• The organisations will be collaborating on the development of intelligent machines, remote monitoring, advanced services, and energy and operating efficiency

The company Fagor Arrasate, its R&D unit Koniker, and the IK4-Ikerlan R&D centre have signed an agreement to collaborate on research into advanced manufacturing technologies and Industry 4.0. By virtue of this agreement, over 20 researchers from the three organisations will be collaborating on a stable basis on the following lines of research: the development of intelligent machines, remote monitoring, advanced services, and strategies for energy and operating efficiency. 

The three organisations have decided to join forces to tackle the challenges arising out of what is already being regarded as the Fourth Industrial Revolution, which is transforming the traditional models of industrial production through the introduction of digital technologies. They aim to pool their capabilities in research and development in order to apply the latest technological advances to both production and finished products.

The lines of research

The line devoted to providing machines with intelligence will be endeavouring to respond to the growing needs for flexibility and adaptability of production plants. In the line that will be working on remote monitoring and the development of advanced services, cloud, Big Data and Data analytics technologies will be used for the purpose of proactively improving machinery availability and reliability. In the areas of energy and operating efficiency, technologies will be developed to allow better use to be made of resources.

The agreement represents a clear commitment of the three organisations to technological innovation and development as the fundamental hub in competitive improvement and formalises the relationship that Fagor Arrasate and IK4-Ikerlan have had for a long time. This agreement is also added to the one that Fagor Arrasate and Koniker formalised with Mondragon University’s Faculty of Engineering in 2010.

“Bases for driving forward innovation”

“This agreement establishes firm bases for driving forward the innovation of the products of Fagor Arrasate in the sphere of information technologies applied to industrial manufacturing”, said Jose Mari Balzategi, CEO of Fagor Arrasate.

David Chico, the head of Innovation at Fagor Arrasate and Chairman of Koniker, highlighted “the importance of the agreement to take advantage of synergies between the organisations, align the strategic lines of research and reinforce the role that needs to be played by the various players in the Basque Network of Science, Technology and Innovation, in the sphere of technological development and in the furthering of talent and capabilities of interest for Fagor Arrasate”.

“Advanced manufacturing, one of the cornerstones in the RIS3 strategy for smart specialisation, is one of IK4-Ikerlan’s priority sectors owing to its strategic importance for the Basque Country, and that is why we’re working to establish strategic links in ongoing collaboration with our customers in this field,” pointed out IK4-Ikerlan’s CEO, Marcelino Caballero.

Leaders in the manufacture of presses

FAGOR ARRASATE is the biggest national manufacturer and one of the leading companies worldwide in the design and manufacture of turnkey plants for presses and stamping systems, sheet metal cutting and processing lines, and special machinery for manufacturing household appliances.

The leading manufacturers across the world in the automotive sector are among its main customers, such as Volkswagen Group, General Motors, Ford or PSA, as are strategic suppliers in this field such as Gestamp and CIE, companies in the iron and steel sector, such as Tata, Arcelor Mittal, Acerinox, Gonvarri and Bamesa, and companies in the domestic appliance sector, such as Bosch-Siemens, Whirlpool, Mabe, General Electric and Haier.

Right now, Fagor Arrasate has nearly 700 work posts, 550 of which are in the 5 plants it owns across the Basque Country and the rest in the Chinese factory located in Kunshan. During the 2015 corporate year its turnover exceeded 230 million euros and exports accounted for approximately 90% of its production.

IK4-Ikerlan and advanced manufacturing

IK4-Ikerlan has a team of over 190 researchers devoted to the digitisation of industry and advanced manufacturing.

It works on key technologies for advanced manufacturing and integrates activities involving embedded electronics, mechanics, control, monitoring, operation and maintenance, among others. These capabilities allow it to offer solutions for developing dependable technologies throughout the product life cycle. The centre also assists its customers in the quest for fresh business opportunities involving services based on the latest servitization technologies.


Over 20 researchers will be working together to tackle the challenges of the Fourth Industrial Revolution

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