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Automation firm helps with technology upgrades at Thunder Bay college

Lakeside Process Controls outfits Confederation's Instrumentation Lab

Lakeside Process Controls came through with a big-time donation to Confederation College in Thunder Bay.

The industrial automation firm made a donation valued at $335,500 to equip the college's renovated Instrumental Lab. It's considered the largest single in-kind gift to support the college's TEC Campaign.

The space, now dubbed Lakeside Process Controls Laboratory, was revealed on Dec. 4.

The TEC Campaign began in May 2018, a three-year, $5-million capital campaign to upgrade the college's new 45,000-square-foot TEC Hub building with modern equipment.

In a news release, the college said the upgraded lab now uses one of the most advanced Distributed Control Systems in the world and, along with new trainers and workstations, is one of the most advanced instrument labs in Canada.

“It is through visionary supporters like Lakeside Controls, that we are able to continue our legacy of facilitating student success with exemplary programming in state-of-the-art facilities,” said college president Kathleen Lynch in a statement.

"Their gift of equipment, their hands-on involvement in the renovation effort, and their ongoing engagement with our Instrumentation program are deeply appreciated."

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The release said the lab saw the implementation of a remote configuration to support a hybrid learning model of both in-class and online training to provide increased access to lab equipment outside of regular classroom hours.

All the equipment is tagged with QR codes, enabling students to quickly and easily access forms, manuals, schematics, videos, instructions and more, while creating a nearly paperless experience.

Confederation said the renovation serves as a catalyst for the development of new teaching methods and resources, taking the Instrumentation Engineering Technician – Process and Automation Control program to the next level.

Industry partners will also have access to the space, using the equipment for control scenarios testing and troubleshooting.

"The students and faculty have been hard at work completing the technology upgrades for instrumentation, automation, and valve products to improve the experience beyond their existing facilities,” said Mike Colaneri, Lakeside's account manager.

“We saw the true potential of the students and their needs and we were happy to be a part of their journey.”

Headquartered in Mississauga, Lakeside has seven facilities across Canada, including one in Thunder Bay.