How will the drives of the vehicles and machines of the future look like?
“Combination of autonomy and automation leads to new applications with huge added value”
Bert Paquet, our Cluster Manager of the Motion Products competence domain, works with Flanders Make since August 2017. Before that, he gained extensive experience with, among others, the CNH Group. Based in Chicago, he headed the product development team that performed research into high-precision agriculture, autonomous machines and telematics applications for agricultural vehicles, construction machines and trucks. This experience led him to Flanders Make, where he now guides and supervises research into, among others, the powertrains of future machines and vehicles.
Our research within the competence cluster Motion Products supports companies that are active in mechanical engineering and the vehicle industry. Bert Paquet: “We help them to successfully launch new products and services onto the market. In doing so, we anticipate both global industry trends and their own future technology requirements. Today, we work together more closely than ever with our colleagues at the Flemish universities, among others by intensifying our cooperation with core labs such as EEDT from Ghent University and MOBI from the Free University Brussels (VUB).”
“Our projects always build upon existing research projects. In future, we will define them in an even more targeted way, focusing on the smart and connected manufacturing industry and the rapid technological evolutions. I’m thinking, for instance, of the development of a new electrical variable transmission, which allows to control a very wide range of rotational speeds and powers in a very compact form. For my cluster, Motion Products, the focus is on the architecture and validation of these complex systems.”
“Our cluster performs quite a lot of research into the combination of autonomy and automation, also referred to as ‘autonomation’, for professional applications. Although this technology is based on what is currently being developed in the automotive industry, the applications in which we want to make a difference go further than the autonomous driving of cars. Think about the significance that autonomous machines for the industry can have when we are able to combine these autonomous motions with other fully automated and integrated functionalities. By focusing on such niche products and their technological requirements, our manufacturing industry can achieve a unique position within our global market. Next to automating existing applications, our activities can also pave the way for new applications, which may even create the biggest added value. The potential and value of new technology are mainly to be found in new applications that so far aren’t yet possible or haven’t yet been thought of. There is no doubt that also in the next few years working with Flanders Make will remain extremely fascinating.”
“The applications in which we want to make a difference go further than autonomous cars. By focusing on niche products, our manufacturing industry can achieve a unique position on our global market.”