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Meet the people behind knowlEdge: Heino Geerdens

Heino Geerdens

What is your personal background?

I hold a degree in computer science, but I’ve always had a strong interest in industrial automation & robotics.

I joined Kautex Belgium in 2006 as a Process Engineer – Automation. In 2015 I was offered the role as a Technology & IT Manager, a position I held for 7 years.

In 2022 I took the role of Sr. Specialist IIoT and automation Europe. In this role I support the global IIoT & Automation team with the role-out of different IoT-related projects within our European plants. Additionally, I’m support the IT-team on some projects closely tied to our manufacturing equipment and IoT integration.

What is your organization’s role in knowlEdge?

Kautex is one of three industrial partners in the KnowlEdge project. As an industrial partner, we have defined a use-case that requires the application of new AI & ML techniques within an edge-to-cloud architecture. Our objective is to provide the technical partners with data from our manufacturing processes to demonstrate the platform’s effectiveness.

What fascinates you about Artificial Intelligence for manufacturing?

I believe the use of AI in manufacturing will help in making better informed decisions in various processes, not only limited to the manufacturing process.

By analyzing data from various equipment & processes variables, companies can optimize production processes, reduce downtime, minimize scrap, and enhance the overall efficiency of their manufacturing operations. But correlating manufacturing data to other data-sources can improve efficiency in many other areas as well.

With a background in machine automation & robotics, of course I’m also eager to understand how AI and ML will enable smarter automation and the performance of more complex tasks, fostering more effective collaboration with humans.

What are your expectations in knowlEdge?

I’m looking forward to a platform that can perform advanced multivariate anomaly detection, consistently monitoring many process parameters collected from our equipment. This platform would feature a decision support system helping end-users in making better informed decisions, leveraging models trained on historical data and enriched by inputs from various users.

Which target groups can benefit from knowlEdge?

The three pilots are very different but on the other hand reflect a demand that is very common in many industries. Therefor I believe both manufacturing companies and developers, along with researchers can benefit significantly from the project’s outcome.

The knowlEdge marketplace aims to offer a secure platform for making AI models and datasets publicly available. This will create value for not only for other companies but also for data scientist and related professionals.

What is your vision beyond knowlEdge?

I believe AI will evolve rapidly over the next years, becoming as common and widespread in our daily lives as the internet is today.

Personally, I foresee a high risk of AI being misused, posing a significant threat that must be addressed. Therefor I’m convinced that establishing and maintaining a legal framework on a global scale for the use of AI is needed to safeguard such misuse.