Visionary Seminar ‘The Flexible Factory: industrial assembly in the 21st century’

Organised by Leuven MindGate in cooperation with imec and Flanders Make.

The classical assembly line is coming to a stop. Enter flexible production!

The assembly line was introduced in the early 1900s. It skyrocketed the productivity of workers, for the first time allowing efficient mass production of standard products. The line timed and coordinated the actual production, dividing the work into standard repetitive actions that required little explanation. But lately, products have become smarter, with customized and client-specific features. They no longer fit traditional mass production on a classical assembly line.

What we need today are flexible factories, factories where unique products can be assembled at a cost comparable to mass production. We are seeing the introduction of flexible, digital factories, where the status of each product is known at any time, together with its next production steps. In such a factory, the production configuration can be modified at any time and depending on product specifications. This flexibility is enabled through e.g. mobile robots and autonomous transport lines. For each product, the optimal mix is determined between accurate and efficient automation and human intelligence and flexibility.

In this seminar we will explore this flexible factory of the 21st century.


Practical aspects

Date: Tuesday 13 June 2017 (16h00 - 20h00)

Location: imec auditorium, Kapeldreef 75, 3001 Leuven

Parking is possible near the venue. [download a route description to the location]

The interventions will be held in English.



16h00: Welcome coffee
16h30: Welcome by Marc Engels, Chairman of the programme COO Flanders Make
16h45: F3A -Free Float Flawless Assembly, assembly of large components under flow conditions Christoph Storm, Research Assistant WZL RWTH - Aachen
17h15: Driving the Digital Enterprise Bart Demaegdt, Technology Manager Digitalization Siemens Belgium
17h45: Smart operators in a smart factory Peter Verstraeten, CEO Proceedix
18h15: Coffee break
18h45: Combining strengths of humans and robots for better manufacturing Bram Vanderborght, Prof. Robotics & Multibody Mechanics research group VUB and member BruBotics
19h15: The Flexible Factory at Atlas Copco Filip Vandenberghe, Former President of the Airtec Division and Managing Director of Atlas Copco India
19h35: Q&A
20h00; Networking with drinks and snacks

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