Welcome to Digital Luxembourg’s " What The Tech?!" series! As the tech landscape gets vaster and more advanced by the second, most sectors are turning towards tech solutions to provide 21st century services. Stay in the know this summer as we break it down for you tech-by-tech, and show you the Luxembourg innovators making technology happen.
This Week: InduTech
Once upon a time, mechanical production and steam power ruled. But it wasn’t long before electrical production and electric power took over, only to be replaced by automated production and electronics.
And now, almost two-and-a-half centuries later, we find ourselves in the age of AI, robotics and (very) big data: the fourth industrial revolution, a.k.a. Industry 4.0.
In the world of industrial technology (or “indutech” as introduced by the Paul Wurth InCub) engineering and manufacturing technologies are making production faster, simpler and more efficient.
Take today’s car factory assembly lines, for example, and compare them to the 1950s version to witness how the face of manufacturing has dramatically changed – “face” being the operative word given the reduction of one notable resource: human beings.
The impact of advanced robotics on manufacturing is particularly evident in China, the globe’s premier importer of robots. With an ageing workforce (the average age is predicted to reach 50 by 2060) and significant salary increases, companies are opting for automation.
Or at least semi-automation through the use of cobots (collaborative robots that work alongside people), which, according to the research, proves more productive.
Thanks to machine learning, humans are often no longer needed to program or teach the machines how to carry out tasks. They can figure it out for themselves.
Given the combined potential of 3D printing, IoT, cloud computing, AR and nanotech, for example, technology’s effect on industry is quite simply MAMMOTH.
If there is any country that truly understands the value of industry, it is Luxembourg: Iron ore was a primary source of the Grand Duchy’s wealth and prosperity, giving rise to a powerful steel industry in the mid-20th century.
The world’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, is headquartered in Luxembourg, along with Aperam (leading stainless-steel producer) and Paul Wurth (world-class specialists in the design and implementation of mechanical equipment, systems and methods for blast furnaces).
Paul Wurth InCub was created to empower innovators in the indutech sector (advanced manufacturing, smart engineering, robotics, Industry 4.0, etc.) and provides invaluable business mentoring, expertise, networking and investment opportunities.
Technoport, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary, hosts a vibrant community of startups and entrepreneurs in the sector, and houses the country’s first FabLab (at 1535° creative hub in Differdange). With 3D printers, milling machines and laser cutters, it is a hotbed for industrial experimentation.
The incubator is located in former steelworks site Belval – a modern city quarter of learning, knowledge, research, entrepreneurship, collaboration and innovation, and a true homage to Luxembourg’s achievements in industry.
Ongoing nanotechnology research at LIST’s Materials Research and Technology Department keeps nearly 200 researchers busy as they delve into three main areas: nanomaterials and nanotechnology, sustainable composite materials and manufacturing, and process technologies.
Fedil (Fédération des Industriels Luxembourgeois), the “voice of Luxembourg’s industry” represents all stakeholders in the ecosystem, boosting growth in the Grand Duchy and paving the way for a bright indutech future.
Mexence is an application technology company that uses AI and robotics to enhance productivity and improve working conditions. Projects include the creation of a paint robot and development of a modular automated guided vehicle.
After developing the highest resolution UAV ready capturing device in the world, Nomoko created a “platform for spatial applications and solutions of the future” using photorealistic real-world-based 3D data.