Today, circular economy is omnipresent. For manufacturing companies, this overwhelming offer is often still lacking focus. A new tool helps these companies to make meaningful and feasible choices in the short term. This by making acquired knowledge, insights and tried-and-tested methods widely accessible.

​The closing event of the Interreg Factory 4.0 project took place on 10 June 2020. This included holding a Business Club on the theme of cyber security, which is a highly relevant topic these days.

In 2019, few could have predicted how 2020 would turn out. Sirris had already been preparing itself and the industry for a digitised future, to ensure businesses are more resilient, agile and stronger. Find out more in our annual report.

Manufacturing companies consider optimisation of the logistics activities on the production floor as an important driver to remain competitive. However, logistics in production comprises several subaspects. In a blog series, we zoom in on the various challenges and possible solutions. In the meantime, we are building a demonstrator with autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) in our application lab in Diepenbeek. This is just a sneak preview of what we have in store with our demonstrator.

LED lighting is currently breaking through in various branches of the lighting industry. This type of lighting is powerful, economical and has limited dimensions. For a more efficient production, femtosecond laser technology can be used.

A new way to administer painless medication is to use plasters with microneedles. However, the production of this plaster is not yet perfected. Sirris and KU Leuven have investigated whether an injection moulding process could be used to produce these needles in large quantities and at a very low cost.

Solid carbide endmills are the most commonly used tools in almost every machine shop. Process engineers are always concerned with productivity gains by reducing the tooling cost, machining time and bring down the cost per part to increase the margins. The selection of the machining conditions either rely on the experience of the operator or the recommendations from the tool manufacturer. In spite of all efforts, hitting the sweet spot or getting the part first-time-right is still challenging. Though complete mastery of the dynamics of milling process is difficult, some insights on tool geometry would definitely help.

The crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic has brought about a great many changes. And even when society gradually starts up again and we are allowed back out into the world, there will still be challenges to face. How are manufacturing companies coping with the situation? What about the period after ‘lockdown light’? And what does all this mean in the context of Industry 4.0? We asked our experts at Sirris what they made of it all.

At some point we may well be facing a shortage of life-support systems in hospitals due to the corona epidemic. Two prospective physicians are currently developing an alternative life-support system which can be produced on a large scale in a very short period of time. They make an urgent appeal to all manufacturing companies active in metalworking, injection moulding or the production and assembly of electronic printed circuit boards.

What is the role of surface functionalities and, in particular, the role of textures, in the manufacturing industry in Belgium? That is the question we asked our member companies last summer with a view to rolling out a service on surface textures. The (concise) results are presented in this article.