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Batz, Doilan, Ekin and Korta join the HEGAN Aeronautics and Space Cluster Association

Over the course of 2015, four new Basque industrial companies – Batz, Doilan Tegia, Ekin and Korta – three of which are cooperatives, have joined the HEGAN Aeronautics and Space Cluster Association, with aims of diversifying their industrial activities, positioning their activities in this area and exploring business and partnership possibilities. These new partners bring with them knowledge to improve manufacturing processes and extensive experience in the high-precision machining of titanium and the hot forming of special alloys.

What is more, HEGAN has also formalized its long-standing relationships with universities that have centers in the Basque Country – which in some cases date back to the 1990s – by naming the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Mondragon University, the University of Deusto and Tecnun (University of Navarra) as Collaborating Partners.

With these new additions, the HEGAN cluster now has close to fifty partners covering activities across practically all of the space and aerospace value chain.

Ekin: a new specialized aeronautics center

Ekin, a cooperative from the Biscay province, has been manufacturing machine tools for half a century. As part of its strong commitment to the aeronautics sector it is opening a new division that will begin operations this January. The new center will be located at Ekin's current facilities in Amorebieta, where it will have a clean room measuring 250 square meters, expandable to 400 square meters in a second phase. To develop the project, the company is investing over two million euros in high-precision machinery, installations and an innovative high-resolution microscope.

Ekin specializes in the manufacture of broaches for the machining of turbine disks and its services include broach sharpening. These new facilities will enable the company to stabilize and expand its production capacity for these types of high-precision broaches. Indeed, Ekin's commitment to aeronautics is based upon a dual objective of diversifying its market and working the company into the elite ranks of broach manufacturing, a process in which ITP is a close associate. The company has therefore developed a new generation of broaches: multiple cutting edge tools that allow for a significant increase in broaching capabilities.

Ekin has two production plants en the Basque Country (Amorebieta and Lemoa), where it manufactures machine tools and performs heat treatments. It has further facilities in India and Mexico, as well as two production plants in Brazil. Recently it has begun a joint venture in Italy and is establishing yet another in the United States.

Korta: ball screws

Likewise situated in the machine tools sector, Korta – from the Gipuzkoa province – provides vast experience as a manufacturer of ball screws, trapezoidal screws, worm gears and ground threads. The company offers linear motion solutions in a wide variety of sectors ranging from aeronautics and automotive industries to machine tools and power.

In the aeronautics sector, special mention goes to its design and manufacture of ball screws for electromechanical actuators (EMAs), as well as its 100% hardness certification by means of nondestructive testing. Korta is a company with a strong international presence (Germany, India, and France) that offers not only a catalog of screws, but also bespoke screws developed by its R&D team to meet its customers' specifications. One of its objectives as a partner is that HEGAN act as a facilitator towards its integration in the aeronautics sector.

Batz begins supplying for engines

The Batz cooperative, part of the Mondragon group, is devoted to the design and manufacture of dies for a broad spectrum of industrial sectors. In 2009 it began an R&D initiative focusing on hot forming for advanced alloys, and since then has undertaken work as a subcontractor in the aeronautics sector. In 2015, supported by its experience in advanced materials and hot forming, it launched Batz Aerospace, dedicated to the serial production of parts for this sector.

In recent months it has become a supplier to ITP, winning a contract to manage the complete value chain for a number of different parts in the TP400 engine produced by the Europrop consortium, in which ITP is a partner. Batz has already supplied the first parts, cones and sheets, but the greater part of the deliveries will be made over the course of this summer. These parts are manufactured with the hot forming of Inconel 718, an alloy that provides good mechanical resistance properties at high temperatures. In similar fashion, the company is manufacturing parts for the Rolls-Royce Trent 900, Trent XWB and Trent 1000 engines, which are responsible for powering Airbus's A380 and A350XWB aircraft families and Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, respectively.

Batz provides the aeronautics sector with highly prized technology and knowledge gained from the automotive industry. Meanwhile, by joining the HEGAN cluster the company is seeking to diversify its current activity and take part in the sector's 'new materials culture', continuing with the identification of materials and other innovative technologies for the world of aeronautics.

Batz has head offices and four production plants in the Basque Country as well as nine other sites spread around the world to supply capital goods and serial production to the automotive and power sectors.

Doilan Tegia, precision machining for systems

The third cooperative to join HEGAN is Doilan Tegia, a company from Zegama formed just over ten years ago, that is dedicated to high-precision machining for a range of sectors including aeronautics, defense, renewable energy, capital goods, fossil fuels, railways, machine tools and more.

Doilan Tegia´s incorporation in HEGAN will help to expand its precision machining value chain. The developers of this Gipuzkoa-based SME, which currently has 19 workers, founded DOILAN TEGIA with a view to making it a company capable of providing added value. The company is now within the special niche that is the machining of materials whose qualities are of low machinability, such as titanium, Inconel and exotic stainless steel, satisfying a demand for these materials involving elevated levels of difficulty and demanding dimensions and geometry. Meanwhile, in the defense sector DOILAN TEGIA is developing an R&D project to optimize the machining of parts destined for automatic transmission gearboxes, working together with a well-known company based in the Basque Country.

Press release issued by Hegan - Basque Aerospace Cluster on February 9, 2016


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