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16/10/2019 - Fagor Arrasate, Koniker and Ikerlan strengthen their collaboration in the development of Industry 4.0 and Advanced Manufacturing solutions

The three organisations have renewed the collaboration agreement that they signed in 2016 in order to reinforce and push ahead with the development of digital technologies, simulation and control, operational efficiency, energy storage and applied mechanics. The agreement, which will be in force for the next five years, will allow Fagor Arrasate to strengthen its technological position in the field of digitalisation and Advanced Manufacturing, where it is one of the leading companies

With the aim of developing high value solutions for the industry of the future, the company, FAGOR ARRASATE, its R&D unit, KONIKER, and the technology centre, IKERLAN, have renewed the collaboration agreement that has been in force since 2016, thus reaffirming their commitment to continue making progress in the application of advanced manufacturing technologies and Industry 4.0.

This agreement strengthens the collaboration between the three organisations so that they can continue to further develop and apply cutting-edge technologies over the next five years.

Over the last few years, this collaboration has yielded some very significant results, especially with regard to the digital transformation of Fagor Arrasate's products and industrial processes. It is worth mentioning the development and marketing of the digital platform, FA Link MAP (Machine Alert Platform), designed to provide machines with connectivity with which to remotely and safely monitor the most significant operating parameters and thereby optimise both maintenance and production quality, which are key processes in sectors such as the automotive industry.

At the same time, they are promoting the development of the Digital Twin platform which reproduces the machine in a 3D simulator in order to regulate, during the design phase, the behaviour of the systems that have the greatest impact on the parameters such as cycle time, energy consumption and the quality of parts and products.

With this tool, Fagor Arrasate can regulate and validate the control systems of its equipment without the need to set up actual machines, thus reducing time and risks in the development and start-up processes, especially in those machines equipped with hydraulic drives.

Another line of research in recent years has focused on the efficiency of assembly processes using innovative digital methodologies and tools. As a result of these projects, Fagor Arrasate has managed to predict and guarantee the times of the different manufacturing and assembly processes of its products. This has resulted in improved efficiency and responsiveness to customers, with the ability to optimise the production of different orders at the same time.

The extensive portfolio of projects on which they have worked includes, among others, the Syncro 3D simulation tool for optimising press machine runs as well as tools for monitoring the structural health of machines and their critical components.

Further exploration of digitalisation, cybersecurity and Artificial Intelligence

Within the framework of the agreement, these three organisations have established various action plans for the coming years, focusing mainly on digital technologies, simulation and control, operational efficiency, management and solutions for energy storage and applied mechanics.  

Based on the FA Link MAP platform implemented in the last period, the new developments will focus on integrating data analysis functions aimed at predicting future equipment maintenance needs, thus increasing the availability and flexibility of the equipment. Also, of key importance in this area will be the development of solutions for the cybersecurity of digitised assets, introducing technologies such as Blockchain which protect electronic systems and communications against sabotage and the theft of information.

At the same time, use will be made of advanced control and modelling technologies. In the previous cycle, the focus was on the implementation of Digital Twin and simulation tools; in the new period, there is the intention to make the leap to the concept of Artificial Intelligence applied to machine control and process automation. To this end, and with the aid of previously built modelling tools, new solutions based on intelligent control will be developed. With the incorporation of this new control paradigm, the aim is that machines and production lines should be capable of adapting autonomously and intelligently to the different operating conditions of production processes. This will have a direct impact on the improvement of aspects such as availability, versatility, quality, cycle times and energy consumption in the production plants of Fagor Arrasate's customers.

In addition, the agreement envisages the development of technologies for operational efficiency that can be integrated into new environments and highly digitised 4.0 work systems, so as to take another step forward in reducing the lead times and costs of assembly and production processes.

With regard to energy storage, the three organisations intend to implement energy recovery, storage and control technologies at Fagor Arrasate's premises that will allow them to reduce customer operating costs. In the current climate of rising energy costs, the possibility of offering lower consumption for the same production volume to machine and production line customers is a clear competitive advantage. As a result, electrical storage will play a key role in the range of solutions and technologies to be included, especially for reducing the peaks of electrical power required.

Lastly, emphasis will be placed on the design and structural reliability of critical components: advanced mechanical designs will be researched in order to reduce manufacturing and assembly costs. The structural reliability of components will also be analysed using advanced modelling solutions and repair technologies in order to increase the availability and service life of machines.

Strengthened collaboration

"Industry 4.0 is here to stay and industrial digitalisation is transforming our industry. The development and implementation of these technologies requires a firm commitment like the one Fagor Arrasate is making, and in which we collaborate by contributing our vision and experience. The renewal of this agreement is in keeping with this framework and reinforces our mission to provide technological knowledge to solve the challenges facing companies", says Marcelino Caballero, general manager of IKERLAN.

While the Fagor Arrasate general manager, David Pascual, emphasises that reinforcing the collaboration is a way to continue advancing in digitalisation: "Renewing the agreement is a very positive move for Fagor Arrasate, as it will allow us to continue developing and adding technologies in order to offer our customers the best products and services as well as to remain competitive in the market."

David Chico, R&D director at Fagor Arrasate, asserts that "technological differentiation and customer service will be key to remaining competitive in the market and, to this end, it is very important to establish synergies with the most competitive centres in applied research".

Commitments: talent and commitment to the environment

In addition to the agreement's research objective, Fagor Arrasate, Koniker and IKERLAN are committed to working together to boost the talent and training of their entire team, reinforcing the high level of qualifications of their professionals, attracting the best people and promoting the transfer of specialised professionals from IKERLAN to Fagor Arrasate.

Furthermore, and as a commitment to our community, the promotion of the use of the Basque language as the habitual working language is another of the aspects included in the agreement, in such a way so as to ensure the presence of the Basque language in the meetings and minutes accompanying the agreement.

 

About FAGOR ARRASATE

Fagor Arrasate is a world leader in the design and manufacture of tailor-made solutions for the forming of steel, aluminium and stainless steel, from presses, coil cutting and processing lines and complete systems for the manufacture of complex metal parts. It also specialises in the forming of composites, hot and cold forging systems and Press Hardening.

They operate globally and their customers include OEMs, TIER-1s and service centres in the automotive and aerospace sectors, as well as companies in the forging, iron and steel, household appliance and metal furniture industries.

With more than 60 years of experience, Fagor Arrasate has 6 production plants, 3 technical assistance service centres and an R&D&I centre, as well as numerous commercial branches throughout the world. It is a founding member of the MONDRAGON Corporation, one of the largest industrial groups in Europe, with more than 80,000 professionals.

About KONIKER

KONIKER is a scientific-technology agent specialising in the research and development of new technologies related to industrial machinery and manufacturing processes. Since its inception in 2002 and faithful to its mission, its objective is to respond in a coordinated manner to the needs of innovation and transformation of the manufacturing industry, making the most of collaborations with companies, technology centres and universities.
Having the best processes for managing excellence is the best guarantee to ensure the development of technologically advanced solutions and their conversion into products and services suitable for industry and the market. That is why que KONIKER is the first research agent in the Basque Country to have its quality system certified in accordance with UNE-EN ISO 9001, its R&D&I management in accordance with UNE 166002, as well as its technology surveillance service in accordance with UNE 166006.


About IKERLAN

IKERLAN is a leading centre for technology transfer and for providing competitive value to companies due, among other things, to the expertise of its researchers. It offers comprehensive solutions by combining different fields of technology in three main areas: Electronics, information and communication technology (EICT), Energy and power electronics and Advanced manufacturing. In 2017, AENOR, has certified IK4-IKERLAN’s comprehensive management system (UNE-EN ISO 9001:2015 and UNE 166002:2014), which is a acknowledging of the excellence of the centre in the R&D&I area. It currently has a staff of approximately 300 people.