New manufacturing company that is part of the Canadian Automobility Hub

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The formation of a new Canadian-only manufacturing micro-enterprise and the establishment of an automotive accelerator at St. Clair College are the centerpieces of the new Canadian Automobility Hub announced Wednesday by Invest WindsorEssex.


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The center, which will be located in the university’s Truck and Coach building on its South Windsor campus, is a public-private partnership consisting of the new manufacturer Automobility Enterprises and the academic branch Automobility Research.

“We know disruption is happening and we want that disruption to be here,” said Matthew Johnson, CEO of Mobility Partnerships and Innovation at Invest WindsorEssex.

“We want the jobs that come with the disruption.

“Green projects are part of this and will be carried out alongside these innovations. What will happen is going to diversify the economy more than you think ”.

Automobility Enterprises is a micro-manufacturer formed by Windsor Mold, German engineering company PEM Motion, and Ottawa-based Integris Software.


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The plant will produce zero-emission electric vehicles intended for last-mile commercial delivery. Your focus will be on small batch production, 5,000-10,000 units or less, with the ability to quickly pivot to produce a different product.

The new company will also offer services in other areas of the automotive industry, such as the conversion of vehicles from gas to electric power, as well as helping local companies and individuals to develop and test new innovations and prepare their operations for the future.

“The great thing about this is that it helps the community transform into the new transportation environment,” said Integris Software Managing Director Randy Zadra.

“It is not just automotive. When talking to mining companies, they want all electric vehicles in their mine shafts, so there is no exhaust gas. Agriculture is another very suitable industry for this.


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“He is participating in the redefinition of transportation.”

The factory will be located in a building that is currently owned by Windsor Mold in Durham Place and is expected to be operational in 12 to 18 months.

We now have a large portfolio of projects to take innovative ideas from start to finish.

The launch of the plant is expected to cost approximately $ 30 million. The number of jobs at launch will be determined based on the contracts secured at that time.

The company’s first contract is to convert two of Enwin’s vehicles from gas to electric power. Automobility Enterprise employees will begin that work immediately at the university and offer experiential learning to students.

Zadra said the Windsor plant will be like no other in Canada in its ability to be flexible through the use of manufacturing processes developed by PEM Motion. He added that it will provide Canadian companies in the automotive space, from manufacturing to technology development and cyber security, a new tool to help innovate and develop their products faster and cheaper.


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It is also a proven model, as the zero-emission vehicles that PEM produces have been in use around the world for several years, including the German postal service.

“It is a manufacturing that is already developed, it is agile and fast,” said Zadra, adding that there is great interest from customers around the world in the Windsor project.

“You can build 5,000 Type A vehicles and then nine months later, after a short period of change, build something completely different. There is not a long period of restructuring. “

PEM Motion director Karl Anton said there would be 25,000 company vehicles in service by the end of the year.

“PEM started seven years ago to show that electric mobility could work,” said Anton, who worked 34 years for Ford Motor Company and rose to become head of European production.


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“It is now one of the largest electric vehicle fleets in the world.”

Anton said what is different about PEM Motion’s planning and manufacturing process is that it involves all employees and is consistent. There is a reliance on artificial intelligence, machine learning, and even the use of gaming rigs.

“We are looking for people with higher levels of competence,” Anton said. “Everyone has a responsibility to plan and execute and it generates more job satisfaction. This is where manufacturing is heading in the future. “

The seeds of the new company were planted two years ago at the annual conference of the Association of Automotive Parts Manufacturers in Windsor.

After both parties did their due diligence, slowed down by COVID-19, Anton said Windsor emerged as a natural fit for PEM.


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As measured by North American industry codes, the Windsor region already has twice as many companies in the automotive sector as the next closest Canadian community.

“We wanted to take advantage of the manufacturing expertise and the ecosystem that is here,” said Anton.

Windsor Mold President and COO David Mastronardi said that uniting German expertise in new manufacturing processes with the quality of local companies and talent is precisely what the region needs to remain competitive in an industry. reborn.

“One of our fundamental principles is that we are focused on technology and we need to continue to evolve,” Mastronardi said.

“The other thing is that we also have to evolve with the latest manufacturing processes.

“Is it how we take our engineering to a different level? How do our technologies apply to that? “


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Automobility Enterprises will not operate in a vacuum, as the company will also support the activities of local students and businesses through the center.

Both the university and faculty are reviewing their curriculum and faculty needs to meet the industry demand for new skills and talents in the coordinated regional approach.

The University of Windsor will also begin a $ 3 million renovation and expansion of its College of Engineering building this month. The expansion will include doubling the size of the Hybrid Automotive Research Center and the Green Energy Laboratory, where research is being carried out in the areas of batteries, powertrains and the next generation of electric motors in partnership with industry.


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“The ecosystem has been built by everyone,” said University of Windsor Executive Director for Research and Innovation Heather Pratt. “We are taking that knowledge and we are trying to monetize it.

“We now have a large portfolio of projects to take innovative ideas from start to finish.”

St. Clair College’s director of research, innovation and entrepreneurship, Peter Wawrow, said that students’ interaction with industry will prepare them for employment, but also for the broader impact that motoring will have on society.

“The transformation of the automotive industry is also transforming the city itself,” Wawrow said after seeing the effects at the PEM Motion home in Aachen, Germany.

“Windsor is similar to Aachen and we see the same potential. The preparations to be part of this are also a great opportunity for the university to transform as well. “

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