SMARTPM participates in the CONFLES project to incorporate new manufacturing and automation technologies in the production of aeronautical components.

SMARTPM is part of the consortium of five companies participating in the CONFLES project.

SMARTPM's investment in the Hazitek CONFLES project is due to the objective of incorporating new manufacturing and automation technologies that allow for a more controlled, flexible, efficient and sustainable process applied to the machining of high-performance materials used in the manufacture of complex components for the aeronautical sector.

The project is led by EGILE Mechanics and involves, in addition to SMARTPM, Fagor Automation, SARIKI, IBARMIA and several agents of the Basque Science, Technology and Innovation Network, such as Tecnalia, Fagor Aotek SCOOP, EIS, UPV/EHU and Vicomtech.

The challenge of manufacturing complex components

The main difficulty encountered by aircraft engine manufacturing companies is related to the type of materials used, especially in the production of parts located in the hot areas of the engine. 

Nickel and titanium-based superalloys are frequently used due to their superior high-temperature properties. However, the complex machinability of these materials, derived mainly from their hardness, ends up having a negative impact on the productivity and efficiency of the process.

On the other hand, productivity and efficiency in the manufacture of high-performance materials are often conditioned by tool life, which is significantly reduced compared to other materials. This is reflected in significant losses during operations such as dressing and tool changes. In the standard equipment available, which seeks to maintain internal process flexibility, the grinding head must travel long distances to the dresser.

In addition, insufficient tool magazine capacity to store twin grinding wheels is an additional challenge. Although dual-head equipment is available that simultaneously performs grinding and dressing operations, the single orientation of the workpiece reduces the flexibility of the current process.

For this reason, it is essential to incorporate new manufacturing and automation technologies, which will make it possible to continue improving the productivity and competitiveness of the process, through the joint participation of different agents in the development of R&D projects, such as the CONFLES project.

Project co-financed by the Basque Government and the European Union.

The CONFLES project is co-financed by the Basque Government through the Hazitek program and the European Union through the European Regional Development Fund 2021-2027 (ERDF).

CONFLES Project. Aid program to support business R&D - Hazitek. European Union, SMARTPM and Basque Government logos.