NEWS 17 November 2023

Wim van der Hoek Award goes to Avans duo Marc Slob and Youp Verbakel

Prize for the automatic assembly of shovels and spades


During the 22nd edition of the Precision Fair, held in Den Bosch (NL), the Wim van der Hoek Award was presented under the auspices of DSPE (Dutch Society for Precision Engineering). For the first time, the prize went to a duo, Marc Slob and Youp Verbakel. Together, they graduated from Avans University of Applied Sciences with the design of a machine for the automatic assembly of a wide variety of shovels and spades. They had created an innovative design, according to the jury. “That was well thought out in terms of the permitted degrees of freedom. They then carefully elaborated it, taking into account the cost price and the predictability and reliability of the production process.”

The second day of the Precision Fair 2022, Thursday 16th November in Den Bosch (NL), featured the presentation of the Wim van der Hoek Award. This award (also known as the Constructors Award) was introduced in 2006 to mark the 80th birthday of the Dutch doyen of design engineering principles, Wim van der Hoek (1924-2019). The Constructors Award is presented every year to the person with the best graduation project in the field of design in mechanical engineering at a Dutch or Belgian university of technology or university of applied sciences. This award includes a certificate, a trophy made by the Leidse instrumentmakers School and a sum of money, sponsored by Eindhoven University of Technology institute EIASI.

Four nominations, including a duo

Criteria for the assessment of the graduation theses include the quality of the design, substantiation and innovativeness, as well as suitability for use as teaching materials. The jury, under the presidency of DSPE board member Jos Gunsing (MaromeTech), received a total of four nominations, including one for a duo project. These nominations came from Avans University of Applied Sciences in Den Bosch (NL), HU University of Applied Sciences in Utrecht (NL), Eindhoven University of Technology, and the University of Twente in Enschede (NL).

Thorough preliminary research

The Wim van der Hoek Award 2023 ultimately went to the duo Marc Slob and Youp Verbakel, who graduated from Avans with the design of a machine for the automatic assembly of shovels and spades. They conducted thorough preliminary research to capture the wide variety in shafts and blades as well as the dimensional product inaccuracies, and translate these into technical specifications. Together with the customer and an end-user, they investigated how to ensure ergonomic and safe interaction with the machine. After manufacturing and assembly, initial tests demonstrated a ‘first time right’ design.

Well thought-out design

It was an apparently simple assembly process, which, however, had several challenges, according to the jury. “In addition to the wide variety of products, there was enormous variability in the tolerances of the various parts. Marc and Youp have created an innovative design together. They did an appropriate amount of work for this, because they also built and tested the machine. They have carefully thought through their design in terms of the permitted degrees of freedom and elaborated it carefully. They paid attention to the cost price and the predictability and reliability of the production process.”

Note for the press (not for publication)

For further information please visit www.dspe.nl/awards of contact:

•    Wim van der Hoek Award: Jos Gunsing, +31 (0)6 – 519 94 190, jos.gunsing@dspe.nl

•    DSPE: Hans Krikhaar, President of DSPE, +31 (0)6 – 513 78 798, hans.krikhaar@dspe.nl

Attached please find a photo, with the following suggested caption:

The winners of the Wim van der Hoek Award 2023, Marc Slob (left) and Youp Verbakel, with the trophy associated with the prize. (Photo: Mikrocentrum)

Marc Slob and Youp Verbakel

References

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