- The availability of virtual models for continuous monitoring of critical systems will reduce serious stoppages during production by up to 75 % and increase productivity by 15 %.
- The project has been funded by the Basque Government's Elkartek 2022 competitive research programme.
Subjected to high stress conditions caused by high speeds and high demands for precision and functional reliability, Industry 4.0 components and machinery evolve over time, maintaining different behaviours during their lifetime due to wear, misalignment or ageing of materials, among other factors. This technology, applicable to dynamic precision machines, represents an important technological leap in mechatronic design, as it will allow us to know in advance what the behaviour of the key components of that machinery will be, anticipating behavioural errors and avoiding stoppages and errors in production. In short, it will allow the industry to make a leap in quality and competitiveness thanks to the improvement of efficiency and productivity.
That is the objective of MECAPRES 4.0; a collaborative research project in mechatronics for smart industry led by the IKERLAN technology centre and funded by the Elkartek programme. MECAPRES 4.0 seeks to develop predictive design tools that, thanks to the combination of multiple technologies based on modelling and simulation, make it possible to estimate, from the design phase, how mechatronic systems will evolve throughout their life cycle and to be able to intervene to correct the loss of performance. The availability of virtual models for continuous monitoring of critical systems will make it possible to reduce serious stoppages during production by up to 75% and increase productivity by 15%. Mondragon Assembly, Soraluce, Zayer, Danobat, Korta, ULMA Packaging, Orona, CAF and GH are some of the industrial companies that will benefit from the technology transfer of the research results.
To develop these advanced design solutions, MECAPRES 4.0 will work with technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data, 5G and IoT technologies, as well as cyber-physical systems.
The project has received financial support of € 819 254 23 for two years, provided by the Basque Government through the Elkartek 2022 programme: a programme that funds collaborative research projects in strategic areas.
Led by IKERLAN, this pioneering research project involves the participation of the Tekniker and Ideko technology centres, as well as Mondragon Goi Eskola Politeknikoa / MU, the Department of Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence of the UPV/EHU and the Machine Tool Research Foundation (IMH).
"Over time, the different components of the machinery experience wear and tear due to looseness, assembly misalignments, thermal overheating or structural damage, among other factors. At present, we do not have models that allow us to predict how these components will evolve, so it is not possible to take preventive measures," explains Mario Javier Cabello Ulloa, head of the project at IKERLAN. "Having models that predict how the components of a machine will evolve, taking into account the factors of precision and reliability, would represent a key difference for industrial design technologies of production through interconnected mechatronic systems, and for the development and commercialization of competitive solutions by companies," he adds.
IKERLAN is a leading centre in technology transfer and in the contribution of competitive value to industry. It offers integral solutions combining different technological domains in two main areas: Electronics, Information and Communication Technologies (EICT), and Energy and Mechatronics. The technology centre's team is currently made up of 380 people. As a co-operative member of the MONDRAGON Corporation and the Basque Research and Technology Alliance (BRTA), IKERLAN maintains a sustainable, competitive business model in permanent transformation. IKERLAN currently has the following accreditations: ISO 9001:2015 Quality Management System, UNE 16600:2014 R&D&I Management System and ISO 27001:2013 Information Security Management System. This is recognition of the excellence of the centre in the field of R&D&I.