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About Manitoba’s Vehicle Technology Centre

The Vehicle Technology Centre is a non-profit organization that fosters the continued success of Manitoba's heavy vehicle manufacturing sector by promoting the development and adoption of new technologies. The organization is governed by a board of representatives from major manufacturers within the industry, providing a forum for promoting industry co-operation and for identifying ways to improve technological capacity within the industry.

OEM Supplier Development Program

The primary program through which the VTC fosters development and adoption of new of technologies by heavy vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers in Manitoba is its OEM Supplier Development Program (OSDP).  The OSDP encourages original equipment manufacturers to partner with their suppliers in company-level applied R&D to directly respond to technological challenges. The resulting benefits include:

  • Product Innovation – new, more competitive product designs and more environmentally responsible products (reduced emissions, improved fuel efficiency)
  • Process Innovation – capabilities to work with new materials and new processes – ultimately supporting new products and/or increased productivity
  • Increased capabilities of local suppliers – because the OSDP encourages collaboration between OEM’s and their local suppliers, the capabilities and competitiveness of suppliers are also improved
  • Market Diversification – new products allow Manitoba companies to penetrate new markets and to diversify in existing markets, both of which result in increased Manitoba exports
  • Engineer Training – OSDP projects offer hands-on opportunities to train local engineers in new-to-industry technologies.

The OSDP was established in 2006 and has supported 50 projects involving dozens of Manitoba companies: OEM’s and suppliers. Total OSDP support of $4.7 million has levered additional industry contributions of $24.0 million for projects totalling $28.7 million. OSDP projects have resulted in over $100 million in new exports.

Product innovations have included new vehicles, trailers and agricultural equipment; new designs for critical components, designs to accommodate alternative fuels, reduced emissions and noise, mechanical systems improvement, new operator interfaces and improved product performance.

Process innovations have included incorporation of robotic cutting/finishing, exploration of new moulding processes, aluminum joining and 3D rapid prototyping.

The VTC also undertakes industry-level programming in collaboration with other organizations. The objectives of such programming are to promote and disseminate technologies to the vehicle manufacturing industry, and to promote vehicle manufacturing as a first-choice career path for Manitoba youth. Recent activities have included:

  • Serving as theadvisory committee to the Vehicle Technology and Energy Centre (VTEC) – an NSERC-supported initiative at Red River College to establish facilities for cold weather environment testing activities for on- and off-highway vehicle technologies.
  • Partnering with Red River College for a demonstration of mobile collaboration technologies by Winnipeg company, Librestream Technologies.
  • Supporting Manitoba vehicle and equipment manufacturers to attend the 2016 SAE Commercial Vehicle Engineering Congress (COMVEC).
  • Partnering with aerospace test organization, WestCaRD to host a workshop to discuss the potential for a national research network for sensor technologies and data analytics, to be based in Winnipeg.
  • Supporting entries by the University of Manitoba and Red River College into the Shell Eco-Marathon competition for 2017 and 2018, respectively.
  • Support of projects of the University of Manitoba’s chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers – UMSAE is the second largest SAE chapter in the world, and is a significant source of new hires for the industry because of the practical experience it provides to engineering students.
  • Establishment of a prize for excellence in automotive engineering design at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Engineering.
  • Sponsoring and presenting events under the Faculty of Engineering’s Monday Night H.I.R.E.D. (Helping Industry Reach Student Engineers Directly) series – The program invites industry to speak to engineering students on career opportunities for engineers within Manitoba industry.
  • Sponsorship of the Manitoba Robot Games, which gives high-school students introductory practical experience in the design, construction and use of robotics.

Heavy Vehicle Manufacturing in Manitoba

Manitoba’s Heavy Vehicle Manufacturing sector is a cornerstone of manufacturing in Manitoba, representing about 10% of Manitoba’s manufacturing workforce directly (over 6,500 workers) and more indirectly. Intensely export-oriented, the cluster annually accounts for some $1.5 billion in exports, approximately 10% of Manitoba’s annual exports. Manitoba’s Heavy Vehicle Manufacturing cluster includes manufacturers of urban and intercity buses, fire trucks, motor homes, recreational vehicles, trailers, tractors, mining equipment and their associated parts and components suppliers.

Manitoba is home to North America’s largest bus manufacturers (New Flyer Industries and Motor Coach Industries), Canada’s largest fire truck manufacturer (Fort Garry Fire Trucks), Canada’s largest manufacturer of harvesting equipment (MacDon Industries) and Canada’s only manufacturer of tractors (Buhler Industries).

For more information please contact:

Vehicle Technology Centre
1050 - 259 Portage Avenue
Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada R3B 3P4
Tel: 204-945-8467
Fax: 204-948-2964
Web: www.vtci.ca

VTC brochure (884 KB PDF)

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