MRO Magazine

Canada’s First Cyber-Physical Laboratory in Saint-Laurent, Québec

April 21, 2017 | By MRO Magazine

Saint-Laurent, Québec – The Centre de recherche industrielle du Québec (CRIQ) is proud to announce the opening of Canada’s first-ever cyber-physical laboratory in the Montreal borough of Saint-Laurent. This investment will allow Québec-based manufacturers access to a real factory of the future that integrates new production technologies and online systems that will help them integrate and develop Industry 4.0 projects.

The CP Laboratory is a comprehensive, smart factory design that is used as a learning and research platform. Its operations allow participants to observe and understand the effects of Industry 4.0 technologies within a demonstration environment before having to commit to the investment required to transform their own company. The cyber-physical laboratory has the potential to incorporate new available technologies and represent several domains along the value chain.

“Thanks to our partnership with Festo – a worldwide giant in Industry 4.0 technologies – we will be able to provide value-added services to companies along with the innovation ecosystem and thereby accelerate the digital transition in the Québec manufacturing sector,” said President and Chief Executive Officer of the CRIQ, Denis Hardy.

“Festo Canada regards Industry 4.0 as a group of key technologies which together can enable smart and agile manufacturing systems. An increasingly productive manufacturing sector is a major contributor to a thriving economy. Investment in Industry 4.0 technologies can make that vision a reality for Québec. We are delighted to be a part of this initiative in Québec through our highly constructive co-operation with our colleagues at CRIQ,” said Roger Hallett, President and Chief Executive Officer of Festo Canada Inc.


CRIQ cyber-physical laboratory equipment will be provided by Festo Didactic, world leader in professional training in automation industrial and subsidiary of Festo Canada.

“FESTO Didactic is proud to partner with CRIQ in our joint mission to better prepare Québec for jobs of the future, which are in Industry 4.0” said Thomas Lichtenberger, CEO of Festo Didactic, Inc. North America. “Saint-Laurent is ripe with innovation, and we’ll continue to work closely with vocational schools, colleges and universities to ensure the Canadian workforce receives the technical training and equipment it needs to be at the forefront of industry advancements. After successfully providing educational training and industrial solutions in Québec for forty years, opening the cyber physical with CRIQ to fuel the advanced manufacturing sector is a natural next step.”

Saint-Laurent, a Key Industrial and Technological Hub in Québec

With nearly 4,700 companies and over 107,000 jobs, the Montreal borough of Saint-Laurent boasts great economic diversity, thanks to both its strategic technological clusters and its concentration of prime manufacturers and SME suppliers. The borough, which generates more than 33 per cent of the manufacturing jobs in Montreal, has all the facilities required to host this experimentation centre.

“As part of its strategic plan, the borough of Saint-Laurent has partnered with Développement économique Saint-Laurent and the Québec Innovation Network to invest in innovative manufacturing, along with the help of another key partner, the CRIQ. This initiative, which is part of our strategic vision, will help bolster the competitiveness of the Québec manufacturing sector and allow it to continue to drive our economy. We are very proud to host this new experimentation centre, which will support Québec-based manufacturers in their technological transformation,” added Saint-Laurent Mayor, Alan De Sousa.

About the CRIQ

For nearly 50 years, the Centre de recherche industrielle du Québec (CRIQ) has continued to drive the competitiveness of Quebec-based businesses by promoting innovation, productivity, exportation and eco-efficiency in the industrial sector, while developing partnerships to expand the services they offer. With more than 200 employees as well as labs in Québec City and Montreal, the CRIQ carries out nearly 3,000 projects per year.

About Festo

Festo is a leading worldwide supplier of monitoring solutions and factory automation technologies. It has remained an independent, family-based business and an industry leader thanks to its innovation, along with its nature-inspired problem-solving and unique range of professional training and education programs. Festo was a pioneer behind Industry 4.0 technologies and has been operating in Canada for over 40 years. Its work involves helping Canadian businesses bolster their competitiveness and productivity.

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