INNOVATION May-June 2021

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ROMAINE-4 SNOWPACK SUPPORTING STRUCTURES The largest single-point-anchor snowpack-supporting structure system in North America was recently installed at the Romaine-4 Hydroelectric Project in eastern Quebec, to mitigate avalanche risk to a powerhouse and tailrace. The design included 43 Maccaferri Erdox Neve snowpack- supporting structures. There were several project constrains and challenges, including significant time limitations for on-site layout and installation. These “umbrella”-type panel systems were used due to the relative ease of layout on the convoluted slope, and to minimize anchoring and installation time. In order to further reduce on-site time, advanced GIS techniques and high-resolution drone-based LiDAR data was used to analyse snow distribution patterns, and complete much of the layout and design with desktop-based analysis. Participants: Owner: Hydro-Quebec; Alpine Solutions Avalanche Services: Cam Campbell, P.L.Eng., Brian Gould, P.Eng.; Englobe: Geneviève Landry, Eng. (Ordre des ingénieurs du Québec). Vancouver based ECOfluid Systems Inc. was selected by EWOS Canada to design and build an onsite wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) at its Surrey facility. In the past, the company discharged its manufacturing process wastewater directly into the city sewer, and high flows and levels of organic pollutants, such as Carbonaceous Biochemical Oxygen Demand and ammonia, would trigger surcharges. ECOfluid provided a packaged WWTP utilizing Upflow Sludge Blanket Filtration (USBF) technology to significantly reduce pollutant levels in the discharged wastewater and create the potential of water reuse. This small footprint packaged plant can treat up to 80 square metres per day. ECOfluid’s scope included process water assessment (with NORAM Engineering and Constructors), package plant design, and supply. Participants: ECOfluid: Brian Chan, P.Eng., Zhidong Li; NORAM: Carl Finlay, P.Eng, Rachael Mutsaerts, EIT.

COVID-19 MEDICAL DEVICE DEMAND Verathon Medical manufactures video laryngoscopes to assist doctors while putting patients on ventilators. Demand for our devices rose tenfold in March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The manufacturing engineering team reviewed current state and demand increase, and developed a gap analysis. Reusable product cycle times and takt times were reviewed. Once bottlenecks were highlighted, the team went rebalanced the production lines and create additional fixturing needed to meet increased output. The single-use product capacity expansion originally had a 24-month timeline. The project was condensed into six months. Production was re-imagined from a single development cell into multiple high-volume production lines. Reusable Laryngoscope volumes increased within a week. Single-use bronchoscope capacity expansion was completed in five months. Participants: Tobin Lock, P.Eng., Jason Lee, Alex Glimm-Houtstra, Sabian Chiu.

BLEACHED WHEAT STRAW PULPING FACILITY Essity is an industry leader in the production of consumer tissue and professional care products. At its production facility in Mannheim, Germany, Essity identified an opportunity to reduce costs and increase the sustainable fiber content of its products by supplementing existing pulp supply with that derived from agricultural-based by-products. To capitalize on the opportunity, Essity obtained the rights to Sustainable Fiber Technologies’ Phoenix Process to develop a 100 tonnes-per-day bleached wheat straw production facility and engaged Allnorth to support the project’s engineering effort. Lead by Allnorth’s Nanaimo-based pulp and paper team, the project was supported by team members in Vancouver, Prince George, Calgary, and Atlanta. Using wheat straw to produce high-quality pulp for tissue products is one of the ways Essity supports sustainability and contributes to a circular economy. Participants: Allnorth Consultants Limited: Ryan Sinclair, P.Eng., Kevin Peterson, P.Eng., Doug McKenzie, P.Eng., Billy Tran, P.Eng., Paul Jacobsen, P.Eng., Chris Mathie, P.Eng., Mark Skovmose, P.Eng., Brandi Heisterman, P.Eng.


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