UTINGAL, a benchmark company in the Galician and national aeronautical industry, presented on 14 February 2019 at its facilities in Tui the results of the R&D project “Macizado” developed together with two leading companies such as the engineering firm ISEGA TECHNOLOGY and COASA, part of the AERNNOVA group, which was successfully completed in November 2018 after more than two years of coordinated effort. The CETIM and AIMEN Technology Centres were also part of the project as technical support for the project. It should be remembered that solidification is a complex technological process that requires a whole series of development, inspection and automation tools that can only be resolved through a grouping of leading companies that combine the various lines of development required.
The exhibition of results, which was attended by the project managers of all the participants as well as the GAIN representative Joaquín García López, provided a direct presentation of the results of the work carried out throughout the project, with a practical demonstration at UTINGAL’s own facilities of the solidification of one of the test specimens, which exemplified the success of the project. After the visit to the plant, the results were presented from a theoretical point of view and the deliverables of the various stages of development were shown. At the end of the visit, the manager of UTINGAL, Mr. Jesús López, highlighted “the great commercial opportunity that is opening up, with the support of GAIN, to transfer the results of the solidification process to an increasingly demanding and growing aeronautical market”.
Therefore, this initiative, financed in the CONECTA PEME 2016 programme by the Galician Innovation Agency GAIN under the title “AUTOMATED MILLING TOOL FOR MILLING HIGH ADDED VALUE AERONAUTIC PARTS”, has made it possible to generate a specific tool for the process of milling high added value parts for the aeronautical industry. The project has combined the efforts of UTINGAL as a company specialising in aeronautical engineering, ISEGA as a company specialising in process automation and COASA as a large company in the aeronautical sector. UTINGAL was mainly responsible for the development of machining processes, ISEGA for the electronics and related robotisation and COASA provided the industrial characterisation of the process, bringing the development closer to the market and the industry. The project has counted on the necessary collaboration of AIMEN, which actively participated in the development of the technology linked to the inspection processes of the process and of CETIM as the Centre in charge of supporting the development of the engineering. The consultancy and coordination of the project was carried out by the expert company Grupo ECO 3G, also present at the visit and who coordinated the presentation of the results together with UTINGAL’s manager Jesús López.
The final results of the project included a high degree of technical-strategic satisfaction in the execution of :
PT1 – DEVELOPMENT AND OPTIMISATION OF POCKET MACHINING PROCESSES: :
- the assembly of support structures,
- the manufacture of headstocks.
- Wiring, programming and testing.
PT2-DEVELOPMENT AND OPTIMISATION OF AUTOMATIC FILLING PROCESSES::
- Viscosity studies
- Head designs
- Machine vision camera testing
- Head manufacturing
- Filling equipment
- Final prototype assembly
- Wiring, programming and testing of the final development.
PT3: DEVELOPMENT AND OPTIMISATION OF INDEPENDENT VACUUM FILLING PROCESSES: with an objective improvement in times
- Tests on and inspections of test tubes.
- Control and measurement of the tank filling process by controlling the formation of bubbles.
- Performance of various tests with improvements to the filling system.
- Carrying out tests on a rotary table at UTINGAL.
PT4: DEVELOPMENT AND OPTIMISATION OF THE AUTOMATIC SURFACE GRINDING PROCESS:
PT5: IMPROVEMENT OF THE PRE-CURING PROCESS.
PT6: INSPECTION OF THE MILLING PROCESS: with objective performance improvement
Thanks to the results of the project in terms of surface machining, it is possible to estimate a saving in time of 80% of the time used with the initial means (8 hours at the starting point compared to 1 hour with the new system) with improvements in the quality of the machining.
Similarly, with respect to resin injection with a robot, the savings in time would be around 70% (3 hours at the starting point compared to 1 hour less with the new process) and 80% in non-quality costs.
Ultrasonic pre-inspection would save 80% of defectology before final detection with its consequent reprocessing costs. Finally, oven curing saves 90% of the current time (currently 8 days compared to less than one day with the current process).
It should be recalled that the project has received ERDF funding and support from the Xunta de Galicia and GAIN through the CONECTA PEME 2016 programme (IN852A/20) with the following items:
- UTINGAL: BUDGET OF 379.049,91€ AND GRANT OF 189.524,96€
- BASE 2 INGENIERÍA: BUDGET OF 244.78,93€ AND GRANT OF 146.831,36€
- COASA: BUDGET OF 95.538,95€ AND GRANT OF 38.215,58€