Belgian start-up and Howest University steer snack factory into virtual reality


Mechelen-based start-up Spectr BIM and two students from Kortrijk-based Howest University of Applied Sciences are helping a snack factory create a highly realistic digital copy of the company.

The snack manufacturer wanted to evaluate the baking process for its crisps in tubes but this was rendered impossible as everything happens in a closed circuit, around the clock. Shutting down the belt for complex testing, maintenance or training is an option that can only be used a few times a year, due to heavy losses. Until the company came across Spectr-BIM, a Mechelen-based start-up specialising in processing digital applications for industry and construction. It also involved Howest's two Digital Arts & Communication students who worked as interns at Spectr-BIM in the project to steer the snack factory into virtual reality.    

The group dynamics produced clear synergy. The plans for the machines were digitally converted and system data linked to them. All aspects of production can now be read, optimised and preserved. Immediate intervention is possible if something goes wrong and training colleagues becomes a lot easier. There are benefits on every level. And the interns have also benefited. They have been trained to develop computer games but, since their internship, they have realised that the industrial sector also offers new perspectives for them. It's a win-win situation.