changes to transit system. Today’s Winnipeg Transit buses are equipped with GPS, automated stop announcements and on-board cameras among other technology. Winnipeg Transit also boasts a modern control centre at its headquarters that provides real-time service monitoring through schedule exception reporting and voice and data communication with drivers. Winnipeg riders recently began using the new rapid transit corridor that has improved the service connecting many ends of the city.
Mr. Wardrop provided a tour of the main maintenance facility that does a large variety of work to maintain the city’s fleet of vehicles.
The evening ended with a guided ride down the new rapid transit corridor where the audience could get a first-hand look at some of the innovations Mr. Wardrop discussed in his presentation.
For more information on Winnipeg Transit please visit winnipegtransit.com/en
MEVA – Presentation and Display
November 17, 2012
written by Irene Wasilewski
For the uninitiated, MEVA stands for Manitoba Electric Vehicle Association. It is a group of members from a variety of backgrounds that share a common interest in electrical vehicle technology and a desire to promote electrical vehicles as a viable alternative to traditional transportation technologies. The benefits of electric vehicles are discussed at their regular meetings. Some members have electric vehicles they have purchased or converted from standard combustion engine vehicles. Gerry Kopelow of MEVA agreed to provide a presentation regarding vehicle conversion and the need for an alternative source of energy for transportation. The presentation was followed by an opportunity for the public to see their vehicles up close and ask questions of the owners.
Mr. Kopelow has been designing and building mechanical, electrical, and electronic devices for over five decades. He has converted several internal-combustion-engine-driven machines to battery power, including a roto-tiller, a garden tractor, a 5-Series BMW automobile, and a Chevrolet S10 4WD pickup truck. Through an assortment of photos Mr. Kopelow guided the audience through some of his conversions. One of the highlights of the presentation was the step-by-step photo documentation of the Chevrolet truck conversion, from initial drop off at his home, through the ups and downs of the months of rework to future work he intends to do with the vehicle. Mr. Kopelow ended the presentation with a look at the reasons behind moving to alternative energy sources, namely the rapid reduction of traditional fuel obtained from crude oil.
Following the meeting, members of MEVA had brought some of their vehicles, for display and provided the opportunity for the crowd to answer questions of the owners. The vehicles on display included Mr. Kopelow’s Chevrolet truck, the University of Manitoba’s SAE students’ Formula Electric vehicle and Ross Redman’s Mitsubishi i-Miev.
For more information regarding MEVA please visit manitobaev.ca
Presentation and Tour of Intelligent Hospital Systems
March 3, 2011
written by Bob Mai
Intelligent Hospital Systems' Irene Wasilewski was kind enough to host a presentation and tour of the Robotic Intra-Venous Automation (RIVA) system.
The RIVA system is designed to supplement a hospital's IV fluid bag preparation process. The typical procedure, as-is, is labour-intensive, and all the human interaction presents possibility of introducing errors. This could have dire consequences in a hospital setting, given the sensitivity of IV bag formulations. The RIVA system eliminates many potential for errors, as well as being a labour-saving investment, especially for large batch orders. It also reduces the amount of consumables by reviewing its orders and calculating best efficiency.
The RIVA system introduces electronic order entry and integration into a Pharmacy Information System. It is an ISO Class 5 hermetically-sealed environment. It prepares IV bags as well as syringes, with a complete audit trail. As well as excelling in batch orders, it can also operate "just-in-time."
After the presentation, the group was brought to the back of the Intelligent Hospital Systems' facility to watch a live demonstration of an assembled unit in action. After a little bit of debugging, the machine's 7-axis robotic arm and myriad of robotics technologies was impressively producing syringes and bags filled with harmless coloured water.
Thank you to Irene and Intelligent Hospital Systems for this interesting presentation of Winnipeg-based international entrepreneurship!
Presentation and Tour of Carlson Engineered Composites
May 5, 2010
written by Irene Wasilewski
Carlson Engineered Composites Inc’s Rob Haller provided a presentation on the open and closed light resin transfer moulding (LRTM) process, followed by a demonstration of their new seven-axis water-jet robot that will be used for trimming parts after they come off the moulds.
Carlson Engineered Composites Inc. is a manufacturer of fibreglass products for original equipment manufacturers for a wide range of commercial vehicles and equipment. Carlson specializes in assisting the customer at the design stage to ensure high quality, durable products manufactured efficiently. They are a subsidiary company of Carneil Group of Companies which has been serving the industry for over 70 years.
Rob Haller, born and raised in Winnipeg, received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1993. He began his career at New Flyer Industries in the manufacturing engineering department and later moved on to become a corrosion engineer and later still to the alternate fuels group. In 2002 Rob moved to Carlson to become their manufacturing engineer and in 2007 was promoted to the engineering manager. Rob was instrumental in developing the company’s LRTM production line.
Rob provided a presentation on the company’s manufacturing processes – open moulding and the newest method, closed LRTM. In open moulding chopped up fibreglass and a liquid resin mix are sprayed onto the surface of a mould. The process is highly dependant on the operator’s ability to control part thickness and glass content. As well, it produces high levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which require facility ventilation and protective gear for the operator. For those reasons, Carlson decided to implement an LRTM line. In LRTM the resin is injected into a channel running the perimeter of a two piece mould. A vacuum is attached to the center of the top half of the mould to control the flow of the resin through the mould. This process has a labour savings associated with it plus improved regularity part-to-part and lower tooling costs. The workshop area is also styrene-free in this process.
The group was provided a tour of Carlson’s production areas starting with the open resin transfer moulding line, then the light resin transfer moulding lineb lastly followed by a demonstration of the new seven-axis water-jet recently installed. The water-jet runs on a track which spans two ‘rooms’. This allows operators to set-up parts in one room while the water-jet is working in the second room. CAD data may be directly imported to the water jet to define the cutting lines.
For more information on Carlson and their products, please visit www.carlsongrpco.com
Presentation and Tour of IMRIS
February 23, 2010
written by Irene Wasilewski
SAE Manitoba hosted an evening at IMRIS on February 9, 2010. IMRIS is a global leader in image guided therapy solutions. IMRIS’s senior technology researcher, Mark Alexiuk, P. Eng, Ph.D. provided a presentation and a tour of the facility. Dr. Alexiuk studied electrical engineering at the University of Manitoba and has been with IMRIS since 2007.
IMRIS currently designs and sells products under three main umbrellas:
1. IMRISNV – Stroke Management and Neurovascular Care
2. IMRISCARDIO – Cardiovascular care
3. IMRISNEURO – Neurosurgery
IMRISNV and IMRISCARDIO are both interventional suites with MR imaging and x-ray angiography. IMRISNV focuses on accurately identifying areas of salvageable brain tissue during a stroke and can assist clinicians in quickly determining specific intervention strategies. IMRISCARDIO focuses on visualizing the heart before, during and after cardiovascular interventions. IMRISNEURO is a one stop shop for an operating and imaging room, combining many technologies into one space such as a movable MR, movable patient tables and data display to name just a few.
IMRIS technologies incorporate a large 1.5T or 3T MR scanner that enters the room on demand. During the imaging, the patient remains stationary on the table throughout the procedure. The tabletop, mattress and arm boards are all MR compatible and radiolucent to optimize image quality. The table can be tilted, rolled laterally and moved horizontally for optimum positioning for imaging and intervention. For MR imaging the table is rotated 90deg and fully extended toward the MR scanner.
Following the presentation there was a tour of the facilities. The first stop was the demo room which houses an MR scanner (with dummy magnets), a patient table and an angiography system to allow the visitor to see how the system fits together and could function in a hospital. Next there was a short stop at the engineering office area followed by the R&D area which housed actual scanners used in developing new product and for testing. The final stop was the manufacturing area.
SAE Manitoba would like to thank Dr. Alexiuk for providing the presentation and tour and IMRIS for allowing us to visit and for providing supper. For more information about IMRIS please visit:
Manitoba Hydro Place – Tour and Presentation
November 15, 2009
written by Irene Wasilewski
Manitoba Hydro recently opened their new downtown headquarters, Manitoba Hydro Place. This innovative building incorporates many energy saving and healthy workplace features never put together before in a downtown skyscraper. Earlier this year, Manitoba Hydro Place was honoured with a prestigious award from the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat who named it '2009 Best Tall Building for the Americas.'
The presentation and tour was provided by Tom Akerstream, who is the Manager of Head Office Facilities, Manitoba Hydro, and was the Project Energy Advisor for the Manitoba Hydro Downtown Office Project. Tom has worked in the energy management field for over 30 years. He joined the company 18 years ago to initiate their 'Power Smart' program. He is a past President of the Manitoba Electric League and a member of numerous committees, including Manitoba Hydro’s R&D Board and the CSA Codes and Standards for Energy Efficiency. Tom has a Bachelor of Environmental Studies, a Bachelor of Architecture and a Masters in Architecture.
Even the development of the building design began in an innovative way; it was an integrated design approach from the beginning. Rather than following the standard practice of having the architects design the space, and then pass the design off to the engineers and contractors to build, right from the start, the design process included approximately 30 people from major design areas such as architecture, landscape design, mechanical, etc.
Not only was energy savings a focus but also the comfort of the employees that will use the spaces. Thermal comfort, the effective temperature the employees feel as they work in the space, was one of the key aspects in the design. One of the methods used to achieve this was a displacement ventilation system that circulates the air by adding fresh air at the bottom of the rooms through a raised floor and exhausting air at the top, utilizing the natural flow of air. The ventilation system uses entirely passive systems rather than relying on mechanical equipment. There are 4 to 5 air changes an hour for the office staff.
Also, the lighting was optimized so that everyone has the advantage of natural light. The passive ventilation system adds comfort and is also an energy saver. For example, the underground parkade does not require any energy other than lighting due to the effectiveness of the ventilation system to add heat in the winter and cooling in the summer. The north and south atria are fundamental to the passive system. Fresh air is drawn into the atria where water features humidify the air and waste heat from exhaust air is recovered. Natural solar energy also warms the fresh air. The south winter gardens act as lungs, providing preconditioned fresh air to the building. For more information on the building please visit:
The New Flyer Xcelsior XDE40
September 15, 2009
written by Irene Wasilewski
Dean Weiten, SAE Manitoba vice-chair of membership (left), presenting gift to Paul Zanetel, M.A.Sc., P.Eng., guest speakerSAE Manitoba hosted a presentation on September 15, 2009 with featured speaker Mr. Paul Zanetel, M.A.Sc., P.Eng, who introduced the latest New Flyer model, the Xcelsior.
Mr. Zanetel is the current Chief Technical Advisor at New Flyer Industries. He formerly served as the Vice-President of Engineering at New Flyer and has 12 years with the company to date. He is also currently an Engineer-in-Residence at the University of Manitoba.
New Flyer is a publicly-traded company with its roots starting in 1930. They design and manufacture heavy-duty transit service buses and are the market leader in Canada and the US. They are the only transit OEM certified in ISO 9001 (Quality), ISO 14001 (Environment) and OHSAS 18001 (Occupational Health and Safety).
Mr. Zanetel began by providing an update on the activities and accomplishments of the University of Manitoba SAE student chapter (UMSAE), and followed that with some background on New Flyer Industries. The presentation included some of the challenges that the transit bus industry faces in launching a new model. He then provided an overview of New Flyer’s latest model, Xcelsior, describing its advantages over other models. The group was treated to a ride around the surrounding New Flyer facilities on one of the Xcelsior demonstration coaches, with current Vice-President, Engineering Services, Mr. Chris Stoddart serving as the tour guide, where we were able to get a close-up look at the bus and ask questions to many of the designers that worked on the new model.
It was a very informative presentation, even for some of the New Flyer staff in attendance, and was a great way to kick off SAE Manitoba's tech meetings season.
Plug-In Hybrid Update and Manitoba Electric Museum Tour
November 15, 2009
written by Irene Wasilewski
The evening was a mix of technical presentation about the potential power requirements for a relatively new sector in automotive alternative energy, the plug-in hybrid, and a tour of the Manitoba Electric Museum which outlines the history of electric power distribution in Manitoba.
The presentation was provided by Robert Yonza, P.Eng., of Manitoba Hydro. He holds a B.Sc. (Physics) from U of W as well as a B.Sc. (Electrical Engineering) from U of M. Mr. Yonza has worked at Teshmont Consultants and Pauwels Canada before joining Manitoba Hydro as a Grounding Engineer. In 2008 he moved on to the Emerging Energy Systems Group.
Most people have become familiar with the hybrid electric vehicle (HEV). Another form of a hybrid is the plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV). It functions the same way as an HEV does, by using batteries to smooth a vehicle’s power requirements and optimize the efficiency of the gasoline engine, except where an HEV’s batteries recharge using regenerative braking, the PHEV’s batteries regenerate using an external power source, such as a standard wall outlet. In this way, the PHEV may operate as a purely electric vehicle and only use the gasoline engine on extended trips. Manitoba Hydro studied a modified Toyota Prius to estimate the potential power requirements on the province’s electrical distribution system should PHEV’s become more popular in this province.
For more information regarding Manitoba Hydro’s work on PHEVs please visit www.hydro.mb.ca/corporate/phev/index.shtml
The second half of the evening was a tour of the Manitoba Electric Museum, which portrays the history of electrical distribution in Manitoba from the 1870s to the present, as well as a view into the future. The museum holds many artefacts of electrical equipment used over the years, both in households and in power distribution and is housed in an artefact itself. The building itself was built in 1931 and was then known as the Fort Garry Station. Within the lobby, a visitor has a view of the electric panels used for switching and monitoring electricity in that past. The main gallery of the museum houses an actual streetcar from Winnipeg’s past and showcases some of the many style of light bulbs used over the years.
Manitoba is fortunate in that much of the province’s landscape is terrain ideal for electrical power generation using hydro dams. The museum highlights the history of power generating systems in the province. Farm electrification was a large scale project of Manitoba Hydro to add electricity to the rural areas of the province. In the past 30 years, the focus moved north to larger scale generating stations that will continue to serve the province into the future. Lastly the museum covers potential power sources for the future, such as wind. The museum is located at 680 Harrow Street.
Please visit www.hydro.mb.ca/corporate/history/electrical_museum.shtml for more information regarding the museum.
The 2009 Corvette ZR1, with speaker Jerry Burton
September 6, 2008
written by Bob Mai
It was with great honour that SAE Manitoba Section, the Corvette Club of Manitoba, and the city of Winnipeg hosted Jerry Burton, editor for Corvette Quarterly, this September weekend. Jerry flew in from Michigan, stayed at the Fort Garry Hotel, enjoyed some Rae and Jerry's, some WSCC autocrossing, a Corvette Club car show, and, of course, spoke about the 2009 Corvette ZR1 in a hall of around 105 paid attendees.
The presentation was held at the Headingley Community Centre, where the Automobile Museum was opened up to the paying public. Around 40 Corvettes and 12 non-Corvettes participated in the car show preceding the presentation. After the dinner and presentation, awards were presented to car show winners, and Jerry took orders for personalized books. All in all, it was a successful event for all involved, and SAE Manitoba delivered a $500 cheque to the Rainbow Society!