Daan started the ‘Automated Jig Design’ project at Perron038 without ever having developed a welding jig. “It turned out to be my strength. I make connections between software and mechanical engineering. I don’t make the final product but I make and automate the design
process.” says Daan van Nieuwenhuizen, R&D Engineer at MechDes Engineering.
Automated Jig Design
MechDes is a mechanical engineering company located in Harderwijk that has been operating in smart solutions for mechanical engineering for over 25 years. Designing welding
jigs for the automotive industry is one of the company’s activities. Daan continues: “Car parts are placed in a mold by an operator or robotic arm with a gripper. After that, the robot is in charge of the welding part. We design the molds and grippers for the robots arms. Our aim is to improve, accelerate and automate the engineering process, this is how the Automated Jig Design project was born!”
“Jig in 50 days” is a project from MechDes Engineering and the umbrella company AWL-Techniek. They started this ambitious project in 2018. The ultimate goal is to supply a mold within 50 days from the customer's request. To achieve that goal, components that are quickly made and delivered are essential. There is room for improvement in the engineering process, in other words making it more efficient. A challenge that makes me very enthusiastic”, continues Daan.
The link between engeneering and IT
Daan studied mechanical engineering and joined MechDes as an application developer. This combination is not common but has proven to be very valuable within the company. The interest in both mechanical and software engineering is the key. “I have never developed a mold myself and I really think from a software perspective. I won’t be stopped too often by specific impossibilities compared to my fellow engineers due to my background. My different view on the engineering process allows us to come up with new ideas and applications. The researchers at the Fraunhofer Project Center, a German research institute affiliated with the
University of Twente, have a lot of experience and knowledge about the processes. This combination means that as a project group we can develop even better things.”
And you know what, it doesn’t stop with just ideas. The project is structured in such a way that the total request may be divided into multiple steps that are directly applicable to the processes within MechDes Engineering and AWL. “Thanks to one of our partial solutions that we want to implement as soon as possible, we can already give a better price indication to the customer at the start of the process. The sales engineer will receive the tools to put
together a mold in a simple way, in this way less knowledge is lost between the quotation engineer and the mechanical engineer who actually makes the final design.
Improve and accelerate
Daan is clear about his future in the manufacturing industry: “I really want to continue working in both mechanical and software engineering. How amazing is it if you can get something done mechanically while doing it even faster or better by making use of the right applications and programs? This is what I love about this sector and about the project at Perron038. The freedom that MechDes gives me to work with new technologies in order to accelerate our processes and solutions, but also my own personal development, tops it off!
MechDes Engineering is one of the partners at Perron038. MechDes gave Perron038 a unique table tennis table when the innovation center started off. Daan made a unique design especially for this table tennis table.