TECNALIA and FERSA join forces to implement Industry 5.0 in their European plants

Bizkaia, News

European bearings manufacturer FERSA and Spain’s largest technology centre TECNALIA will collaborate in the automation and digitalisation of plants, through the implementation of flexible robotics and artificial intelligence as well as in the development of solutions for advanced materials.

The European bearings manufacturer FERSA and the applied research and technological development centre TECNALIA will combine their innovation and technological capabilities to promote new manufacturing processes in the field of Industry 5.0. The aim is to bring pioneering developments in automation and flexible robotics, advanced materials and digitalisation to FERSA’s European plants. To this end, David Sánchez, Director of Industry and Mobility at TECNALIA, and Hugo Santos, Director of Business Development at FERSA, have signed a collaboration agreement between the two organisations.

On the one hand, they will address automation and flexible robotics in production factories, to advance the concept of flexible manufacturing and smart warehousing. Specifically, they will develop mobile robotics solutions in the loading and unloading of FERSA’s plants in Zaragoza and Austria, they will promote the automation of processes, with the incorporation of collaborative robots in grinding lines and they will optimise logistics with new autonomous supply systems for manufacturing lines.

They will also work with advanced materials and novel manufacturing processes, which will involve developments in metallic and ceramic materials associated with FERSA’s processes in the automotive and wind energy sectors, and advanced manufacturing processes.

They will also collaborate on developments in the field of Industry 5.0, with the aim of implementing artificial intelligence in Fersa for strategic decision-making. To this end, they will work on the following technologies: planning and optimisation of operations (hardware and software), evolution of digital tools in the plant, vision systems and automations for quality control in Fersa’s plants, and development of the extraction of information from its machines, which will enable them to develop digital twins of their operations, as well as helping in the prediction of failures.

Hugo Santos, FERSA’s Business Development Director, stated that “the signing of this agreement means that FERSA has the backing of one of the major European technology centres for the development of its products and processes, with a view to increasing its competitiveness in the market”. As he commented, it is “the formalisation of a relationship of many years, in which they have collaborated on various national and European projects, where they have achieved very outstanding results, with awards such as those obtained at the AF2022 fair for the best development of AI applied to industrial plants”. Likewise, this collaboration “represents for Fersa a commitment to research and development, in line with what has been done in recent years, where a very important effort has been made in this sense, culminating last November, when the FersaLab development centre was inaugurated in Zaragoza”, concluded Santos.

For his part, David Sánchez, Director of Industry and Mobility at TECNALIA, said that “for us, this agreement represents a successful culmination of years of joint innovation through different projects with FERSA, as well as the start of a stage with a strategic alliance that is even more solid if possible”.

He also explained that “thanks to this agreement, and through closer collaboration, TECNALIA will align its capabilities to the strategic challenges defined jointly with FERSA as far in advance as possible, co-investing in those challenges with the greatest technological scope. A way of collaborating that will better orientate investment, favouring decision-making and speed of response, achieving a greater reduction in technological risk and a greater return per euro invested for Fersa. At the same time, TECNALIA will achieve its aim of maximising the economic and social impact of its developments, helping Fersa to develop even stronger competitive advantages through technology”.


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