One of the most attractive aspects of this project is the diversity of partners who participate in it.
ITP Aero develops aeronautical technologies, products and services that contribute to increasingly sustainable aviation. ITP Aero is a world leading company within its market, currently the ninth largest aircraft engine and components company in the world by revenue. The company employs 4,300 people at its production centres in Spain, United Kingdom, Mexico, Malta and India.
ITP Aero includes among its activities the design, research and development, manufacturing and casting, assembly and testing of aeronautical modules and engines. It also provides MRO services for a wide range of engines for regional airlines, business aviation, helicopters, industrial and defense applications.
Raúl Llorente is Industrial engineer by the University of Basque Country (UPV/EHU). He is involved in R&D manufacturing technology coordination programs in ITPAero and is responsible of the advanced manufacturing strand. He is also involved in data acquisition and management in manufacturing equipment. He has participated in several European projects, like INTEFIX.
How did you learn about the project? What aspects of the project attracted you to join it?
We have solid agreements with technology centres and universities in the Basque country that have been going on for years. Thanks to these agreements and through the Ideko technology centre, we were given the opportunity to participate in InterQ project.
One of the most attractive aspects of this project is the diversity of partners who participate in it, giving us the opportunity to collaborate with them in a research environment. This means that in the technological demonstrators and the different tasks of the project there is a high diversity of partners collaborating with the same purpose, which is none other than getting to know our machines and obtaining more precise and secure data from them.
How is work carried out at your production plants on a daily basis?
Different areas of the factory have been selected as demonstrators of this project. We have focused on the machines that operate machining, grinding and broaching processes. The objective is to improve these processes, through the InterQ activities, reducing non-conformities and improving quality through daily learning of the data obtained from these machines.
Why is Zero-Defect Manufacturing so important for your company?
In aeronautics, product complexity of the product, quality and manufacturing with Zero defects and the competition side of things demand unstoppable technological growth to guarantee less environmental impact, greater safety, efficiency and cost. The objectives of interQ are clearly aligned with these challenges.
Which are the main problems faced currently?
The main problem we are currently facing is the difficulty of having a high volume of data obtained from our processes. In our Zamudio facilitites, we have a high number of produced components, but low volume of each one of them. In related to InterQ objectives, the main challenge we face are scarce data, but this in itself is a challenge for the companies involved in the project. Scarce data and quality leaks or manufacturing problems due to highly controlled processes, which add complexity to learning algorithms that have to deal with these complex boundary conditions.
How do you expect InterQ will improve your production?
With the results of the InterQ project, we expect to have improved process capability and product quality in machining operations, obtaining real time data analyses to predict machine behaviour. We also want to obtain more reliable data with fewer errors, as well as having the different data input and output sources in the same analysis environment.