Success Story

Kongsberg Automotive : Innovation Through Local Manufacturing

Learn more about how Kongsberg Automotive leveraged local manufacturing companies to innovate through Axya.

By Yacine Mahdid | Jul 1, 2022

Kongsberg Automotive Shawinigan Tech Center

Located just a two-hour drive outside of Montreal is Kongsberg Automotive's Shawinigan Tech Center. One of just 6 tech centers that Kongsberg Automotive operates globally, the center is responsible for a variety of manufacturing operations that are crucial to the company's global supply chain and continual status as a global leader in the automotive space. Since Kongsberg Automotive (KA) began global production in 1957, the team has served as a trailblazer when it comes to prioritizing innovation, sustainability and creativity in their development process. Over six decades later, the company remains dedicated as ever to its innovative roots. KA currently produces various lines of products for industrial and passenger vehicles that provide drivers with a smooth and sustainable vehicle experience.

With a customer network spanning across the globe, Kongsberg Automotive quickly realized the importance of creating a manufacturing network that could withstand the complex global demands of its customers. In 2007, KA's Shawinigan tech center (originally established as Megatech Electro) officially began operating under Kongsberg in order to support its growing customer base and continually explore ways to push boundaries in automotive innovation. 

Supported by Quebec's competitive manufacturing industry which has been rapidly growing for nearly half a century, Kongsberg Automotive knew that Shawinigan would provide an ideal location, a highly-skilled workforce, and a network of support from a wide array of manufacturing experts in the province. KA quickly leveraged these world-class resources and soon after opening, the Shawinigan Tech Center began manufacturing electronic and software solutions for KA facilities globally. Today, the experienced team in Shawinigan plays an integral role in developing new mechatronic technologies for KA products sold globally. Furthermore, the Shawinigan team brings their technical expertise to the table to focus on sustainable solutions for KA-- electrifying transport solutions, designing clean hydrogen solutions and optimizing battery technologies. 

In Search for New Ways to Connect with Local Manufacturers

Now an established name in the Quebec manufacturing community, KA continues to search for new ways to connect with local manufacturers and incorporate their specialized work into the company's global supply chains-- all with fewer shipping costs, delays and communication barriers. Despite having an international network of manufacturers and partners at their disposal, KA saw the competitive advantages prevalent within the province and prioritized the hidden strength of working locally. The team continues to collaborate with local machine shops, such as MR&C 3D Usinage, and incorporate their wealth of knowledge into their worldwide operations.

One of Drummondville's leading machine shops, MR&C 3D Usinage has earned itself a reputation as a trusted supplier for CNC machining, turnkey full mechanical assembly, precision machining, and more. The team operates out of a 2500 square feet manufacturing facility equipped with numerous CNC machines, capabilities for 3D scanning and an expert team with the capacity to consult on projects of all sizes. MR&C 3D Usinage boasts their experience working with companies in industries ranging from food and telecommunication to nuclear and naval.

MR&C further highlights its agility as a differentiator among other machine shops. The team takes on projects of all sizes-- a challenge that not many manufacturers are willing to accept due to the complexities and vulnerabilities associated with machining projects of very small sizes. The shop is also no stranger to dealing with emergency situations and supplier delays. In fact, the shop's website mentions operating under tight and last-minute deadlines as a specialty of theirs.

Kongsberg Automotive and MR&C 3D Usinage

It is thus no surprise that MR&C makes an ideal local manufacturing partner for Kongsberg Automotive. The two companies both hold an appreciation for collaborating to innovate, leveraging local talent, and adopting new methods during unprecedented times. Moreover, both teams share a commitment to sustainability and continuously prioritize the environment as they iterate for the future.

It is these shared values that have enabled Kongsberg Automotive and MR&C to maintain a manufacturing relationship that has withstood many tumultuous supply chain delays and the COVID-19 pandemic.  Within just 14 minutes of releasing an RFQ to their existing supplier network, KA received a quote from MR&C and awarded them the contract.

"We couldn’t be more happy to take on requests like this. A big yes," says the team from MR&C Usinage--now more confident than ever in their ability to serve global customers and projects of all sizes. "It is thanks to your customers, suppliers and team that contracts like this are possible.”

Kongsberg Automotive and MR&C are prime examples of innovative teams working together and experimenting with new solutions that open the door to further efficiency and growth. By committing to local production, KA was able to save time and money-- all while developing new relationships and gaining key industry insights from local partners.

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