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.

During a half-day masterclass, the pioneer of the QRM philosophy Rajan Suri will make a more in-depth exploration of POLCA, an alternative for Kanban. POLCA has been especially developed for high-mix, low-volume and custom-engineered products, for which Kanban systems are less well suited.

Looking for a technology for creating very small structures? The laser pulse duration with femtosecond laser technology is so short that the material does not have the time to heat up and immediately evaporate, so that protruding edges do not arise.

In order to be more competitive, Packo Inox was looking for a way to optimise its production, in order to further improve throughput times and quality. It applied different strategies and recently made the first steps towards QRM, to enable further improvement.

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.

Ceramics are usually the best choice for extreme conditions over a long time span and offer several advantages compared to metals. The main applications of technical ceramics are linked to one or more of these advantages. However, the high hardness of ceramics is also responsible for their main drawbacks. This is why additive manufacturing with ceramics can be challenging. Sirris drew up an e-book on the subject, which you can download for free now.

Cobots are gaining popularity in the industry because they are easy to set up, program and operate, while also providing secure collaboration with people and flexibility. However, this does not have to be at the expense of industrial robots. The choice rather depends on the application and environment.