IKERLAN improves its specialization in key technologies for the digitization of the Basque industry
The projects are framed in the Elkartek call of the Basque Government and will be carried out in collaboration with other technology centres, universities and agents of the Basque Science, Technology and Innovation Network
- The research seeks to register significant advances in strategic areas for the consolidation and advancement of the Industry in Euskadi
Cybersecurity, digital platforms for the industry, digital modeling of products and powerful electronics are the areas in which the IKERLAN technological centre will investigate through four projects financed by the Basque Government’s Elkartek Programme, a support system for initiatives of R&D in specialization areas within the Science, Technology and Innovation Plan Euskadi 2020.
The projects that IKERLAN will lead are perfectly aligned with the specialization of the technological centre located in Arrasate-Mondragón. “The allocation of these projects will allow us to continue advancing in the strategic areas of our centre and will reinforce our position as technological allies for the innovation of the Basque industry”, points out Ana Martínez, Director of Research and International of IKERLAN.
The technology centre will address the development of approved initiatives in collaboration with other technology centres, universities, the BERC (Basque Excellence Research Centre) and the business R&D units of the Basque Science, Technology and Innovation Network.
High performance powerful electronics
Powerful electronics is defined as one of the facilitating technologies for the deployment of the technological and industrial development strategy in the energy field in Euskadi. It allows the efficient conversion of energy in applications as diverse as renewable generation, smart grids, electric mobility and, in general, in the electric drives used in the industry.
In this context, the SICSOL project aims to delve into the use of new semiconductors, such as the Silicon Carbide, that allow the development of new generation power converters much more efficient and compact than conventional ones. To such end, the project proposes to work on the design aspects of the converters, such as intelligent drivers or aspects of electromagnetic compatibility (EMC), but also those linked to the advanced control that this new generation of converters makes possible through their higher switching frequencies.
Comprehensive cybersecurity for the industry
The development of Industry 4.0 entails the need to implement technologies that protect automation and exchange data systems from attacks that compromise the proper functioning of production plants.
Euskadi is the fifth European region with the highest degree of digitalisation and, in this context, the Basque Government has promoted initiatives to support cybersecurity, such as the creation of the Basque Cybersecurity Centre (BCSC), of which IKERLAN is a member.
Within the framework of the Elkartek Programme, the Basque Executive is committed to continuing the SEKUTEK project, which will end at the end of 2018 and is being led by IKERLAN. This project focuses on the development of cybersecurity components for their integration into the industrial ecosystem.
CYBERPREST, based on the results obtained during the previous project to complement them, is born with the aim of providing a comprehensive cybersecurity framework applicable to the Basque industry.
In addition to deepening the protection of industrial systems, other areas will be addressed, such as the management and governance of cybersecurity, identification and analysis of vulnerabilities or monitoring and detection of threats. The project also contemplates to delve into specific technologies to improve the capacity of response and recovery of systems in the face of an attack.
Digital twins applied to components and equipment goods
Digital twins are virtual copies of a process or product that digitally reproduce the behaviour of its real version, to which it is paired with complete fidelity thanks to the constant exchange of data. Its objective is to be the test and trials subject that allow predicting the behaviour of its physical ’brother’ in real manufacturing conditions. This technology is applied to evaluate different operating conditions aimed at optimizing the production processes or the behaviour in life of the product, without the need to carry out expensive tests on the physical version.
The research project called VIRTUAL, which IKERLAN will lead, focuses on the generation of scientific-technological knowledge that will allow, in the future, no less than five years, the development of hybrid digital-physical models applied to capital goods and components. “This technology will allow evaluating the behaviour of these systems for different conditions of use, in such a way that the reliability and life of the assets is increased, which will result in a reduction of costs for companies”, explains Félix Martínez, Head of the Mechanic area in IKERLAN.
Custom digital platforms
The TEKINTZE research project, for its part, pursues the objective of developing the necessary technologies to respond to the future digitalisation needs of the Basque industry. Beyond investigating innovative solutions, the Tekintze framework will look for the mechanisms that allow the total customization of these technologies to the different manufacturing sectors.
The programme also has the character of training. It provides the agents of the Basque Research Network with the necessary knowledge to guarantee their competitiveness and excellence in the field of digital platforms and thus be able to transfer this knowledge to the Basque industrial network in later stages.
IKERLAN, as the project leader, will provide the knowledge acquired in over more than 40 years career, extensive experience in the field of digitalisation, which is embodied in its technological solutions family for Industry, IKERLAN KONNEKT.
IKERLAN KONNEKT is the sum of knowledge that gives the technological centre the ability to develop integral projects in the digitalization branch, from conceptualization to prototype.
IKERLAN is a leading centre for technology transfer and for providing competitive value to companies due, among other things, to the expertise of its researchers. It offers comprehensive solutions by combining different fields of technology in three main areas: Electronics, information and communication technology (EICT), Energy and power electronics and Advanced manufacturing. In 2017, AENOR, has certified IKERLAN’s comprehensive management system (UNE-EN ISO 9001:2015 and UNE 166002:2014), which is a acknowledging of the excellence of the centre in the R&D&I area. It currently has a staff of approximately 300 people.