Siemens Canada tours DC’s Integrated Manufacturing Centre

Durham College (DC) recently welcomed leadership from Siemens Canada (Siemens) to tour the Integrated Manufacturing Centre (IMC) at the college’s Oshawa campus.

DC President Don Lovisa and Sue Todd, executive dean, School of Science, Engineering & Technology (SET), along with faculty from SET, were joined by Siemens President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Hardt, Bershu Nkwawir, vice-president, Sales, Ontario and Tom Murad, head of Siemens Canada Engineering and Technology Academy. 

The tour was an opportunity for the college to showcase the IMC, a world class, industrial-grade, automated facility primarily used by students in the college’s Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology program. The facility houses major equipment components including human-machine interface terminals; industrial networks and robots; material handling systems; programmable logic controller hardware; vision cameras; and supervisory control and data acquisition software.

“It was an honour to welcome Robert, Bershu and Tom to our campus,” said Lovisa. “The tour was a wonderful opportunity to showcase our facilities, including the 8,000-square-foot IMC while demonstrating how DC is training students for tomorrow’s economy. In addition, it provided an opportunity to learn more about the strategic hiring process at Siemens, first-hand knowledge and information that will be invaluable to our students as they prepare to enter the advanced manufacturing industry post-graduation.”

The tour also offered an opportunity to visit DC’s Biomedical Engineering Technology lab, where students gain hands-on experience with a variety of biomedical patient simulators and test and measurement devices. This fully equipped lab houses anesthesia equipment; bedside and central monitoring; dialysis machines; infusion pumps; patient monitor information and database systems; and physiological measurement devices, enabling students to build projects from the bottom up using equipment found in their respective industries.

“The automation industry is ever-changing,” said Todd. “By working with innovative companies like Siemens, as well as input from industry experts on our program advisory committees, we can continually adapt our curriculum to ensure our graduates are prepared to meet the demand of companies in Canada and across the globe.”

Funded by the provincial government, the IMC was built in two phases. The first phase, which included automation and robotics, was completed in 2002. The second phase, completed in 2005, added computer numerical controlled lathes, mills and a rail robot to the facility. The modern training facility is used by multiple SET programs including Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology, Electronics Engineering Technology and Water Quality Technician,

Students take their learning beyond the labs by completing field placements, as well as participating in integrated research projects with support from DC’s Office of Research Services, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This community integration, as well as input from experts on Program Advisory Committees, keeps the curriculum current in these ever-expanding industries.

One of the world’s largest producers of energy-efficient, resource-saving technologies, Siemens is a leading supplier of gas and steam turbines for power generation, a major provider of power transmission solutions and a pioneer in infrastructure and automation, drive and software solutions. The company is also a foremost provider of medical imaging equipment and a leader in laboratory diagnostics.