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Sustainable Manufacturing for Canada’s Resource Sector

22 June 2021

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Western Canada’s resource sector spends $3B annually on maintenance related materials issues, while the costs associated with lost production due to material failures are estimated at $5 to $7B annually. Materials maintenance costs are known to be partly the result of traditional equipment design and the way components are manufactured.

To address these high maintenance costs, western Canada’s resource sector is seeking to identify “shovel-ready” technologies, and technologies that could potentially be deployed after some further development. The aim is to enable a step change in equipment durability and reliability through the adoption of sustainable manufacturing practices including (i) advanced manufacturing and design; (ii) the use of materials that can be sourced economically in an environmentally sustainable manner; and (iii) the remanufacture or repair of components.


Key technologies of interest include:
• Advanced manufacturing and design approaches to enable a step change in equipment durability through:
o Novel materials for enhanced wear resistance, including composites and cast materials
o Additive manufacturing approaches that can be used to produce large metallic components such as pump impellers and ground engaging tools
• Economically secure and environmentally responsible materials to replace current materials that have risky supply chains, undesirable environmental impacts, or health risks including:
o New materials or composites that could provide similar wear and corrosion resistance as current materials
o Technologies to enable existing components to be recycled more easily into new components
• Remanufacturing and repair technologies that could be used to extend equipment’s life including technologies to:
o Rebuild high alloy castings
o Repair wear damage on metal overlays
• Finally, technologies for improved process and equipment control including:
o Non-Destructive evaluation (NDE) of metal-composite and non-metallic materials
o Sensors for harsh environments (e.g., mining and sizing equipment)
o Modeling of wear and corrosive environments


A webinar, targeted for UK-based manufacturing SMEs, will be held on June 22nd, 2021 to provide background on these technical opportunities and will include company representatives from western Canada’s natural resource extraction industry who will speak to specific challenges. The webinar will also provide an overview of existing UK- Canada mechanisms that support co-invention across a range of technologies.

Published: June 14th, 2021
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