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Precision manufacturing

Belgian industry, especially manufacturing, is undergoing widespread transformation. New technology trends, such as Industry 4.0, are forcing the industry to continuously reinvent itself and face new challenges. The objective of the continuous evolution is to hold its own in a globalised market where the competition is no longer located within national borders, but is spread out throughout the world. The objective is clear, to produce innovative and attractive products, for the lowest possible economic cost and with a lower social and ecological impact than previous products. Sirris already boasts a wide range of services and projects aimed at improving and future-proofing production processes.

Optimised production of LED systems for the lighting industry

The Lighting industry 4.0 VIS cluster collaboration project has recently been completed. Sirris and the Light & Lighting Laboratory at KU Leuven joined forces for this project and brought advanced production technologies to the Belgian lighting industry, represented by Groen Licht Vlaanderen. The overall project objective was to increase the level of knowledge in the field of production technology in the lighting industry, to develop and manufacture the Lighting of the future (Lighting 4.0) in Flanders. The potential of state-of-the-art production resources for various lighting unit components were demonstrated on a pilot production line to meet the objective set, both individually and together.

The project mainly addressed the lighting industry as a whole, but also companies within the industry that manufacture lighting systems for public and private infrastructure. The manufacturing industry and their technology suppliers faced the same challenge of transformation into an Industry 4.0 sector, by digitising production and implementing state-of-the-art production resources.

Several use cases have been conducted:

  • Printed 3D thermal element
  • Micro-structured Fresnel lens
  • High-tech assembly line

The Belgian lighting industry tested what advance production technologies often used in other sectors could do by means of this joint project. The use cases demonstrated the relevance of these technologies and built a knowledge base. The potential benefits were clear. Sirris intends to continue its action in the lighting industry.

ICON project focuses on tool wear in metal cutting processes

The ICON (Interdisciplinary Cooperative Research) projects provide multidisciplinary research teams of scientists and industry partners with the opportunity to collaborate on the development of innovative solutions, which are also added on to the market offering of the participating companies. For the ICON AI project, the Sirris Data and AI Competence Lab highlighted three themes with high added value for the industry in Flanders, in cooperation with three consortia of universities and industrial partners.

One of these projects is ATWI (Hybrid, multi-modal methodology for Automatic Tool Wear Inspection), the objective of which is accurate analysis and prediction of wear on metal cutting processes tools. Both direct (vision-based) and non-direct (data-driven) methods were combined, to develop a hybrid approach that defines new methods to extract relevant data for tool wear prediction, identify the correlation between tool wear status and underlying data, and construct an innovative integration of the multimodal information in production strategies. Sirris intends to collaborate with Exmore, Goddeeris, Buysse, Melotte, Tisea and KU Leuven.

ESA and Sirris research feasibility of deepest black via laser texturing

In August 2020, Sirris and ESA joined forces to research whether ultra-short laser pulses can be used blacken surfaces. Turning surfaces black is interesting for various industries, not least aerospace, for a variety of reasons. Black coatings can be used but certain limitations are inherent. Sirris saw an opportunity to extend the state-of-the-art options by using ultra-short laser pulse technology to develop textures for optic and thermal applications, thus producing deepest black without the corresponding disadvantages or limitations.