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  • DEME invests in Flemish high-tech VITO spin-off LCV prolongs lifespan dredger incisors
  • 2016 March 4 13:02

    DEME invests in Flemish high-tech VITO spin-off LCV prolongs lifespan dredger incisors

    The Belgian dredging, environmental and marine engineering group DEME and VITO spin-off Laser Cladding Venture (LCV) have signed a three-year cooperation agreement to strengthen the cutter incisors used to dredge hard soils, DEME said in its press release. The cooperation follows a successful pilot project on laser cladding in 2015 and confirms the confidence DEME has in the innovative potential of the domestic market.

    Laser cladding is a coating technique in which a laser melts metal powders into objects. The wear-resistant and anti-corrosive layers that are applied improve the durability of the mechanical parts. In a pilot phase, the method was used on dredger incisors and was successfully tested by DEME: even in extreme working conditions the incisors could be used for longer. Now the initial research will be progressed through economic evaluation via the spin-off Laser Cladding Venture (LCV) which will further develop the technique with DEME during a three year cooperation agreement.

    Dominique Durt, Director Applied Development & Innovation DEME: "DEME is heavily focused on innovation. It is thanks to innovative and improved techniques that we can continuously enhance our dredging and related activities. Where possible, DEME cooperates with leading Flemish companies and research institutes. The cooperation with VITO, now continued with LCV, is a good example of this".

    Besides coating, LCV also focuses on so-called additive manufacturing, the industrial version of 3D printing. Research institute VITO is particularly proud of the success of one of its spin-offs.

    Walter Eevers, Director Valorization and Strategic Cooperation VITO: "It is VITO's mission to use its technological knowledge to stimulate sustainable development and to enhance the Flemish economic and social fabric. With 17 years of experience in state-of-the-art laser technology VITO has a strong lead. Since 2010 VITO has focused on laser cladding and additive manufacturing especially. Meanwhile the laser cladding technology had become so marketable that VITO decided to launch a spin-off, while contributing VITO patents and machinery. VITO's Venture Development Team grouped the right people and financiers together, refined the business plan and in doing so, helped launch the company. This meant that LCV had a strong starting position to turn laser cladding in Flanders and beyond into a success story. The contract with DEME is the first confirmation."

    About DEME

    The Belgian dredging, environmental and marine engineering group DEME is an international market leader for complex marine engineering works. Driven by several worldwide challenges (rising sea level - the scarcity of raw materials - the growing need for energy - reducing CO2 emissions - the contamination of waterways and soils), DEME has transformed from solely a dredging and land reclamation company to a worldwide operating multidisciplinary and innovative marine engineering and environmental group.

    About VITO

    VITO is a leading European independent research and technology organisation in the areas of cleantech and sustainable development, elaborating solutions for the large societal challenges of today. VITO provides innovative and high-quality solutions, whereby large and small companies can gain a competitive advantage, and advises industry and governments on determining their policy for the future. VITO has 750 highly-qualified employees who work on international projects all around the world. VITO’s headquarters are located in Mol, Belgium, and the company has a subsidiary in China. The total turnover of VITO amounted to about 140 million euros in 2014. VITO’s research agenda tackles the major societal challenges we are facing today. VITO focuses on five different research programmes: sustainable chemistry, energy, health, materials management and land use.




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