The partners of LEAN 4.0 gathered in Belgium for meeting where the project progress was discussed and plans for the following months were agreed. Most importantly, the partners had a company visit to Barco and a tour to the Smart Assembly and Production Lab by Ghent University.
Partners of LEAN 4.0 visit Barco
The partners of LEAN 4.0 visited the headquarters of Barco in Kortrijk, Belgium. The company is known for developing visualization solutions, such as displays, projectors and collaboration technologies for the entertainment, enterprise and healthcare markets. They are the market leaders in general and specialized display technologies. Barco’s headquarters consist of the main office building, the manufacturing facilities, the R&D laboratory and a fully automated warehouse.
Barco has a strong foundation and strategy towards Lean and technology leadership through their Operation Excellence Program. The partners visited some of the most technology enabled production processes the company has where technologies such as Smart Workstations, Smart Automations and Automated Guided Vehicles are used. In addition, the company is a leading example on employing lean methodologies such as Employee driven improvement, Kaizen events (Makigami, A3 thinking, PDCA) visual management, 5S and Gemba walks. During the visit the LEAN 4.0 Project partners presented to Barco our Assessment tool for Smart Lean Operation (WP1) and a fruitful discussion took place where future collaboration was agreed for the LEAN 4.0 pilot projects (WP6).
Visit to the Smart Assembly and Production Lab
The Project meeting was held in the Smart Assembly and Production Lab in Ghent University, Campus Kortrijk. The Lab studies and demonstrates how to use innovative technologies to support operators in manufacturing facilities in their tasks (e.g. assembly) and how to reduce their cognitive and ergonomic burden. They research how robots and people can work together safely and with an optimal division of tasks. During the visit Industry 4.0 related technologies were discussed such as the digital Twin control room, Cobots and smart workstations with a kinetic projector.
The lab demonstrated a physical production line and its digital twin. The digital twin control room in the lab enables to connect and visualize the physical system along its corresponding virtual counterpart. Digital twins in the industrial sector are being used to optimize the operation and maintenance of physical assets, systems and manufacturing processes.