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Development of virtual models for improving the life of components and capital goods

Development of virtual models for improving the life of components and capital goods


  • BCAM


2018 - 2019


1 450 000,00 €


Basque Government: ELKARTEK

The project is part of the Manufacturing 4.0 paradigm, under which it proposes the development of digital physical models (twins) of capital goods and components that allow the evaluation of the behaviour of these systems during their life based on the conditions of use.

Digitalisation means the process of technological change to a digital approach in all sectors of the economy, a process that has a major impact on industry (Manufacturing 4.0) and energy. Among the digital technologies that are revolutionising these sectors, this project focuses on digital twins.

A digital twin is a virtual representation of an asset, which allows the behaviour of a system to be modelled in order to better understand and predict its performance and potential flaws. The VIRTUAL project aims to go beyond the traditional concept of Digital Twins, incorporating knowledge of physical models to the data models already used to generate such twins and moving towards hybrid approaches to take advantage of the strengths of both. The information available for the machine will be enriched by these models. This will make it possible to provide further information and to extend the analysis of failures and life to the whole system, which can be exploited within the value chain of specifications, design, optimisation, service and maintenance.

In addition, these models will be a first step towards accelerating the design and development processes of new products to allow the customisation of solutions to match the actual expected use.

our contribution

From IKERLAN we will contribute in the following aspects:

  • Development of degradation models for the joints in mechanisms that allow an estimation to be made of the degree of wear suffered by the joints and its effect on the intensification of forces due to such wear. These models serve to evaluate the robustness of a design against wear and tear issues and to estimate the remaining life of assets in service.
  • Development of virtual sensors that allow the load values in a structure to be estimated by means of physical measurements available in the machine. These models can be used to estimate various types of variables such as movements, acceleration or distortion and stress values in a structure.
  • Development of models that, after identifying a crack in a structure, allow an evaluation of the severity of the fault and the design of a repair by means of adhesive patches in structures of considerable thickness (> 25 mm). The models can provide the speed of propagation of the crack in the original condition and the reduction in this speed of propagation for different repair strategies.
  • Development of calculation models that allow the estimation of the states of stress that are applied to a part during the manufacturing process. This information is used, together with the external loads to which the part is subjected, in order to estimate its fatigue life. Knowing the effect of the manufacturing process, it is possible to optimise it in order to minimise (or even improve) its influence on the ability of a part to withstand external loads. This study has focused on the induction tempering process, a process widely used to improve the mechanical properties of parts.

Other research projects we collaborate with


Félix Martínez

For further information,
contact with...

Félix Martínez

Applied mechanics - Head of department

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