- Wouter Spoorendonk came to Enschede to study Biomedical Technology.
- He then decided to work at the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, but he soon returned to Twente.
- IMS from Almelo allowed him to work on his passion, resulting in innovation and a patent.
This article is part of a series called “Twente Leeft!” (Twente Lives!). You can read personal stories here about living and working in Twente. Twente is a nice place to be, according to the talents we meet. The beautiful nature, space, the down-to-earth mentality; they all characterise Twente. There are also plenty of career opportunities! Twente has many innovative, international and future-proof companies that are desperate for staff. Want to know what Twente has to offer? You can find Wouter Spoorendonk’s story below.
Wouter Spoorendonk grew up underneath the smoke of Rotterdam. He is from a family with three children, of which he is the youngest. “My father also worked in engineering, and that started my interest in it. I liked working with my hands as a child and would always be busy with crafts. It came as no surprise that I would also work in engineering. I just did not expect it to be high-tech, at the time.
“I came back to Twente looking for a new employer, because of the many technology companies in the region and all the beautiful places to live.”
Wouter Spoorendonk - IMS
He could choose where he wanted to study Biomedical Technology; in Eindhoven or Enschede. He chose the University of Twente, in the end. “Especially because the campus appealed to me. But also because I like working on projects, and Twente was the best place to do that, in my opinion.”
Wouter did still temporarily move to Eindhoven for his first job. “Many large and technical companies are located on the High Tech Campus in Eindhoven, and I found that very interesting at the time. I started working at a big organisation working in medical technology. I soon found out, however, that the medical world deals with a lot of regulations. Developments, therefore, take a lot of time. I also did not like working for a huge organisation, where you are nothing more than a number. I like having good contact with both my colleagues and employer, but that company was so big that you did not know what was going on. That is quite different in a smaller company. So I came back to Twente looking for a new employer, because of the many technology companies in the region and the beautiful places to live.”
Wouter has a lot of space to develop himself at IMS in Almelo. “I knew what kind of function I wanted to have, and I am thrilled to be employed by IMS. Not every company has a Research & Development department, and certainly not one that gives you this much freedom. We, as a team, have the opportunity to work on the newest machines and techniques, which can then be used by the biggest brands. We also have a lot of ownership within the team, resulting in great motivation.”
“I moved to the south at the time because it seemed only natural. Nothing is further from the truth, however: there is at least as much engineering work in Twente, and living here is much nicer.”
Wouter Spoorendonk - IMS
IMS builds machines and is active in the world of optics and sensors. The sector demands extremely accurate product assembly, which requires highly versatile and advanced equipment. Wouter has been working on IMS’s latest internal development for over a year and a half: the 6-Degree-Of-Freedom Active Alignment workstation (IMS 6DOF-AA-workstation).
Active Alignment is mainly used in machines that need to align cameras or lenses, e.g. for smartphones or cameras in cars. Cameras like these are made up of different lenses that must be optically in line with each other. Active Alignment means that the alignment process of these components is automated and optimised in a very accurate and cost-effective way. All of this is computer-controlled, to determine the most optimal position down to the micrometre. An internally developed algorithm determines the best position for the components.
Wouter and his team have taken a big step in optimising Active Alignment. This innovation could halve the cycle time and increase efficiency, while still having the same precise accuracy.
The new IMS 6DOF-AA-workstation is modular, and it fits into various production system architectures. It can process a wide variety of products, which makes duplicating expensive tools unnecessary.
The most remarkable thing about this innovation is that it can split the active alignment process step and the connection step. Most systems require the adhesion to take place within the workplace. Adhesion can take place in parallel with the IMS 6DOF-AA-workstation, saving valuable time and maximising production.
A patent application is currently being filed for this innovation. “We think this innovation is ground-breaking, so we have applied for a patent on it. After all, this technology will soon be used all over the world, and it will save an enormous amount of time and money. I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved as a team. It is an opportunity and experience that I would not have wanted to miss!”
Date: 24 September 2020 |