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Flanders Make and VSCT join forces to perform research into green cars of tomorrow

European legislation imposes increasingly strict limits regarding the emission of damaging gases by vehicles. Accordingly, the automotive industry performs considerably research into green technology. They do this together with universities and research centres such as Flanders Make. VCST (Volvo Cars Sint-Truiden) is a global designer and manufacturer of motors, drives and technology components. They work closely together with Flanders Make on technologies for noise reduction in gearboxes.

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Combining disciplines for smart vehicles and machinery

Self-driving cars capture everyone’s imagination. Less common knowledge is that the development of the technology to make machinery and other vehicles autonomous is supported in Flanders. Flanders Make, the research center for the manufacturing industry, maintains close partnerships with the industry to study a wide range of applications: from logistic robots, tractors and weaving machines to assembly cells within production areas. The key to success is a simultaneous design combining mechanics, electricity, electronics, software and control. 

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Combination of locating systems for more accurate positioning

The media often talk about autonomous vehicles. However, it is obvious that driverless cars won’t take over our streets anytime soon. What is talked about a lot less, is that in industrial environments, autonomous applications have been integrated a lot more already. AGVs or Automated Guided Vehicles can execute different tasks in a production environment: transport, stock-taking, locating, etc. For this, they need to know where they are, where they want to go and what is the best route – taking into account other static or moving obstacles on the way.

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Rapid energy storage in machine drives results in lower total cost of ownership

Many drivetrains of machines make back-and-forth motions, generating oscillating power on the drive shaft. To avoid unwanted high speed variations in the drive shaft and/or unwanted energy flows between machine and network, a rapid energy storage system must be added to the machine.

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Innovations in production environments in 2019

About 200 years ago, the manufacturing industry launched out of the starting blocks with the advent of the Industrial Revolution. Notwithstanding the many discoveries and revelations since then, we are now at the eve of what might be the greatest metamorphosis in the world of industry. Industry 4.0., the Fourth Industrial Revolution, will enable interlinked appliances to sense their environment and to cooperate in order to produce the most efficient workflow.

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Flexible and cost-efficient machining of large composites, how do you do that?

In the aviation industry, the use of composites for manufacturing important large components is steadily increasing. Following this shift from metal to composites, the production processes for these components must be adapted as well. However, this evolution is not that obvious within the manufacturing industry as the current machining processes for composite components are insufficiently flexible and efficient.

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Annual report 2018: reflection about growth, ambition and the future of the manufacturing industry

Flanders Make can look back on a good and successful 2018. Last year, we not only succeeded in realising growth, we also continued to streamline our organisation and bring our innovation ecosystem into practice. In addition, the companies in our network created a few thousand extra jobs.

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Predictive maintenance: reduce maintenance costs by predicting machine failures

Predictive maintenance is a new way to schedule machine maintenance works. By monitoring the vibration pattern of machine parts, you can monitor the status of the machine. In this way, you know exactly when a component starts to show faults and can schedule the maintenance works accordingly.

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A virtual design platform for sheet material products

Today, it is still impossible to optimally use all possibilities offered by lightweight products when designing structures in sheet material because we fail to integrate the uncertainty and variability of the production process as well as the thickness distribution of the final product in the design. Accordingly, a model combining both aspects can be very interesting.

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