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.”

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.