Ontario Industrial automation and robotics

Robotics is a disruptive technology that is playing an increasingly important role in the manufacturing industry . We have the right environment – an ideal blend of industrial and consumer markets, supply chain clusters, and academia and research institutions – for robotics and automation companies to ×ourish.

Robotics is the future of manufacturing

As a disruptive technology , robotics offers many benefits to users.

Global demand for robotics will continue to grow through 2020 and beyond

The robotics market is projected to reach $41 billion by 2020. The average annual number of robots sold was approximately 115,000 units from 2005 and 2008. In comparison, 171,000 units were sold between 2010 and 2014 – a 48% increase.

By automating tasks, industrial automation and robotics offers tremendous advantages:

decreased labour costs

increased throughput



sharply improved productivity

enhanced competitiveness.

With Ontario’s large manufacturing base and world-class R&D environment, the opportunity has never been greater for industrial automation companies to excel here.

Home to world-class companies and a broad supply chain

From design engineering firms and components suppliers to OEMs and systems integrators, Ontario has it all.

We are home to more than 350 automation and robotics-related companies, including Autodesk, Siemens, Rockwell Automation, Omron, Lapp Group, Denso Robotics, Schneider Electric, Toshiba, Universal Robotics, and ABB — the largest ‘000 of units Estimated worldwide annual supply of industrial robots 69 81 97 120 112 114 113 60 121 166 159 178 229 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 0 50 100 150 200 250 Source: World Robotics 2015   concentration of robotics and automation firms in Canada (both foreign-owned and domestic). We also have components and subsystems providers that offer software, machine vision, and automation solutions.

Leading OEMs and systems integrators that offer end-to-end solutions are also here. Their expertise spans a multitude of industries:

health sciences






food and beverage

pulp and paper

oil and gas




A diverse range of capabilities in industrial automation and robotics

Ontario’s strengths span multiple industries including industrial, surgical and mobile robotics, as well as control products, drones, and space exploration.

It’s not like it’s brain surgery or rocket science. Actually, it is

Ontario companies are renowned for their innovations in the robotics sector , some specializing in brain surgery and rocket science:

MDA Corporation(http://mdacorporation.com/) in Brampton, makers of the world famous Canadarm, produce space exploration systems as well as surgical robots such as the neuroArm.

ATS Automation(http://www.atsautomation.com/) in Cambridge is a complete automation solutions provider for medical devices, pharmaceuticals, telecommunications, semiconductors, fiber optics, automotive systems, computers, solar energy and consumer products.

Clear path Robotics(https://www.clearpathrobotics.com/) in Kitchener designs and manufactures autonomous warehouse vehicle solutions.

Deep Trekker(https://www.deeptrekker .com/) in Ayr designs and manufactures remotely operated underwater vehicles, unique to anything else in the subsea vehicle market.

Synaptive Medical, a start-up from Toronto, has developed an integrated optical imaging and robotic automation system for neurosurgeons.

Select list of global supply chain players in Ontario:

Design, R&D and IP companies: OneCAD Solutions Ltd, Automation Design Group, Autodesk

Components and subsystems: Honeywell, Emerson, Beckhoff , Autonics, Omron, Lapp Group, Rockewell Automation, Simens, Turck, SMC, Memex, Teledyne Dalsa

OEMs (machines, robots, tooling): ABB, Festo, Kuka Robotics, Rethink Robotics, Adept, Hibar Systems, 2G Robotics, CimCorp, Tiercel Technology Systems integrators: Bluewrist, Liburdi, M&R Automation, Eclipse, Tech-Con Automation, Valiant, StrongPoint, Reko, Radix, ABI Automation, Inovatech

Opportunities abound in Ontario

Ontario companies are poised to take advantage of the many benefits industrial automation and robotics offer .

Significant opportunities to fill automation gaps

The province’s robust automotive industry accounts for 57% of the robots used in Ontario, followed by the food and beverage sector at 9%. The gap between the automotive and the less automated sectors in Ontario represents a significant opportunity for companies to market. These industries are primed to adopt robotics technologies to keep pace with global trends towards automation.

Ontario has a large manufacturing base across many sectors:


food manufacturing




computers and electronics

plastics and rubber

transportation and paper .

World‐class education uniquely suited to industrial automation and robotics

Ontario’s innovative and collaborative ecosystem includes a strong post‐secondary education and training infrastructure. Ontario has the skilled labour required to be a leader in industrial automation and robotics. There are many programs available in the province, with applications in robotics, automation, controls, electronics and mechatronics, at the college, undergraduate and graduate levels.

24 of the province’s colleges offer automation and robotics-related programs

14 universities offer industrial engineering degrees

Four universities offer mechatronics programs

Apprenticeship programs for more than 150 skilled trades in multiple sectors, including construction, manufacturing This focus provides the talent required to undertake robotics‐related research, such as space robotics, drone technologies, autonomous ground vehicles, and underground/underwater applications.and automotive

This focus provides the talent required to undertake robotics‐related research, such as space robotics, drone technologies, autonomous ground vehicles, and underground/underwater applications.

Ontario is a hub for robotics research and innovation

Ontario’s mix of industry , academia and support programs offer the perfect environment to nurture R&D and fuel innovation.

R&D and commercialization of new and advanced robotics applications in Ontario have been predominantly driven by academic research networks:

The Canadian Surgical Technologies and Advanced Robotics centre is a collaborative research facility at the University of Western Ontario that integrates the research, development, testing and commercialization of novel surgical robotic techniques. Waterloo EDC in the Waterloo region is an advanced technology hub and innovation centre that features more than 1,000 technology firms in addition to active start-ups, and several post-secondary institutions. The Canadian Centre for Field Robotics at Y ork University is using Canada Foundation for Innovation funding to create a field robotics laboratory for research into terrestrial (ground contact) robotic vehicles capable of operating in complex outdoor environments, unmanned aerial vehicles, aquatic (surface) robotics and unmanned underwater vehicles.

The Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto has received $10 million from FedDev Ontario to further develop the Kids Arm robotic surgical system, the first pediatric technology of its kind in the world.

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