A large machine needs two things: a large amount of material for its construction and a lot of power to start and run it. The aim of this project, within the European Union’s 7th Framework Programme, is to improve the competitiveness of factories and minimise their costs by cutting the power consumption of machines, while maintaining the accuracy of their functions.
To achieve this, Tecnalia has created machines that are not excessively rigid, up to 40% lighter and equipped with smart systems that enable them to be at least as accurate as their predecessors.
There are currently two prototypes of this concept of light, smart machine: one of them is located at the machining centre company Ibarmia, in Azkoitia, while the second is at the company Nicolás Correa, a manufacturer of large milling machines, in Burgos. “These prototypes are proving that they are not only able to maintain the productivity of the heavy machine, but have even increased it” states Juanjo Zulaika, Tecnalia project leader.
This new type of machine brings benefits both for the factories that will work with them and for their manufacturers. The former will save energy because the machines consume less and the latter can compete against other countries in costs.
Tecnalia is already working on the next steps, based on DEMAT. Firstly, this same concept of smart flexibility will be extended to other families of machines, such as drills, for instance. Secondly, the introduction of new functionalities into these machines will be studied.