Joost Poelmans joins Hammer-IMS to push M-Ray and machine vision technologies

A few months ago Joost Poelmans joined the Hammer-IMS team as R&D engineer. Say hello to Joost who studied engineering and collaborates on pushing the non-nuclear M-Ray weight and thickness measuring technology. He also introduces intelligent machine vision to further increase the quality control experience for plastic, textile and nonwoven manufacturers.

Hello Joost, could you introduce yourself?

I am 23 years old and currently I live in Ham. I am an enthusiastic engineer with a passion for developing and applying new electronic advancements with an emphasis on the underlying theoretical concepts. Last year I completed my computer sciences master as part of my industrial engineering studies in Hasselt.

What was your first impression of Hammer-IMS?

I met people from Hammer-IMS on an ESAT symposium held in the Thomas More engineering campus in Geel. Impressed by the M-Ray measurement technology, I was tempted to find out more about this innovative millimeter wave based technology. It seemed to me that the M-Ray technology could potentially be used for measuring purposes in a variety of industries where currently nuclear or radioactive technologies are applied.

What are your thoughts on the M-Ray technology?

The M-Ray technology allows for accurately measuring the grammage or thickness of various non-metallic materials without physically touching the passing material. Furthermore, the automated M-Ray measuring technology can be flexibly integrated into industrial production lines of plastic sheets, textiles and nonwovens. This new measurement technology is environmental-friendly and eliminates the elaborated and costly safety precautions required by traditional nuclear or radioactive technologies. I am curious to see the application reach of the M-Ray technology in a couple of years from now.

What made you interested in soliciting for the job as R&D engineer?

The position of R&D engineer at Hammer-IMS caught my interest because the job vacancy entails a broad range of technical application areas. This offers me the opportunity to participate in the development of various technologies for use in different applications. It is the perfect situation to learn a lot, gain experience and interact with a young team of engineering specialists.

Can you briefly explain what the different aspects of your job entail?

During the past months at Hammer-IMS, I have collaborated in the development of new advancements with regards to the M-Ray technology: extending the technology for multi-layer measurements and other new applications and further increasing the operational bandwidth towards higher measuring accuracies. From a practical viewpoint, my work involves digital signal processing, computer technology and embedded software design.

At a later stage, I will also get involved in developing machine vision technology to step up system intelligence to recognize useful patterns in camera images and processed data. Creating smart algorithms involving machine learning and neural networks opens plenty of exciting engineering opportunities to bring these novel developments from the design table to the production floor. Quite interesting for me is the interconnectedness of software and hardware in developing complete measuring solutions for customers. It is very rewarding to see manufacturers execute quality control in a more robust, accurate and economic way.

What do you like about working in a young scale-up company?

It gives me a nice feeling to be part of a relatively small team of motivated engineering specialists. While contributing individually and collaborating with other team members, you get to know everyone in a casual atmosphere. At Hammer-IMS where technical expertise and creativity are encouraged, you can discuss theoretical concepts and ask feedback right away. It is a fun and inspiring working space where theoretical expertise and hands-on experience go hand in hand.