Why collaborate with Ghent University - Machineries & Factories?

Expert partner

Machineries & Factories counts 125 experts, all of them are using or developing relevant state-of-the-art methods, tools and infrastructure. The group of experts includes both junior and senior researchers. Our whole team is eager to tackle also your challenges. With their know how and our experience in working with industry, they are able to quickly understand your application.

Working with us will strengthen your innovation project and bring your innovative product faster to the market.  

Connecting the dots

We are well connected with regional and international academic and industrial stakeholders. This means we will not only bring you in contact with one of our experts, when needed we will link you with other stakeholders in our network. As such you will get the opportunity to work in multi-partner projects, whereby academia and companies work together along the value chain or work together on a common challenge in several sectors or for different applications. 

Working with us will expand your network, enrich your innvation project and increase the business value of your innovative products.  


As a university we train young people to become professionals in industry or in academia. All our researchers try to make their results tangible illustrating the impact of new technology on industrial applications, when relevant research results are patent protected. Our researchers are continuously learning from their peers through publications and on conferences. In short, they are working on the frontier of technology. 

Working with us will allow you to understand what the scientific, technological trends are and why they are important for your application.  

How we work with companies

Research & valorisation

There are several ways we can work with you, examples are:

  • Service agreements to tackle a burning challenge, in Flanders we are a 'registered technology provider' in the KMO portefeuille
  • Service agreements based on our test infrastructure and tools
  • Bilateral research projects wherein our expertise strengthens your innovation projects and speeds up time to market
  • Subsidized research projects (e.g. VLAIO research project or VLAIO development project)
  • Subsidized multi-partner research projects working along the value chain or on the same technology from different applications in Flanders (e.g. FLanders Make ICON projects) or in Europe (e.g. H2020 Factory-of-the-Future (FoF)) 
  • Longer term strategic company projects leading to an in-house PhD e.g. VLAIO Baekeland

Education and training

Upgrade your knowledge or that of your team

  • Continuous learning provided by XiaK and/or UGain (e.g. black belt in LEAN) 
  • Events to disseminate project results, recent tools and IP
  • Join a PhD defense, watch our calendar

Test infrastructure Machines

Test Infrastructure for drivetrains & components up to 150kW including calorimeter

testbench150kwThis flexible setup is designed to test various combinations of drivetrain components and systems such as electric motors, generators, transmissions and power electronics up to 150kW, 6000 rpm and 45kNm. We can perform traditional load profile tests to generate accurate efficiency maps, test machine level control, condition monitoring/control and dynamics of drives (DOL or with freq. regulator). Hardware in-the-loop (HIL) allows to emulate realistic load conditions (ICE, wind and wave energy). Our programmable power sources (AC: 440V/180kW, DC: 800V/180 kW ) and various cooling methods (water/glycol or oil up to 20 kW) are available to support full-scale testing in realistic conditions. If needed we can design a test setup to your needs. The test infrastructure has been used by a.o. Magnax (BE) to test their 100kW direct drive axial flux generator for wind energy.

ithacaWith our calorimeter that can handle test objects up to 130x100x180cm³ you can perform more advanced thermal characterization of drivetrain systems and components. It allows to build-up and/or validate detailed power loss models with very high accuracy (< 1%) and even determine the overall efficiency for repetitive dynamic motion profiles. The high-end / high-speed thermal camera (FR 233 Hz, -40°C up to 1200°C) is also available for rental and can be used to identify fast rotating hotspots, analyse thermal component interaction, cross-check calculated system temperature distribution and validate IR sensors. The calorimeter and thermal camera of the setup is funded by Flanders Make project Ithaca.

More information here


Test infrastructure for electromagnetic material characterisiation

Local Magnetic Material CharacterisationOur lab has several setups to characterise the electromagnatic behaviour of a large range of materials incl. steel and permanent magnets over a wide range of frequencies, this includes standard as well as adapted Epstein frames. Further we have developed proprietary methods to carry out in-situ magnetic material characterization (i.e. characterisation of the material already embedded within the electric machine). Finally, we have developed a method to characterise the local magnetic properties of laminate sheets, the setup was developed and can be used to analyse the impact of manufacturing steps such as interlocking, welding, stamping, ... on these properties.  

Test infrastructure for high speed electromechanical components up to 22kW


For lower powers we have various setups where we can test and characterize stepper motors (starting from 1 Nm), high-speed motors (up to 22kW, 15000 rpm, 1000 Nm), belt-transmissions (up to 15 kW, 3000 rpm) and gearboxes (straight and in-line, up to 15 kW, 1000 Nm




Test infrastructure for thermal systems 

orctestbenchWe provide services and access to our infrastructure for thermal systems and their components. We have a fully instrumented ORC system drivetrain including a generator, expander and pump; as well as a heat sink and variable heat source; also a heat pump system is available. To evaluate the heat transfer of heat exchangers, cooling plates and heat pipes, we have dedicated setups, a.o. (i) wind tunnel for heat transfer and pressure drop measurements; (ii) water tunnel for flow visualization experiments; and a setup for the determination and visualisation of flow regime and void fraction in tubes. Finally, we are able to perform thermal conductivity measurements and we have a climate chamber.



Test infrastructure for tribological characterization

soeteWe provide services and test infrastructure to characterise the tribological aspects in motion products such as bearing elements, gears, cam rollers, and mooring chains. In addition to its standard laboratory-scale tribological test equipment, Soete Laboratory, is well-known for its large-scale mechanical testing. We designed and constructed dedicated experimental tribological set-ups for dry and lubricated contact conditions, with contact loads from kilo-Newton to Mega-Newton force range (max 6500 kN). The infrastructure allows to investigate the friction and wear behaviour of different bearing types. In gears, bearings and cams, a combination of rolling and sliding is a common phenomenon and a dedicated twin-disc is used to this end. Recent monitoring solutions allow to include vision in the loop.

Life time assessment infrastructure

Test for ReliabilityWe provide services and test infrastructure to analyse the modes of failure of electric motors and to assess the remaining life time of components such as windings and bearings. The testing equipment allows to study the thermal ageing mechanisms in windings, by subjecting the windings to many temperature peaks and thermal cycling while monitoring the degradation over 100h to 4000h. Additionally, we perform automated endurance measurements and degradation monitoring (up to 100h) on windings for successive voltage peaks and dv/dt’s to estimate the mean time to failure. High voltage withstand testing is used to quantify the breakdown voltage of the isolation between the winding and the frame. 

Bearing degradation and bearing currents depend on speed, common mode voltage, lubrication type, radial load and temperature. We conduct automated endurance measurements of the bearing current, shaft voltage and vibrations. The degradation of the bearing can be monitored as a function of speed, common mode voltage and radial load with a dedicated setup. We can also modify the motor bearings and implement and analyse the effects of degradation mitigating techniques. The testing equipment is funded by the Flanders Make project InfraREL-EM.

Test infrastructure Factories

Smart and agile assembly lab

Smart Agile Assembly LabThe smart and agile assembly lab is created to develop and demonstrate innovative technologies to support assembly operators. The lab consists of a mock-up assembly work station that is equipped with operator information systems (digital work instructions, projection systems, wearable devices), collaborative robots and operator monitoring systems (ARKITE HIM®, video systems). It serves as an infrastructure to support several research projects concerning operator support and operator training. The smart and agile assembly lab is a flexible assembly environment which can be adapted to simulate your production environment. We offer the opportunity to experience new operator support technologies by demonstrating them on your own cases and products. Together with our research and technical experts, you can use the smart and agile assembly lab to perform feasibility studies and organize training sessions for operators in a safe and controlled environment.

Digital Twin control room

Control RoomThe digital twin control room consists of 180° curved video wall, which can be controlled through a 100” multi-touch screen. This set-up supports interactive production system (re-)design and decision making based on industrially used engineering tools. The digital twin control room is perceived as a meeting room, with the added benefit to visualize your production system our automation project in (semi-)3D. We support you in the development of simulation models and digital twins of your installation of production environment to allow for the optimization and validation of planning and scheduling strategies and system control logic. We provide services related to (i) simulation studies, (ii) virtual commissioning of production systems and (iii) Digital Twins using software like Siemens Plant Simulation, Flexsim, Visual components, Siemens Mechatronic Concept Design and Siemens Jack.

Infrastructure for Flexible assembly

flexibleassemblyOur existing infrastructure on flexible assembly in Kortrijk already includes test infrastructure to demonstrate and validate flexible assembly concepts incl. pick-to-light, work cells with operator support (e.g. HIM) and collaborative workspaces. Soon, our infrastructure will be extended with a 100m² controlled, realistic environment for the validation and demonstration of smart and flexible assembly of large products with high variability. We will be able to look at e.g. operator mobility in the framework of real, complex tasks and evaluate concepts incl. those using mobile & connected resources. The impact of operator support tools including an interactive work floor can be analysed using a multi-criteria performance analysis.




Industrial application centre for intelligent sensors

sensorsThe industrial application centre for intelligent sensors offers infrastructure and services to determine the feasibility of sensors (based on RFID, RTLS, 2D/3D vision) for tracking & tracing and quality control applications in industrial environments. Al components are built around a circular conveyor system which allows experiments to determine the accuracy of sensor systems influenced by parameters such as product speed, product geometry, product frequency, presence of metal , light variation, humidity, temperature, etc. Additional equipment such as robots and load cells are available to set up realistic use cases. The setup is flexible enough to add company-specific components such as construction elements or product manipulators. 

Test centre for industrial security 

industry4securityThe test centre for industrial security is equipped with a number of typical configurations of automation networks where demonstrations and tests can be performed in a safe and controlled environment. Because these security vulnerability experiments cannot be done in a real manufacturing environment, a number of (mobile) demonstration units (in flight cases) were created. In this simulated environment, specific attacks can be executed on a broad range of automation components, network configurations and industrial control systems. Vulnerabilities of old and new technologies can be exposed. Component suppliers find an ideal environment to test out new components, features and patches.



References & Testimonials

under construction