Some references

Who is better placed to explain what Sirris can do for you than our member companies themselves? Here are a few examples from various domains, to show what you can expect from us.

Based in Bruges, Prince Belgium – part of Prince International Corporation – is a leading global manufacturer of high-quality base materials for enamel coatings, also known as frit. Each type of frit is custom-made to meet the customer’s requirements in terms of process chemistry complexity and end usage of the frit. Enamel coatings are applied in various contexts, including household appliances, bathroom fittings and cookware, as well as in industrial applications such as tanks and silos for chemicals and heat exchangers. The Prince R&D centre in Bruges specialises in the development of frit and enamel coatings for all of the above applications.

Ophardt Belgien – a specialist in hygiene products – investigated the possibility of optimising part of their soap dispenser production, to facilitate the process for operators. The intention was to introduce a cobot and vision system.

Based in the Brussels region, Medical Graphics and Robotics (MGR) specialises in the manufacture of medical equipment and accessories. The company now aimed to develop a new method to manufacture medical arm braces with a very short lead time. For this project, MGR partnered with Swibrace, a Switzerland-based company. MGR also contacted Sirris to conduct technical feasibility studies.

Haelvoet – an SME established in Ingelmunster, West Flanders – designs and manufactures furniture for hospitals and care centres. In order to be able to continue to stand out among international competitors, Haelvoet focuses on product innovation that meets the evolving needs of the healthcare sector. Due to the increasing number of people in need of care and the growing need for personnel and infrastructure, the focus in this sector is increasingly on operational efficiency.

Group Nivelles N.V. manufactures and distributes bathroom furniture, solid-surface shower walls, washbasins and wall panels, as well as their patented shower and washbasin drainage system, I-Drain®. The family business distributes their products both throughout Belgium and internationally, and is continuously growing and improving their processes and products. Group Nivelles wished to investigate the possibility of finishing their I-Drain shower channels with a hard-wearing PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) coating and the existing colour options. The company decided to consult the experts in coatings at Sirris.

"The sanding process we currently use for our Solid Surface washbasins, shower trays and wall panels can no longer meet increasing customer demand. How can we best tackle the automation and optimisation of this process?" Group Nivelles contacted Sirris to study this question together.

Founded in 2003, GeonX specialises in software development for the manufacturing industry. They develop, produce and distribute computer-based design software solutions. The company’s main specialisation is the virtual factory, with the VirFac for Virtual Factory software as their flagship project. Development is taking a new direction in terms of technology, which is being adopted by an increasing number of companies to plan, optimise and manage the production chain from concept to production. The market is relatively large; as a market leader, GeonX is in the ideal position of owning a product with significant potential. Their virtual factory is constantly developing further. After a few years of development, the Morfeo solver has become the computing core of the VirFac virtual factory, and has been integrated into a virtual design platform. Various modules have been developed and made available, including applications for welding, wood-cutting, heat treatment and additive manufacturing. The latter represented a new challenge for the company.

In late 2018, the European Space Agency (ESA) selected Sirris to set up a programme on additive manufacturing (AM) with Belgian companies. ESA has been monitoring this technology for more than 15 years, having acknowledged it as an essential basic technology for the future of aerospace.

CEE, established in Hamme-Mille, specialises in improving the efficiency of energy-intensive production processes. The first is to establish optimised process parameters through simulation and testing in the CEE Thermolab. The company also designs and builds the optimised thermal processes and the necessary utilities.

Atlas Copco, a manufacturer of compressors and compressed air systems, was facing a challenge: replacing the on-site coating line in Wilrijk to add a protective coating to certain components of the compressor. Atlas Copco called on Sirris to provide their knowledge and expertise in coating and automation, to assist in this complex task.

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