To meet changing customer demands (personalised products, smaller series, short lead times, low costs), manufacturing companies must become more flexible and produce smartly. Optimising the internal production logistics is just as important as optimising the production processes. We take a look at the situation as it is today and what the future may bring.

The Trinity project focuses on digital technologies and advanced robotics for agile production in future European manufacturing ecosystems. In the meantime, the project has been running for six months and some things have already been realised. A status report.

Launched in 2016, the Interreg Smart Tooling project in which Sirris was also involved, was recently finalised. The innovations which were developed to significantly increase the efficiency and safety of maintenance, inspection and industrial cleaning in the process industry were shown and demonstrated at the closing event in November 2020.

More and more SMEs are considering the use of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) to assist their employees logistically. However, the use of an AMR in this way has a huge effect on an organisation. Our new demo from the Industry 4.0 'Operator Support' Living Lab shows how to go about it.

Lead time reduction starts with mapping your lead time. The MCT is a handy tool that lets you quickly map out your lead times and gain insights.

In these times of Industry 4.0 and Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) we may think that a Manufacturing Execution System (MES) or an IIoT backbone has become an absolute requirement to digitally connect the office (the ERP) with the shop floor. In this first of two articles we look at whether this is always the case.

On the assembly line in the Sirris lab in Kortrijk, One Two, a company known for their Action Trackers, recently conducted a few experiments. The purpose of the experiments was to investigate whether the Action Tracker could be used to register or start certain actions on a production line of, for example, a manufacturing company.

Cross-training of employees is a crucial activity for companies that want to reduce their lead time. Despite the many advantages there is often some hesitation to apply it. Digitising work instructions opens up a whole host of new possibilities, such as paperless activities, accurately measurements and monitoring and a considerable reduction in the chance of making mistakes.

Food producer Vandemoortele was looking to optimise its production and considered using cobots to this end. However, they did not yet have the necessary experience. A test stand demonstrated the possibilities and allowed the company to take the next step.

Manufacturing companies consider optimisation of the logistics activities on the production floor as an important driver to remain competitive. However, logistics in production comprises several subaspects. In a blog series, we zoom in on the various challenges and possible solutions. In the meantime, we are building a demonstrator with autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) in our application lab in Diepenbeek. This is just a sneak preview of what we have in store with our demonstrator.