Barco Talks About Its Factory for the Future

Barco strengthens its ‘One Barco’ approach — as well as its manufacturing operations — with a future-proof new home base for its manufacturing department.

Since 2016, all Barco’s departments in Belgium have been gradually united on the new campus in the Beneluxpark in Kortrijk. ‘One Campus’ symbolizes ‘One Barco’, meaning it is more than just a building. It represents a whole new way of working, where transparency, flexibility and interaction are key. As a final step, the manufacturing sites of Kortrijk and Kuurne are now heading to the new campus too.

The new manufacturing site, called ‘The Engine’, is connected to the main campus building (‘The Circle’), in the same way as ‘The Pulse’ (central services) and ‘The Lab’ (R&D). The move to the new site is part of the Focus to Perform program, a larger strategic initiative that focuses on operational excellence. Automation and the implementation of new, innovative technologies as well as the involvement of employees were key pillars, and will remain instrumental in the further development of the new factory.

“The new site, and accompanying infrastructure, offers a strong base for gradually improving our efficiency and will help us to respond quickly to new market trends,” says Filip Deruijck, Barco’s VP Operations Belgium. “The design of the manufacturing floor, for example, is flexible and multifunctional. Through automation and innovation, we can shorten lead times and increase production. It’s how we can keep delivery times short and produce cost-effectively, also in Belgium.”  This new approach translates into economies of scale. In the course of 2018, Barco will incorporate the production activities of its Norwegian site in Kortrijk too.

The core of the factory for the future is a clever way of working that encompasses different pillars. This includes digitally connecting employees and systems worldwide as well as automating the warehouse (planned for 2019) and certain assembly activities. At the same time, existing processes are being reviewed and optimized by involving employees, building on their knowhow and implementing bottom-up improvement projects.

Filip Deruijck adds: “People remain one of our key assets. As a result of the move, employees get a much better view on each other’s activities. This not only leads to better mutual understanding, it also stimulates cross-fertilization of knowledge and ideas, resulting in a more efficient way of working.”

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Barco manufactures projectors, engines, subassemblies, lamps, cooling, medical displays, LED and networking products in The Engine. The move of the manufacturing sites brings an additional 250 people to the new campus. Kuurne remains the logistics hub in Belgium, from where all products will be shipped. The official opening of The Engine is on 19 April 2018.

Gary Kayye

About Gary Kayye

Gary Kayye, founder of rAVe Publications, is one of the most prominent personalities in the audiovisual industry. He has been a contributor to WIRED magazine and a technical advisor and columnist for Sound & Communications magazine as well as an opinionated columnist for rAVe [Publications] since 2003. In addition to his writing and market analysis, Gary has been a product, marketing and business operations consultant to dozens of AV companies in the U.S. and overseas. Clients have included companies such as Sony, Sharp, Epson, Lutron, InFocus, Sanyo, Mitsubishi, NEC and Philips.   Gary, who has been involved with the audiovisual market for over 20 years, was the recipient of the InfoComm 2003 Educator of the Year Award and the 2007 NSCA Instructor of the Year Award. Over the years, he has donated much of his time as an active volunteer in the AV industry’s trade association and served as chairman of InfoComm’s Professional Education & Training Committee (PETC), chairman of the ICIA Design School Committee and chairman of InfoComm’s Installation School Committee. In addition, he has served on the InfoComm board of governors. He also helped grow the InfoComm Projection Shoot-Out as the premiere AV industry trade show special event serving on the committee from 1991 through 1997, and was instrumental in launching the Shoot-Out in the European market at the Photokina Expo in 1994 and 1996 as well as the Asian market at the 1995 and 1997 INFOCOMM Asia shows.   Prior to founding his own company, Gary was vice president of sales and marketing for AMX Corporation (www.amx.com), a manufacturer specializing in professional AV and residential AV control systems. Prior to AMX, Gary spent nine years at Extron Electronics (www.extron.com), rising to the position of vice president of sales and marketing. Gary earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism in 1987 from the University of North Carolina and is currently Adjunct Faculty at UNC in the School of Journalism teaching a class on how future technologies will affect the future of advertising, PR and marketing.   He is also the founder of Swim for Smiles, a non-profit that raises money for the N.C. Children’s Hospital through swimming and other fitness-related events for kids. You can contact him at gary@ravepubs.com..