July 27, 2020
DigifabQG to revive Quebec manufacturing via the 4.0 digital shift.
With the manufacturing sector in greater need for support and recovery than ever, entrepreneurs now have a new tool that can help them initiate or accelerate their digital transformation. Longueuil’s industrial expertise centre (IEC), now known as DigifabQG, is accessible online or in person. It offers manufacturers a single point of contact where neutral experts provide a number of services that can accelerate the appropriation of technologies to facilitate their digital transformation. The IEC adopted the name DigifabQG (a contraction of “digital” and “fabrication”, or manufacturing, and “QG” for “Quartier Général”, or headquarters), following creative consultations that sought to illustrate the sector’s desire for digital intelligence within the production process. The site’s inauguration has been scheduled for September.
Belonging to a network that includes four IECs in Longueuil, Saint-Laurent, Drummondville and Quebec City, DigifabQG is strategically located in the MarieVictorin school board’s Pierre-Dupuy Vocational Training Centre at 1330 CuréPoirier Blvd West in Longueuil.
Complete Immersion in the Ideal Factory
DigifabQG helps manufacturers become familiar with multiple technologies while providing access to a range of experts that can customize digital strategies prior to their implementation within production lines. The centre includes three distinct areas: the DISCOVERY zone, featuring success stories and existing technologies that could well provide a solution; the DEMONSTRATION zone to test software, packages and technologies before use; and the INTERACTION zone, providing interactive experiences that replicate real-world industrial situations for companies that are ready to purchase digital solutions. Coaching is provided by four experienced specialists in artificial and business intelligence, robotics, advanced automation, manufacturing optimization and business strategies. These specialists enjoy access to a vast network of partners that can accelerate the implementation of any digital project.
DigifabQG services are offered in person or through videoconferencing to help Quebec manufacturers interact with experts who can put their activities back on track by identifying the challenges associated with their digital projects.
“The time has come to inspire manufacturers,” says Julie Ethier, General Manager at DEL. “But more importantly, we must demonstrate the benefits of furthering their digitization efforts. By customizing their immersion, DigifabQG can make entrepreneurs want to invest in their digital transformation.”
A Strategic Player at the Heart of Innovation
DigifabQG is set to become a key player in the digital transformation innovation zone that the City of Longueuil hopes to deploy across the territory following its proposal to the Quebec government. It is a natural fit and a strong indication of the vitality Longueuil has brought to its innovation ecosystem.
“Longueuil already provides strong leadership in innovation, particularly in the area of digital transformation,” says Sylvie Parent, Mayor of Longueuil. “DigifabQG will help support the region’s businesses in their digital transition, thus promoting our region’s productivity and competitiveness.”
To carry out its mission, DigifabQG receives support from some fifteen business support organizations and educational institutions, as well as the Ministère de l’Économie et de l’Innovation du Québec, Investissement Québec – CRIQ, the Association pour le développement de la recherche et de l’innovation du Québec (ADRIQ), and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing.
“The integration of new technologies, artificial intelligence, automation and robotization have become essential to manufacturing companies that wish to increase their efficiency and productivity,” says Pierre Fitzgibbon, minister for the economy and innovation and minister for the Lanaudière region. “Competition is fiercer than ever on the world stage, and Quebec must have the ability to seize business opportunities quickly. The government is proud to work in partnership with Digifab, which offers companies the support they need to adapt to new economic realities and meet the challenges of an ever-changing market.”
In addition to this sizable support, two large financial partners, Siemens Canada and Desjardins, have also signed on.
Siemens Canada is the first official partner of Quebec’s four IECs, providing $6.5 million in state-of-the-art equipment to assist manufacturers in their digital transformation. For its part, Desjardins invested $500,000 to help set up DigifabQG. These funds have been earmarked for equipment purchasing, leasehold improvements and technology integration that will help propel factories into the future.