Collaboration agreement signed

Fontys signs collaboration agreement with TU/e, Summa and Brainport high tech companies

On March 23, 2015 the TUe, Summa College, Brainport Industries, High Tech association NL, Vanderlande, VDL ETG, ASML and Fokker Landing Gear signed agreements with Fontys Centre of Expertise High Tech Systems and Materials (CoE HTSM). TU/e Rector Hans van Duijn says: "I find it very beautiful that just before my departure as rector on April 1 this cooperation is formally ratified."


The rapid development of robotics, sensor technology and 3D printing makes it clear that the fourth industrial revolution, Smart Industry, is a fact. An action program with 10 field labs is defined to bring focus to the acceleration of innovation in the Netherlands. In the field lab Flexible Manufacturing, among others, Fontys takes part to explore with the companies how we can produce smarter and faster in the Netherlands. Knowledge of education should be used better and translated into innovative production technologies. Current and future college engineers need to be trained for the work of tomorrow. With this agreement Fontys CoE HTSM expands its cooperation with the major international players in the High Tech industry. Through this agreement with High Tech companies, Summa College and the Technical University of Eindhoven, businesses and educational institutions on both vocational, collega and university level will work together intensively.

Fontys CoE HTSM

For good vocational education, close cooperation between education and companies is necessary. The core of this collaboration is applied research on the possibilities of smart technology in enterprises. Fontys Centre of Expertise High Tech Systems & Materials offers three labs: additive manufacturing / 3D printing and adaptive robotics in Eindhoven and agro-mechtronica in Venlo. Furthermore, five lectorates and centres of expertise are related to the CoE HTSM. Fontys CoE HTSM examines whether certain products can be better produced with a 3D printer instead of CNC lathes and milling machines. And how a new generation robot can quickly be used in the workplace, but also how vision systems can make horticulture efficient. Furthermore the CoE HTSM provides training and workshops for employees of companies.


In 2014, the Fontys CoE HTSM examined the possibilities of 3D printing for ASML Netherlands. Currently, already 35 components of the ASML chip machines are produced using 3D printing. That will only increase in the future. Vanderlande and Fokker Landing Gear examined what parts can be produced faster and can be improved with 3D printing . That turned out to be much more than initially expected. After signing the agreements Fontys teachers and students and employees of the companies will investigatemost the promising products. For this the ObjeXlab was inaugurated in 2014. In a few months, this well-equipped lab will be improved by the addition of a 3D metal printer.


Recently Fontys CoE HTSM purchased a new generation robot. Baxter is the first robot that interacts with people in a SME production environment. The simple way in which the robot can 'learn' a task, the integrated safety features and a reasonable price, will ensure that in the coming years we will encounter this kind of robots everywhere. Baxter is easily programmable and equipped with sensors so that the robot can safely work together with workers on an assembly line, sorting products. Fontys is the first university in the Netherlands with such a robot. Baxter became a hit within months and goes on tour almost weekly to fairs and companies.


The GreenTechLab in Venlo which opened in September 2014 , has received regional recognition in a short time. A prototype of a gripper has been developed so that a robot, by inflating a plastic membrane, can pick an apple very carefully. At the moment we are working on sensors that measure the humidity in a corn field, so it can be sprayed at local intensity, and how you can grow vegetable in multiple layers with LED light. Friday, March 13, the first version of a "laser-weeder" was shown: using laser light to control weeds.