Who has not heard of the fantastic benefits that additive manufacturing (AM) technologies have brought to real world applications? We are now seeing parts designed that are lighter, more efficient and that are fancy. Several new technologies in AM have popped up and old ones are getting highly efficient and automated to process materials and generate little waste. There are however, still a few challenges.

In Industry 4.0, design and manufacturing are closely linked. This is the starting point for the merger of the Prototyping Xpo and MNE trade fairs into a single fair for the entire value chain, from innovative design in small volumes to the production and marketing of series. Prototyping-MNE, in which Sirris also participates, will take place on 5 and 6 February in Kortrijk.

A time registration system was recently installed on the smart assembly line in the Sirris lab in Kortrijk. The assembly line is used to demonstrate how technology can support the operator in several assembly actions.

As a company from the border region with France, are you ready for your transformation to Industry 4.0 but don't know where to start? Then the Factory 4.0 project of the European Interreg Programme has just what you need! As one of the project partners, Sirris provides the necessary guidance and infrastructure.

The newsletters from the Interreg project Factory 4.0 keep you up to date with the latest developments, events and testimonials. An overview of the most recent items.

The potential of lasers has become huge thanks to recent technological developments, thereby also increasing the potential of surface functionalisation by means of laser texturing. New functionalities and possibilities become available to the industry and Sirris will investigate these for you.

In our sites in Hasselt and Liège, company managers can now, with the assistance of 40 of our specialists, build and test their own ‘production line of the future’ in realistically recreated industrial environments. It took 12 months to build the pilot factory. Our aim is to put all manufacturing companies in Belgium on the road to the fourth industrial revolution. The launch of our pilot factory took place on 7 November.

The rise of additive manufacturing requires digital support for the entire production chain in order to be able to monitor and guarantee product quality. In order to make this possible, Sirris is working on an eID or digital passport for products in its 4.0 Made Real Pilot Factory.

Parts produced by additive manufacturing can be found in an increasing number of sectors where quality criteria are extremely strict, such as the aeronautical field and medicine. For the manufacturers producing these parts, command is essential, not only of their production tool parameters, but also of the quality of the raw materials they comprise. Sirris helps those manufacturers to implement robust quality assurance and control systems.

Polishing is a labour-intensive task that requires the necessary experience and expertise. These properties are becoming increasingly rare on the shop floor. Automation is an option, but small series and complex shapes require a different approach. Within its 4.0 Made Real Pilot Factory, Sirris develops a tailor-made solution.