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ATS Collaborates with Conestoga to Advance Digitization Capabilities

POSTED 02/14/2020

Research intended to enable next-generation worker training and will involve Bruce Power's refurbishment program

CAMBRIDGE, ON - ATS Automation Tooling Systems Inc. (TSX: ATA) ("ATS") an industry-leading automation solutions provider is pleased to announce a collaboration agreement with Conestoga College to advance ATS's digitization capabilities. The collaboration builds on the long-standing research and development relationship between ATS and Conestoga's SMART (Smart Manufacturing and Advanced Recycling Technologies) Centre. 
This latest project will combine the nuclear refurbishment expertise of ATS with SMART Centre's Augmented (AR), Virtual (VR) and Mixed Realities and will build on ATS's new Illuminate Smart Coach™ (https://illuminatemi.com/smartcoach/) digital training service. 

"Collaborating with Conestoga strengthens ATS's commitment to remaining a leading-edge automation solutions provider," said Udo Panenka, ATS President Mobility, Nuclear and Specialty Automation. "We continuously look for innovative and transformative ways to provide our customers with the highest level of service. Advancing the possibilities of automation control through simulation and visualization within our products, tooling solutions and processes is crucial to helping our customers achieve the highest level of performance." 

The partners will focus initially on adopting AR/VR enhancements to improve human performance and worker efficiency during the training, maintenance and support of ATS tooling used in the Bruce Power Major Component Replacement (MCR) program. 

Bruce Power's MCR program involves the refurbishment of six nuclear reactors and will enable the nuclear power plant to deliver clean and reliable energy for Ontario for the next four decades. ATS plays a key role in supporting the program by designing and supplying all of the automation equipment required to remove the irradiated reactor components including the fuel channels, calandria tubes and calandria tube inserts. Reactor component removal tooling has been designed to maximize safety during the removal process while optimizing operational resources. 

"Conestoga and ATS Automation are developing newer, smarter ways to use technology and train employees," says Rob Hoare, Construction Director at Bruce Power. "We're excited to leverage these innovations to enhance the training of our workers which will have a direct impact on the safety and quality of our 13-year MCR Project. We're proud to work with local, innovative partners like Conestoga and ATS. By embracing new technology, we're able to get work done safer and to the highest level of quality." 

Testing of the technology will leverage the MCR Integration Facility, which is a state-of-the-art automation testing site at ATS Cambridge, purposely built for the Bruce Power MCR program. 

"Applied research with industry partners is a cornerstone of polytechnic education," said Conestoga President John Tibbits. "Conestoga's long-standing collaboration with ATS continues to yield tremendous benefits, advancing innovation to address business needs while providing valuable learning and development opportunities for students and faculty alike." 

The collaboration is funded by Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE), through its College Voucher for Technology Adoption (CVTA) program.

About Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning
Conestoga College is a leader in polytechnic education, delivering a comprehensive range of career-focused education and training to prepare students for success, support industry and workforce needs, and promote economic prosperity throughout the region it serves and across Ontario. In 2019, Conestoga earned a top-twelve ranking among Canada's Top 50 Research Colleges, according to a report from Research Infosource Inc. Over the past year, more than 3,600 students and close to 270 faculty members at the college were engaged in applied research through capstone, curriculum-based and independent research projects. Conestoga's SMART Centre is a state-of-the-art facility, located in the Gaslight District in Galt, that focuses on two core areas of applied research; Smart Manufacturing and Advanced Recycling Technologies. Here, students and faculty collaborate with industry partners to develop innovative solutions that enhance productivity and sustainability.

About ATS
ATS is an industry-leading automation solutions provider to many of the world's most successful companies. ATS uses its extensive knowledge base and global capabilities in custom automation, repeat automation, automation products and value-added services, including pre-automation and after-sales services, to address the sophisticated manufacturing automation systems and service needs of multinational customers in markets such as life sciences, chemicals, consumer products, electronics, food, beverage, transportation, energy, and oil and gas. Founded in 1978, ATS employs approximately 4,500 people at 24 manufacturing facilities and over 50 offices in North America, Europe, Southeast Asia and China. The Company's shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol ATA.

Forward-Looking Statements: 
This news release contains certain statements that constitute forward-looking information within the meaning of applicable securities laws ("forward-looking statements"). Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of ATS, or developments in ATS' business or in its industry, to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance, achievements or developments expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include all disclosure regarding possible events, conditions or results of operations that is based on assumptions about future economic conditions and courses of action. Forward-looking statements may also include, without limitation, any statement relating to future events, conditions or circumstances. ATS cautions you not to place undue reliance upon any such forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date they are made. Forward-looking statements relate to, among other things, the advancement of ATS's digitization capabilities and adopting AR/VR enhancements to improve human performance and worker efficiency. The risks and uncertainties that may affect forward-looking statements include, among others: the potential for the project not to achieve targeted outcomes, and other risks detailed from time to time in ATS' filings with Canadian provincial securities regulators. Forward-looking statements are based on management's current plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions, and other than as required by applicable securities laws, ATS does not undertake any obligation to update forward-looking statements should assumptions related to these plans, estimates, projections, beliefs and opinions change.