• The awarding of these projects constitutes the recognition by the EU of IK4-IKERLAN as an important player in the field of advanced manufacturing
  • “Advanced manufacturing increases the value that companies can offer the market,” the Centre maintains

IK4-IKERLAN is becoming consolidated as an international benchmark in the field of advanced manufacturing. Through its Horizon 2020 programme to support R&D, the EU-European Union is funding the Centre to participate in three R&D projects on advanced manufacturing, which is one of the fields in which the Centre has an outstanding trajectory. These projects, which seek to drive forward the competitiveness of European industry, will be launched early in 2015 and will end between the end of 2017 and the middle of 2018.

The three projects in which IK4-IKERLAN is set to participate and which are known as CREMA, C2Net and MEMAN, have already been approved. They all aim to develop tools to improve the efficiency of European industry, and they have the prominent participation of Basque companies.

Advanced manufacturing is one of the strategic areas which the EU is promoting with the greatest strength within Horizon 2020. Likewise, together with energy and biosciences, it is one of the priority spheres of action specified by the Government of the Basque Autonomous Community within its RIS3 strategy of intelligent specialisation to enable the Basque Autonomous Community to win competitiveness in Europe.

IK4-IKERLAN and advanced manufacturing

IK4-IKERLAN has a long trajectory in the field of advanced manufacturing. Not without reason, because for years it has been collaborating with companies in the quest for strategies that ensure maximum efficiency in production and logistics processes. For this it is developing and applying specific technologies that enable companies to make use of their resources and obtain maximum possible output.

One of the aspects in which the Centre is working most intensively is that of smart maintenance, in other words, the applying of new sensor-based technologies, communications, data capture and processing, and decision-making to ensure that a component, piece of equipment or system continues to perform the functions it was designed for.

This discipline allows companies to achieve the greatest possible productivity of their resources. For example, to maximise a machine’s output, it is fitted with sensors that provide information on its status at any moment. That way, it is possible to know exactly when a part will need to be changed, and to programme any intervention, thus remaining a step ahead of a possible fault or adjusting its functioning parameters so that it uses less energy.

The IK4-IKERLAN researcher Eduardo Saiz believes that advanced manufacturing “is a rapidly growing activity which signifies a great opportunity for the Basque economy. Thanks to it, companies can improve their competitiveness and generate new spaces for business, since products that have more availability, are more dependable and have more functionalities are going to be generated,” he explained.

As he pointed out, “advanced manufacturing increases the value that companies can offer the market. Not only can they supply more advanced products but also new services associated with them".

The awarding of the three above-mentioned projects is tremendous recognition by the EU of IK4-IKERLAN as an important player in the field of advanced manufacturing, and will allow the Centre to increase by more than 1,2 million euros its already significant returns from Europe.

The projects

CREMA is an initiative that seeks to develop a cloud computing tool that gathers data in real time about a company's machines, analyses them and offers solutions to make the most appropriate decisions relating to the functioning of the machines. Its aim is to solve incidences in the most efficient way possible by coordinating the action of the various players involved (heads of production, line operatives, maintenance personnel, etc.).

C2NET is an initiative destined to develop applications and a cloud infrastructure to monitor in real time the flow of materials between a plant, its suppliers and customers. Besides streamlining this movement, it will allow different circumstances to be adapted to. If there is a change in demand or a hitch in the supply of materials, for instance, the best option at each moment can be recalculated. What is more, it can offer the various players in the process the possibility of making decisions in a coordinated way.

Finally, within the framework of the MEMAN project the aim is to optimize the competitiveness of European companies belonging to the metal-mechanical sector by developing methodologies, tools and business models to improve efficiency across the value chain by optimising the use of production resources and the global consumption of energy and materials of the companies in that chain.

“This project has received funding from the (European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme) (Euratom research and training programme 2014-2018) under grant agreement Nº 637066 - 636909 -636926"

The Basque research centre will be participating in 3 projects in 2015 seeking to improve the efficiency of European industry
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