Innovation services

The different types of R&D/research and valorisation projects in which we take part, on our own initiative or on the initiative of third parties.

Rolling out research results to other companies

R&D Manager Gregory Pinte feels confident about the future. “In the past year, we’ve completed a considerable number of projects that were started in the early stages of Flanders Make. In the next couple of years, we must explore wider applications for these research results and translate them into applications for other companies as well.”

“Thanks to a close cooperation within the Flanders Make innovation ecosystem, Flemish companies and research institutions have booked great results”, says Gregory Pinte. “For instance, by making use of smart control algorithms, we succeeded in making powertrains in companies such as Picanol more efficient. Together with Atlas Copco and Van de Wiele, we set up a project focusing on model-based designs and in the vehicle industry, we successfully worked together with Octinion for developing the very first robot for picking strawberries. ”

“But of course, it doesn’t stop here. We will but have reached our objectives if we can also transfer the developed technologies to other companies.”

European research projects

In terms of research projects, Gregory Pinte detects  an important evolution. “On the one hand, we want to increase our efforts to join European research projects and to set up partnerships with foreign research institutions. We notice a positive trend towards more partnership initiatives between the core labs of Flanders Make. In turn, the knowledge gained through this can be applied to the benefit of our Flemish companies. On the other hand, we’re also shifting into a higher gear on the Flemish market by intensifying our cooperation with other knowledge partners. For instance, a research partner such as IMEC has remarkable knowledge of smart sensors and data analysis, we on the other have comprehensive expertise in smart control software for machines and vehicles. By joining forces in joint research projects, we can anticipate the needs of our Flemish manufacturing industry even better.”

The outlines for the first joint projects have already been defined. “In 2018, we work together to develop a smart maintenance system for gearboxes so that at a later stage we will be able to predict when bearings in gearboxes need to be replaced. In another project, we examine how sensors that measure stress among operators, for instance, can be used in assembly cells as well so that based on these measured data people can be given more or less tasks. We also explore ways in which we could integrate robots in these processes.”

Gregory Pinte

“By making use of smart control algorithms, we succeeded in making powertrains in companies such as Picanol and Van de Wiele more efficient.”

Gregory Pinte