Design and fabrication services at the NRC – adding value for Canada

November 30, 2018— Ottawa, Ontario

Map of Canada. Long description follows.
Long description.

The figure shows a map of Canada with arrows indicating the flow of a project across the country as well as the number of hours required for the project’s completion. We can see that one of the projects, initiated in Newfoundland, has arrows pointing to other locations in Ontario and British Columbia for a total project time of 1,300 hours. Another set of arrows starting in Ontario points to Quebec and to Newfoundland with a total project time of 420 hours. Finally two single arrows point to British Columbia, one originating from Alberta, with no hours associated with it and one starting in Ontario where the associated project time is 1,100 hours. Pictures and images of various projects are pasted across the map.

With 13 shops spread across Canada, the NRC’s Design and Fabrications Services Branch delivers services that meet demanding requirements for apparatus, fixturing, experiment setups and technical services.

The hallmark of the National Research Council's (NRC)Design and Fabrication Services Branch is its ability to work with NRC researchers in a responsive, collaborative manner, leveraging the diverse capabilities of the branch in direct support of important research and technical services.  This is the case even if the work must move from one part of the country to another to stay at the pace of innovation. With 13 shops spread across Canada, Design and Fabrication Services delivers design and fabrication services that meet demanding requirements for apparatus, fixturing, experiment setups and technical services for the NRC's contributions to academia, industry and major international partnerships.

The shops are centrally managed and coordinated with the objective of making available the expertise and capability, nationally, to all researchers. One such example is SPIRou (SpectroPolarimètre Infra-Rouge - Near-InfraRed Spectropolarimeter) which is a project led principally by an international consortium of Canada, France, Taiwan and Hawaii Telescope, to develop a better instrument for discovering new planets. The instrument is a high-resolution spectropolarimeter and high-precision velocimeter optimized for discovering Earth twins orbiting in the habitable zone of nearby red dwarf stars.

Although the project definition and funding decisions were begun as early as 2010, Canada's part in the fabrication of the instrument began in January 2015 and ended in January 2018. Over that time, Design and Fabrication Services continued to meet the daily demands of researchers at the NRC while, in parallel, maximizing the capabilities and availability of the Design and Fabrication teams in Victoria, Vancouver, Ottawa and St. John's to deliver on time and on quality (requiring approximately 10,400 hours). The article (available only in French) in LeDevoir extolls the advantages of this project for researchers.

The agility and centrally managed services of the Design and Fabrication Services Branch have helped to position the NRC and Canada as a credible contributor to the international community of astronomers and continues to serve as an excellent example of delivering value. At right, is a figure that shows projects flowing east and west across Canada as they take advantage of the resources of DFS to meet the demands of research at the NRC.

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