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Consortium led by TenCate receives EUR 1.5 million for smart production

The objective is to make the production of advanced TenCate materials even more efficient, sustainable and smart, in smart production.

18th September 2014

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Almelo

Industrial, Sustainable, Protective, Transport/​Aerospace

The Province of Overijssel, Netherlands, has granted a EUR 1.5 million development subsidy to a consortium headed by TenCate for the innovation centre The Factory of the Future.

The size of the project amounts to approximately EUR 6 million. The objective of the project is to make the production of advanced TenCate materials, such as protective fabrics, even more efficient, sustainable and smart, in what is known as smart production.

The use of new technologies, such as digital inkjet technology, will also make it possible in the near future to produce new innovative materials, known as smart materials, the company reports. According to TenCate, the introduction of digital inkjet technology has the added advantage of being able to respond to individual customer requirements and of enabling processes to be read in digitally by linking it to a range of customer networks through the internet.

Strengthening competitiveness

Theo Rietkerk, a member of the Provincial Executive of Overijssel for Economy, Energy and Innovation, has been for many years promoting this development in the manufacturing industry in the Eastern Netherlands.

He commented: “Innovation is the key focus area in strengthening the competitiveness of our country. Overijssel is regarded as one of the main drivers of the Dutch knowledge economy. The current era of the Internet of Things requires that the innovation strengths we already have be enhanced, renewed and connected.”

“Thanks to this groundbreaking project the consortium led by TenCate will make a contribution to smart production, smart materials and the development of smart business models. This project is also of great importance for the regional economy, the SMEs that supply it, and the growth of regional employment, both direct and indirect. It also acts as a pull factor on other companies, including multinationals.”

High production speed

One of the current main activities of the consortium relates to the further development and introduction of the Osiris technology of TenCate.

This is a digital inkjet technology that was originally developed by the Hengelo company Osiris Inkjet Technology, which is being carried on by TenCate. This continuous inkjet technology is said to achieve extremely high production speeds.

During this process a high-grade functionality is applied to the substrate. This innovation could also be used in other sectors within the technical and other areas of the technical textile industry.

Value network and smart production

TenCate has joined forces with various companies in Twente, including a number of SME companies and the Norma Group, which supplies complete mechatronic systems. The consortium is an example of a network structure of companies in the Materials and Mechatronics sector, which is strongly represented in the Eastern Netherlands.

Innovation centre The Factory of the Future ties in with technological innovations in the manufacturing industry, which will enable production processes to become more sustainable and to make communication between the parties and logistical coordination in production networks possible, the company reports.

The projects aim to provide an impetus to the Dutch manufacturing industry, in order to make it more competitive, cost efficient and flexible.

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