Many companies that build physical products are increasingly aware of the potential of smart(er) products and the Internet of Things, and are exploring what this can mean for their product and business. Easier said than done.

We can no longer imagine life without connected products. Lots of companies manufacturing physical products, are wondering - and quite rightly so - whether smart connected products are also their future and if and when they should make a move. It seems risky not to invest, while investing incorrectly is also wrong.

More and more smart connected products pop up around us and more technology is available on the market to make smart internet-of-things (IoT) solutions. Many companies that build physical products wonder whether and when to take which steps. They are faced with numerous challenges such as creating added value and devising an attractive value proposal.

Additive manufacturing - (AM) - or 3D printing technologies have soared in recent years. Thanks to this evolution, we can now design and produce parts with (superior) properties that cannot be made with classical production methods. If, as a result, the designer makes maximum use of his design freedom, a higher production cost may be more than justified: in the end, what counts is the total cost of ownership.

Sensing and control are key capabilities for making your products smarter and more autonomous and they are the topic of the 'Mechatronics 4.0 Masterclass V: Best practices toward robust sensing & control of your system' on 20 June.

Sirris is helping a company to motorise the lenses of mini-cameras for remotely controlling images.

On 3 March the festive opening took place of the eighth Sirris branch in the buildings of Ghent University, Campus Kortrijk. The focus will be on flexible automation of assembling, to make specific technology applications, including in the context of Factories of the Future and Industry 4.0, available for mechanical engineering and mechatronics companies in West Flanders and beyond.

On 3 March Sirris and POM West Flanders are opening the application laboratory for making specific technology applications related to Factories of the Future and Industry 4.0. It will be at the disposal of local West Flanders companies, as well as other companies throughout Belgium. The site, which becomes Sirris' eighth, forms the initial stage towards realizing the West Flanders plan for 'Factories of the Future' for the mechanical engineering and mechatronics sectors.

In order to make specific technological applications available to industry within the scope of Factories of the Future and Industry 4.0 for example, on 3 March Sirris is opening its eighth office located in Kortrijk. The focus here is on mechanical engineering, mechatronics and assembly. Here's a little peep at what you can expect at the opening (and afterwards)!