“A first trend is smart products and production systems. Smart means that you use sensors to generate data and software to turn the data into reliable and actionable knowledge.
Industry 4.0 is highly transversal. The 163 members of Flanders Make belong to very different sectors, from manufacturing industry to logistics, from pharma to food. Solutions developed in one sector can also be used in other sectors. Hence, we talk about a solution pull system instead of a research push system. We don’t develop new business models ourselves, but we do develop technologies that enable the implementation of new business models, for example “as-a-service” models.
The pandemic threw up a good example. We created COVID solutions from applications that had been developed for entirely different purposes. For instance, we measure distances for Automated Guided Vehicles: logistics vehicles that drive around factories. This measuring methods proved useful in small devices that we developed for social distancing during corona. This way, we could make people aware that they were standing too close to their colleagues.”