Introduction to Hammer-IMS and its millimeter waves
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It took the founders of KU Leuven spin-off Hammer-IMS seven years to develop this innovation: a measurement system based on millimeter waves. These so-called millimeter waves are comparable to the waves that your cell phone uses, but hen much more higher in frequency. Since they are high-frequency, we can use them for radiating a material from the top, and capturing them below. This enables thickness measurement and weight measurement. The longer it takes for the waves to pass through the material, the heavier the material or the thicker the material. The two founders of Hammer-IMS have investigated the principles behind this in their PhDs. They transformed from researchers to entrepreneurs, because this technology could redefine the market. Thicknesses and weights are typically measured in the industry by means of nuclear sources nowadays. There are many issues involved with the use of nuclear or radioactive applications. You need to take care of radioactive waste. Our solution is in that sense a clean solution. And it is affordable. The company Hammer-IMS, based in Hasselt, focuses first on the plastics converting and paper industry, but is looking ahead as well. We also see a bright future in the textiles industry, coating industry, e.g. on metal substrates, but also for mineral wools. Hence, a broad range of different materials. The measurement equipment is being tested by different manufacturing companies. Ultimate goal is to introduce the technology to big machine producers and go to a worldwide scale. Absolutely, we are 100 percent convinced that we have a disruptive technology for the manufacturing industry. This enables to increase production volumes, higher-quality products, and more savings. Investment fund LRM and KU Leuven’s Gemma Frisius fund believes in Hammer-IMS and injected 800kEuros in the company.

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