Erik Veurink, © Bram Saeys

Erik Veurink, © Bram Saeys

Brainport Industries Campus (BIC) is preparing for the opening of the eighth Dutch Technology Week, a major event for which hundreds of visitors are expected. Managing Director Brainport Industries Campus Erik Veurink is very proud to welcome the top of the Dutch technology sector on Monday. “We are the face of the high-tech manufacturing industry. This is the place where the most innovative and successful companies and institutions from the Brainport region come together as one.” For Veurink it is also a good opportunity to show the country what has happened on his campus lately. We have already made a selection.

In the green building alongside the A2, companies are working on complex, small parts, such as lenses smaller than 1 mm. Anteryon makes optical modules for measuring land or the freshness of fruit and vegetables. It also supplies precision glass and sensors for ASML’s machines. At the beginning of this year, the company came into Chinese hands. In that country, a factory will be set up to produce large volumes for the consumer market. Lenses for cameras, 3D face recognition and fingerprint scanners in smartphones. CEO Gert-Jan Bloks assures us that it is impossible to move all the knowledge gained here to China. However, the company must continue to focus on innovation in order to be able to develop optical modules that can do more than they do now.

Here’s more about the Dutch Technology Week 2019.

This focus on innovation takes place at the campus under the innovation programme ‘Fabriek van de Toekomst‘ (Factory of the Future). In this programme, seven field labs are set up around trends in the high-tech manufacturing industry. More than 70 companies and educational and knowledge institutions are currently involved. Last week, for example, the Fieldlab Advanced Manufacturing Logistics opened its doors. Here, companies can test in a real-time test environment with robots and AGVs to gather knowledge about logistic processes.

These autonomous trolleys and robots also require smart software, which they work on at the Software Competence Center (SCC). “Everyone sees the complex machines, but the software behind them remains hidden. Here we want to show how important good software is,” says Wim Renders. The SCC must become the place for companies in the manufacturing industry to gain insight into the changing role of software, to experiment with new technologies and to work with innovations that secure their future. Renders: “Digital twins, for example, can be used to modify an entire production process or to design a 3D prototype. An AGV in a factory must be able to work together with different systems; in such a digital environment we can test this and write up software.”

At BIC you will not only find entrepreneurs but also students from Summa College. Here they follow regular courses or are retrained for companies such as VDL. Summa College draws up these programmes in collaboration with companies. For the students, education and professional life are linked together very closely. Solar Team Eindhoven, the famous TU/e student team, has also found its way to BIC. The fourth edition of the solar-powered family car will be produced here. The presentation of the vehicle will be in July at the latest by that time the car will have to be able to drive over 1200 kilometres with a single charge. In October, the team will travel to Australia where they will participate in the Solar Challenge.

Besides Anteryon with their small parts, KMWE produces metal parts for the JSF fighter plane, of which more than 3,000 will be built in the coming years. KMWE Managing Director Edward Voncken is happy to extend this assignment on campus: “We are currently making parts for both the aircraft itself and its engine. Our defence activities now employ some 50 to 100 people. We’d like to see that grow to 100 to 150. There’s still plenty of room for that in Brainport Industries Campus.”

During the DTW High Tech Discovery Route – Saturday 25 May – Brainport Industries Campus is one of the hotspots.