Flanders Make

Digital twin for smart drilling setup

Flanders Make

Flanders Make is the strategic research centre for the manufacturing industry. Our mission is to strengthen the long-term international competitiveness of the Flemish manufacturing industry. That’s why we work together with SMEs and large companies on pre-competitive, industry-driven technological research, resulting in concrete product and production innovation in the vehicle industry, the manufacturing industry, and production environments.

Goal of the internship

In response to modern challenges, like the continuing transition to a service based economy and the demand for highly customized products, industry is moving through a fourth industrial revolution. This is characterized by interconnectivity of products and players and facilitated by evolving technologies such as the industrial internet of things (IIoT) and artificial intelligence. Digital representations, i.e. digital twins, of the different components of interest will play a central role in this story.

The goal of this internship is to setup communication between different parts of an industrial demonstrator setup with the goal of satisfying some functional requirements. The setup contains a first station with a CNC-controlled drill as well as a clamping device that facilitates stable drilling in the plate and a second station for cutting out the final product.

The different parts in the setup will be represented using Raspberry Pi’s, Arduino’s and potentially small electronic components. Communication is facilitated by first setting up a digital twin, using the German “Industrie 4.0” standard, for the different components (assets) of the demonstrator. The digital representations are then used for communication and to facilitate the required functionalities. Depending on the interest of the student, the focus can be on different research topics:

  • The automatic configuration of the setup, e.g. the different components (drill, clamp, plate, …) are automatically detected and the CNC controller is configured to go to the correct position based on the data coming from the different assets mentioned,
  • The (semi-)automatic facilitation of communication between the different components through a proper semantic definition as part of the digital twin, e.g. the drill tells the clamping device when to clamp down and gets feedback on when to drill,
  • The development of a (visual) interface, using a cloud-based IoT intermediary, outputting real-time information about the setup and real-time controlling some of the parts, e.g. the application shows a virtual drill drilling at the currently measured CNC position to be able to remotely and visually monitor the process real-time.

Learning target: You will learn about the fundamentals of data modeling, machine/IoT communication, basic semantic modeling, how to test software, how to present your work for an audience, …

Profile student

  • Bachelor degree in software engineering;
  • Required skills
    • Hands-on can-do mentality (point us to your pet projects to prove this);
    • Linux administration and programming;
    • First experience with either (i)iot or cloud computing.
  • Desired skills
    • some knowledge of fundamental concepts of internet protocols, databases, servers is a plus, and
    • previous programming experience with Python or Julia using a Jupyter notebook are highly recommended;
    • Embedded development skills (arduino/raspberry-Pi).
  • Passionate by research and new technologies with focus on applications for machines or production systems.
  • Only EEA or Swiss nationals can be accepted for internships due to work permit regulations.

Practical Data

This assignment is an internship but can also be executed by a thesis student from a local university.

The assignment is for min 4 month to maximum 6 months and takes place at the offices of Flanders Make offices located in Leuven, Belgium.

For internship: All software and hardware needed for the execution of the project will be provided by Flanders Make.


  • Locatie: Gaston Geenslaan 8, 3001 Leuven


Voor meer informatie:
op het nummer: +32 16 910 614 (Ma-di-woe-do: 9u-16u)
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