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Brainport Launches Pilot Manufacturing Center

Brainport Industries Campus in Eindhoven, Holland will soon be enriched with a Pilot Manufacturing Center, in which 3D printing, electronics production, digitization and automated 3D measurement come together.

With guidance from Brainport Industries, Bestronics, Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence and AMcubator are working together to offer a number of services in a Pilot Manufacturing Center (PMC) and to trial production with a high-tech SMD production line for electronics, an integrated additive manufacturing machine park and a flexible automation and validation center (AVC). ) with a focus on automatic 3D quality control. PMC will not only be available to BIC residents, but will also explicitly target companies and educational and knowledge institutions outside BIC, both regionally, nationally and internationally.

The reason for the creation of PMC were various signals from the market that there is a need for a location in which different services can be flexibly combined and used. “Such a facility is not yet available in the Brainport region and even on a national level,” says John Blankendaal, Managing Director at Brainport Industries, “Not every company has the resources to innovate independently in the production process. Time to market can be accelerated by running both the product development and the necessary industrialization steps in parallel. Brainport Industries has therefore taken up the challenge to bring the right parties together who can realize such a facility together with low-threshold access. 

PMC is an addition to the offer from the innovation program “Factory of the Future” that is located at BIC. “The services and possibilities offered by PMC and its partners consist of four related activities: research and development, pilot production, but also showroom including demonstration and testing and training and education activities that are being set up,” says Michel Weeda, innovation manager at Brainport Industries. “PMC will not only provide a flexible service offering, but will also provide a broad education and training function for both students and professionals in the context of ‘lifelong learning’. Production, innovation and education under one roof at BIC, that certainly also applies to the Pilot Manufacturing Center.”

Shortening Time-to-Market

By having high-tech precision equipment available for making electronic components in PMC, prototype electronics assemblies can be made and innovations can be combined with additive manufacturing. Anton van Limpt of Bestronics: “In recent years we have shown that investing in a prototype setup on a regular line makes a lot of sense and can be recouped when making the regular series and scaling up production, both in time and in terms of costs. money. Also, by introducing students to the latest production standards at an early stage, we can help shorten the time-to-market of new technological developments and reduce the shortage of machine operators.”

Data is the key to creating sustainable and scalable solutions for production environments. Correctly obtained data and its processing ensures that productivity, efficiency and quality are continuously improved. “The intended Flexible Automation and Validation Center (AVC) will develop and demonstrate automated 3D measurement solutions, ranging from operator assisted to in-line, combined with a calibration area. The space can be used flexibly and is intended for education & training, demonstration, trial production and/or innovation & development of new products or processes,” says Jan Klingen, Managing Director of Hexagon Manufacturing Services.

State-Of-The-Art 3D Printers

By adding additive manufacturing to PMC, AMcubator wants to make the developments surrounding 3D printed parts accessible and manageable. The enthusiastic entrepreneurs Maikel de Wit and Maarten van Dijk who lead AMCubator: “It is still unclear to many companies in the industry how industrial 3D printing can be valuable for their own products. From the PMC, AMcubator helps by offering an end-to-end solution for the development of 3D printed applications. We do this by jointly identifying the customer in the Application Center, both technically and cost-technically. The pilot production of this will then take place in our Pilot Production Center with state-of-the-art 3D printers.”

“As a hotspot for the high-tech manufacturing industry, Brainport Industries Campus is the ideal location to set up a facility such as PMC”, says Erik Veurink, Managing Director BIC, “What makes BIC unique and complementary to other campuses such as TU Delft. /e campus and High Tech Campus Eindhoven, is that we produce from prototype to working integral product and can then also carry out the required industrialization at one location. The right wing of BIC, where PMC is also located, is called BIC ONE and offers innovative companies in the high-tech manufacturing industry the opportunity to become part of the unique ecosystem. The PMC facilities are not only interesting for companies in the wider region, but of course also for our current and future branches who are happy with this addition to the service package.”

The setup of PMC on BIC is in full swing. The facilities are expected to be available to the first users in January 2022 with the official opening following soon after.

The Pilot Manufacturing Center is made possible in part by the European Regional Development Fund in the context of REACT-EU and the Province of Noord-Brabant.

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