Seminar on hard materials was a success

The second part in the seminar series organised by Sirris and Agoria concerning 'precision manufacturing' was held on 24 June. The theme was ‘manufacturing high quality products using hard materials and the associated challenges and problems’. The host for the day was Niko in Sint-Niklaas - best known for their electrical sockets and light switches - who provided a suitable setting with ample opportunity for networking.

Following the introduction given by Agoria and Niko, Olivier Malek from Sirris made a presentation that introduced the seminar participants to the world of ceramics and hard metals, including the challenges faced when processing such materials. A number of typical technologies were explained, after which Sirris's vision of what will be happening over the coming years was unveiled - laser technology as a multifunctional tool.

Jan Bouquet from KU Leuven explained the concept of integrated laser hardening by way of a particularly fruitful collaboration with Niko. Within the scope of the shared 'High precision manufacturing for new and better products' research project, led by Sirris and supported by IWT, KU Leuven has already made a case study involving the local hardening of one of Niko's spray nozzles. The great advantage offered by this technology is that without having to change machines and with the item still in the clamps, it is possible to harden solely the areas that are sensitive to wear.

After the presentations there was time for a tour of Niko's plant: as well as the tool shop, those present were also able to view the entire production process of the well-known Niko products.  It was obvious that Niko invests heavily in innovation and is continually seeking new solutions in order to bring better products to the market that meet the demands of the consumer.

Would you like to know more about the precision roadshow? Take a peep at our agenda!

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