Smart factories of the future
With SmartFactory BNL, we join forces with companies to provide answers to the challenges of our production companies within the Benelux. These challenges are big:
- Customers increasingly expect customised products;
- Short delivery times;
- Without extra costs.
This is not self-evident. The current production systems are designed to manufacture large quantities of exactly the same product, not for manufacturing customised products. That's why our factories need to transform into flexible, smart and digital workplaces. If we anticipate this trend, we will immediately be one step ahead of the competition and be able to keep jobs in the Benelux.
Working together as network partners
In the SmartFactory initiative, Flanders Make develops concepts together with companies to meet these production challenges. What started as a small initiative with 3 partners has now grown into a full-fledged concept with 8 active members. These partners carry out research and development projects related to Industry 4.0 and the factory of the future. The work ranges from brainstorming sessions and developing a vision to industrial implementation. In this way, we are building a mobile production unit of the future that, thanks to the efficient use of new technologies and methods, will be able to produce made-to-measure mass products. The platform is constantly evolving and more and more features and functionalities are being added. Increased automation and implementation of artificial intelligence now drive the project forward.
The 8 partners work together in a unique ecosystem in which they provide hardware and software and share knowledge and expertise. Flanders Make creates the perfect framework for these partners to communicate and to carry out joint research, development, testing and implementation activities. Because we are an independent organisation, we can offer a neutral platform for exchanges between leading companies and institutes with regard to Industry 4.0.
Why should you participate?
As entrepreneur, you always want to stay one step ahead of the competition. The full-fledged digitisation of the production environment is therefore inevitable. By joining the SmartFactory programme, you will learn everything about the technological possibilities in an Industry 4.0 production unit. You will also acquire valuable knowhow from the demonstration platform and be able to apply it in your own company.
- Keep up with state-of-the-art Industry 4.0 technology.
- Develop a vision for the future of your production department.
- Use the mobile platform as demonstrator on your events.
- Test communication methods thanks to the platform’s maximum compatibility with the German SmartFactory initiative in Kaiserslautern.
- Take part in workshops and get support for technology transfer to your company.
Want to join?
Companies joining SmartFactoryBNL help to set up a joint digital production system that will enable them to demonstrate new state-of-the-art technologies and work together with one another in realistic working conditions. By integrating their own technology, manufacturing companies can also learn to create a flexible manufacturing system for themselves that can be easily adapted to new product variants.
Joining this project is very interesting for providers of, for instance, automation technology, robots and IT solutions and for manufacturing companies that wish to develop into digital factories for the future.
Origin of SmartFactory
The SmartFactory initiative was first developed in the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). Flanders Make saw the potential of this concept and brought it to the Benelux. We build on it and enrich it with our own expertise. The Smart Factories in Germany and the Benelux will also be virtually connected to one another to gain experience with connected factories. The knowledge that is acquired here will also be made available to a wide group of companies committed to innovation.