Impressive Display of High-Tech Manufacturing

On 14 and 15 November, the Precision Fair took place for the 18th time. With more than 3400 visitors from 22 countries, the event is an international meeting point for the entire supply chain in high-tech system development and precision technology. Visitors to the NH Conference Center Koningshof were able to attend more than 60 lectures and meet 291 specialized companies.

“We have companies from every echelon of the high-tech supply chain, and they all made a very strong impression” says Michiel Beerens, manager of the Precision Fair. “With great demonstrations and an extensive lecture program, the Precision Fair showed that it is the annual moment where all parties involved in precision engineering meet, exchange knowledge, and network. The large influx of visitors shows that there is a great need for strong suppliers who can play an active role in the development and manufacturing process of high-tech equipment with their knowledge and expertise”, Beerens concluded.

The IAM 3D printer from KMWE and TNO (Source: V. Mörtiz, LPT)

The Precision Fair also offered a platform for a number of big science projects. The Dutch rode National Science Agenda served the guiding principle for the day. In this agenda 25 different themes are considered socially relevant for the Netherlands, such as the energy transition or research into the origin of life. Research into these questions often takes place within large-scale projects such as the nuclear fusion reactor ITER and particle accelerator CERN.

In the opening lectures, Dr. Leonardo Biagioni, Fusion for Energy, and Dr. Jeanette Ridder-Numan, Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science, spoke about the importance of industry for large-scale scientific research. The technical challenges in terms of development but especially manufacturing are such that the help of industry partners is absolutely pivotal in making any research facility possible. In subsequent lectures, several scientists and procurement specialists elaborated on projects like the new beamlines for ESRF or the so-called high luminosity upgrade for CERN, and how companies can become involved as suppliers.

Technology that is developed for application in space must be lightweight, robust, reliable, and groundbreaking. These properties make the technologies that have been developed very suitable for use in numerous products on earth. On Thursday, November 15, the lecture program Spin-in and spin-off between space and precision industry discussed current projects at the intersection between precision technology and space travel. Marco Beijersbergen, co-founder of cosine in Warmond, talked about the challenges of metrology technology in space travel and what improvements this has yielded for measurement techniques on earth. Jeroen Rotteveel from Innovative Solutions in Space (ISIS) provided insight into international collaborations in the field of space flight and the challenges that were overcome in collaborating with Chinese partners in technology development.

Guest of honor was Marco Wieland, technical director and co-founder of Mapper Lithography who won the prestigious Martin van den Brink award earlier this year. In his keynote lecture he told the story of Mapper. This machine builder in electron lithography was founded in 2000 as a spin-off of Delft University. Now, 18 years and many investment rounds later, the first machine is installed at CEA-Leti in the French Grenoble. With 65,000 parallel electron beams, it is a stunning piece of precision technology that enables efficient production of integrated circuits in small runs.

A first during the Precision Fair was the introduction of the IAM 3D printer that resulted from a collaboration between high-tech supplier KMWE and independent research organization TNO. In his lecture, Ruud Hurkens from KMWE discussed the technological challenges of this machine. Especially in the area of vibration and temperature control, it was technically very demanding. Hurkens: “During development, both parties worked on the KMWE worked as a machine builder and TNO from various technology readiness levels on the development.” Jeroen Smeltink of Amsystems Center (collaboration between TNO and Eindhoven University of Technology) spoke about the changing role of additive manufacturing in the production process and how the machine addresses to the resulting opportunities.

Part of the Precision Fair is the presentation of two prizes by the Dutch Society for Precision Engineering (DSPE). The Ir. A. Davidson Award, which is awarded every two years to a promising precision engineer with several years of work experience, went to Dr. Ir. Lennino Cacace. The Wim van der Hoek Prize for the best graduation research went to Martin Kristelijn of Eindhoven University of Technology for the thesis “Design of a motion compensation mechanism for offshore load transfer”.

The next edition is planned for 13 & 14 November 2019. (Source: Mikrocentrum)

Link: Precision Fair, Veldhoven; Mikrocentrum, Einhoven, The Netherlands

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