A new collaborative fund from Precarn Inc and the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) has resulted in the first three awards for R&D projects designed to generate prototype development for the auto parts industry. Precarn is contributing $1.5 million through the Collaborative Auto R&D Program for projects worth $3.5 million. Matching funds are provided by participating organizations. The three projects are: Automatic Ding and Dent Detection, for a system to scan vehicles on the assembly line for deformations and make visual identification so that they can be sent for in-line repair. The lead firm is Neptec Design Group Ltd, Ottawa, with the Univ of Ottawa and Honda Canada as partners. Quanser Consulting Group Inc, Markham ON, is the lead firm for the Auto Component Failure Prediction Systems project. It will simulate large engine components to assist in the design of more robust models. Project partners are Laurentian Univ and Litens Automotive Group. Tool-Tec Welding Inc, Oldcastle ON, leads a project called Multi-Layer Robotic TIG Welding Following a 3D Contour. The project will develop a robotic system to automatically weld parts working on a three-dimensional surface. The project partners are the Univ of Waterloo and Omega Tool Corp….