Eindhoven, 4 September, 2019 – Yesterday, the Flexible Manufacturing field lab opened its doors at the Brainport Industries Campus. In this field lab, experiments with robots and other forms of production automation are conducted to create a profitable Flexible Manufacturing System for the production of small components. Ineke Dezentjé Hamming-Bluemink, chairperson of the FME and Smart Industry officially opened the field lab. She also awarded John Blankendaal, Managing Director of Brainport Industries and the driving force behind the project, with the Smart Industry field lab trophy, which reconfirmed the official status of the Flexible Manufacturing the field lab as a Smart Industry field lab.
More than 20 companies and knowledge institutions work together in the Flexible Manufacturing field lab, which forms part of the innovation programme “Factory of the Future”, to demonstrate the possibilities that digitalization and automation have to offer for the small-scale serial production of components with a high level of variance and quality, at the cost of full-scale production. This is presented through several integrated demonstration projects in the field of human-robot collaboration, self-learning assembly lines, Flexible Handling, which leads to a fully automated task performance, and Bin Picking, a process where a robot picks and places components error-free during the production process.
“The Dutch industry manufactures components and products in small series and often in a variety of implementations. Thus, automated manufacturing is very expensive and requires a lot of programming time. If we can reduce the time to reprogram a robot, we can make the automated production of small series profitable”, says John Blankendaal. “In the field lab, we demonstrate this through a number of robot configurations that have been developed for the specific issues in this industry. Companies are more than welcome to come to the field lab for more information.”
Its status as a Smart Industry field lab allows the Flexible Manufacturing field lab to contribute to the Smart Industry network, attract new entrepreneurs and collaborate with other field labs. In addition, the Smart Industry Hub South, where the field lab is located, becomes more visible and more organised.
About field lab Flexible Manufacturing
The Flexible Manufacturing field lab was established at the end 2017 and aims to make the Flexible Manufacturing System (FMS) for small-series production more profitable with the help of robots and other forms of production automation. Partners of the field lab are KMWE, Brainport Industries, Bosch Rexroth, Festo, Fontys, Omron, VintiTech, Total Productivity, Accerion, Yaskawa, TNO, Avans, TU/e, De Cromvoirtse, MaromeTech, Tegema, Bronkhorst Flow Technology, Smart Robotics, assembly company Perfect, and Berenschot. The field lab is supported by the province Noord-Brabant and has acquired the status of Smart Industry field lab.
Field lab Flexible Manufacturing is part of the innovation programme ‘Factory of the Future’. This programme is established by and with 75 companies, educational and knowledge institutions, and industry associations in close collaboration with the province Noord-Brabant, a co-investor, Brainport Industries Cooperation, and the Brabant Development Agency (BOM). The innovations focus on these Smart Industry themes: robotics, digital factory, multi-material 3D-printing, industrial metal printing, high-tech software, future manufacturing skills and production logistics.
The facilities of the Factory of the Future can be found at the Brainport Industries Campus. For more information, visit: www.brainportindustries.com/nl/innovatieprogramma