The company and the university join forces for the digital transformation of the industry
Fagor Arrasate and Mondragon Goi Eskola Politeknikoa (MU-EPS) have renewed their collaboration agreement to promote the development of technologies for the intelligent manufacturing in sheet metal stamping, processing and cutting systems.
After a decade of successful collaboration between the world specialist company in the design of forming and cutting lines, its R&D Unit Koniker, and the Basque university have entered into a new agreement to join forces and exchange knowledge to carry out joint research projects. This collaboration will drive the development of intelligent sheet steel, aluminum and composite material processing systems that incorporate remote monitoring services. Specifically, work will be carried out on the main technologies in which Fagor Arrasate specializes, such as leveling, bending, cutting, forming, roll forming, robotics and automation for the automotive and steel sectors.
The collaboration will emphasize the development for the Industry 4.0, such as remote monitoring and data analysis solutions. Similarly, research into cyber-physical systems will be promoted to improve the efficiency, reliability, robustness, intelligence, autonomy and remote interactivity of Fagor Arrasate’s products. All this will be carried out without neglecting the development of advanced technologies and processes for the transformation of metals for new applications and sectors.
These developments will be incorporated into the stamping and processing systems, cutting lines and steel equipment offered by Fagor Arrasate. “In this way, our products will become more and more technological and, above all, will remain competitive on a global level”, highlighted the company’s CEO, Unai López.
The key to the success of this alliance between the academic and business worlds lies in the transfer of knowledge for research. As the director of the Polytechnic High School of Mondragon Unibertsitatea, Carlos García, said: “This agreement allows us to bring what our researchers are investigating to the real world, and also allows us to carry out high-level research”, so that both parties obtain “very enriching” results. The collaboration, he stresses, also extends to the recruitment of qualified personnel and the implementation of training activities for researchers.
After 10 years of successful collaboration between the company and the academic institution, the agreement has been renewed because “the research projects are yielding results”, as said by the director of Koniker, David Chico. In this decade, more than 50 research projects have been carried out jointly, including 11 European projects. In addition, 4 theses have been read, another 4 are in progress, and more than 20 papers have been published in international congresses and JCR journals. “This shows that the research teams are perfectly aligned and with this new agreement we will be able to provide solutions to future challenges,” says Chico.
The agreement also includes the commitment of both parties to promote the use of Basque in their collaboration. Likewise, the knowledge of Basque will be guaranteed and encouraged in the human resources destined to the development of projects, promoting the use of Basque in their theses and final projects as determined in 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, aluminum, and stainless steel, including presses, coil cutting and processing lines, and complete systems for manufacturing complex metal pieces. We also specialize in composite forming, hot and cold forging systems, and press hardening.
It operates globally, and its customers include OEMs, tier ones, and service centers in the automotive and aerospace sectors, as well as companies in the forging, steel, appliance, and metal furniture industries.
With more than 60 years of experience, Fagor Arrasate has six production plants, five technical assistance service centers, and an R&D and innovation center, in addition to numerous business delegations throughout the world. It is a founding member of one of Europe’s largest industrial groups, the Mondragon Corporation, with more than 80,000 professionals.
About Mondragon Unibertsitatea
Mondragon Unibertsitatea combines training, research and transfer with the aim of guiding its activities towards improving the competitive position of companies and organizations in order to contribute to the creation of a more advanced society.
The Polytechnic High School of Mondragon Unibertsitatea is focused on training and research in the field of engineering and is present on four campuses (Arrasate, Ordizia, Hernani and Bilbao). The Polytechnic School specializes in Advanced Manufacturing, Artificial Intelligence, Robotics and Cybersecurity, among others.
With cutting-edge technological equipment, the university aligns its research activity with the needs of the most cutting-edge technological companies and constitutes the pool of the new generations of engineers that they need. Mondragon Unibertsitatea is one of the state universities with the highest percentage of private funding with respect to its total research and transfer activity (U-Multirank).
Koniker is a non-profit Scientific-technological Agent declared of public interest and specialized in the research and development of new technologies related to machinery and industrial manufacturing processes.
Since its foundation in 2002, its objective has been to provide a coordinated response to the innovation and transformation needs of the manufacturing industry, taking advantage of the collaboration with companies, technology centers and universities.
Koniker is a Mondragon Corporation cooperative dedicated to research, development and innovation in the field of forming and assembly, accredited as a Business R&D Unit by the Basque Government, integrated in the Basque Science, Technology and Innovation Network.