Automation & production line optimization
Daniel Almeida and Dirk Vandervorst are both Senior Mechanical Design Engineers at Verhaert Consulting, developing custom automated solutions at Terumo. Terumo corporation is a multinational Japanese company founded in 1921 by several scientists and doctors. Currently, it’s one of the leading medical manufacturers and is represented all over the world in 160 different countries. In Belgium, Terumo is located in Haasrode near Leuven and has approximately 800 employees. Similar to other areas, one of the main drivers for success here is the capacity to provide high-quality products and offer solutions in an acceptable timeframe, for a multitude of issues that medicine faces in a daily base.
As mechanical design engineers we’re proud of being part of these processes through automation and improvements in existing production lines. Moreover, we’re part of the design of a complete
new modular process line for a range of new products.
When producing parts that go in the human body veins, such as needles or catheters, it’s easy to understand why high standards must be followed. Everything happens in a clean room environment where high standards are followed. These standards are followed from early design phase where correct materials must be considered, particles generation needs to be completely eliminated and clean room compatibility needs to be taken into account.
Daniel Almeida, 37 years, joined Verhaert Consulting last August 2019 to work as consultant at Terumo.
My background consists of several years of international experience as mechanical design engineer and project manager in complete assembly lines and standalone machines for automotive industry. During the last 4 years, I performed 3D scaling at Imec in one of the emerging nanoelectronics areas with a lot of new tools and processes. I’ve had my own company since 2018, which provides custom design solutions. I’m a multi-skilled mechanical design engineer with the mind set on continuous improvement. I’m highly technically skilled with a hands-on knowledge of precision mechanics, pneumatics, hydraulics and electronics gained through the development of multiple automated systems.
During the last 7 months at Terumo, I’ve redesigned a complete transport system for a complex needle machine. Currently, I’m following up the construction phase and in parallel I’ve integrated a team which is creating a complete new base module to produce catheters. In this last project I’ve recently introduced the use of air bearings to easily replace or switch dedicated modules.
Dirk Vandervorst, 53 years, joined Verhaert Consulting in 2016.
Before I started working at Verhaert Consulting, I had more than 25 years of experience as a mechanical design engineer (in machines for the automotive industry and the food industry). I worked in an environment where new ‘scratch’ machines were designed and where mechanics, electronics and pneumatics were present everywhere. I built up experience with mechanical couplings for industrial applications, train and shipbuilding.
I’ve been working at Terumo in Leuven as a mechanical designer since last year. Previously, I worked for Tomra (also in Leuven) for Verhaert Consulting for several years.
My job at Terumo is to adjust mechanically the existing machines, so that they are more reliable or automated, taking the cost aspect into account. I also create the BOMs and order lists. Some examples:
- Mechanical constructions for vision systems from drawings
- Integrate Pick & Place applications in a machine
- Adjust or improve existing transmission systems and conveyor systems
I get enormous satisfaction from my job as a mechanical designer because it’s always about new projects and there’s always something new to discover.
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- Competence: Mechanics
- Client: Terumo