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Meet Nordine, our new research and development engineer

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Nordine Aouni started just recently and will push technology innovation further at Hammer-IMS. "With my background in data science and artificial intelligence, I will focus on algorithmic programming and machine vision processing for a wide range of quality control applications."

Nordine Aouni started just recently and will push technology innovation further at Hammer-IMS. "With my background in data science and artificial intelligence, I will focus on algorithmic programming and machine vision processing for a wide range of quality control applications."

How did you come across working for Hammer-IMS?

After graduating from Maastricht University, I came in contact with Hammer-IMS through a recruiter. I saw a young dynamic company on the verge of developing and integrating an avalanche of new technology innovations. I sensed that I could personally make a positive contribution to the technology projects of Hammer-IMS, including terahertz M-Ray sensing. The offered job opportunity really felt like a perfect fit for me.

How would you describe your day-to-day activities?

As a new research and development engineer, I develop intelligent technologies in relation to sensors and machine vision. I work on further enhancing and diversifying the Hammer-IMS Marveloc sensor family and extending the M-Ray technology in the higher terahertz frequency range. The latter is part of funded research project of Flanders Investment & Trade (VLAIO). As this introduces even higher measurement performance and accuracy, terahertz M-Ray supports quality control on higher-grade products such as foams, multilayers, composites and plastic tubes.

I am also involved in adding complementary capabilities in light of vision technology and machine learning. I combine computer vision with artificial intelligence to flexibly deal with various accept/reject problems, and identify anomaly levels in products. The EDGE-VISION-4.0 machine vision platform that we are developing focuses on roll-to-roll processes involving nonwovens, textile coating and plastics extrusion. Concretely, we will have it installed to detect color variations (e.g. improper blending) and defects (e.g. holes, black spots, particles, and even insects) in textile coatings, nonwovens and transparent films.

What is your contribution in centralizing data management?

There is a clear evolution towards remote data monitoring in production processes, especially in the COVID-19 era where traveling is limited. I work on technical aspects regarding the deployment of internet-wired machines. These enable Hammer-IMS to flexibly intervene from a distance through remote diagnostics, predictive maintenance and firmware upgrades. It minimizes response times, machine downtime and service costs for our customers.

I also contribute to centralizing measurement data from multiple machines in a local database through a field bus. This supports flexible data monitoring and analysis on plant level for safeguarding product quality more effectively and efficiently. The way forward is interconnecting smart measuring machines in an intelligent network spanning multiple production plants. Managing huge amounts of measurement data in the cloud, securely and in real time, plays a pivotal role in this regard.

What do you particularly like in your job?

I value that I can focus on software-based technologies that further increase the intelligence of and interaction between quality control solutions of Hammer-IMS. At the same time, I can learn a lot about electronics hardware including high-resolution cameras and data interfacing and processing. It is fun to be part of a young team of highly skilled colleagues, who share expertise and experiences.

It is exciting to take part of Hammer-IMS technology developments, including M-Ray, C-Ray and U-Ray sensors and AI-driven vision technology. By developing standard and custom product capabilities, I can contribute to the Hammer-IMS solutions offering, which enables European manufacturers to deliver outstanding product quality. I am also involved in developing intelligent processing algorithms to ensure the seamless execution of heavy number-crunching while generating single-sheet PDF reports that cover the insights that matter most.

What do you like doing in your free time?

I spend a lot of time on physical exercising, mostly running, soccer and hiking. I also like reading books on my Kindle and spending quality time with my pets. Currently, I live in Visé in Wallonia and plan to move closer to Hasselt where Hammer-IMS is located.

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