Asociación de fabricantes de mecanizado
Asociación de fabricantes de mecanizado

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03 December, 2020

The IAM Group is advancing along several of the courses established in its plan for industrial expansion, sector diversification and bolstering of innovation. These three areas have been enhanced through an investment program valued at four million euros. The main features are to move all the activity to the 4,000 m2 facility purchased in Bergara, to continue the machinery renewal plan and to stimulate the new precision microjet cutting division, brought about by the development of an R&D&I program.

The latter has been the result and accomplishment of innovative work carried out over a period of two years, in collaboration with Tecnalia (headed by Alfredo Suárez) and the Flow machinery manufacturing company (headed by Doctor Mohamed Hashish and Michael Knaupp), with the supported of the CDTI. The purpose was “to stabilise the process and guarantee repeatability of the precision microjet cutting process”. The challenge required modelling tests on a variety of materials, development of software and tools and the design of combinations of tools and abrasives for the various materials.

Ander Zeziaga, who holds an engineering degree from MU, was appointed to head the plan and is now the head of the new division. The team under Zeziaga has overcome the obstacles posed by developing software and several tool combinations capable of guaranteeing thicknesses of between 5 hundredths of 1 mm to 10 mm in any material. Future challenges will require achieving even smaller tool dimensions and monitoring the entire process.

These good results have been key in the increase of projects awarded, since precision micro-cutting can be carried out in shifts. Noteworthy among these projects are orders from several customers to prepare critical components for their prototypes, where the advantage of cold-cutting is a valuable asset, since it maintains material properties versus the laser-cutting technique, as stated by the IAM Group.

The Group’s management also plans to move their plant in Bergara. This entails doubling available space to provide for their three divisions in the future: electrical discharge machining, which will increase from 300 to 700 m2; macro-cutting, which will expand from 700 to 1700 m2 and micro-cutting, which will occupy 400 m2 of the workshop. The Group has simultaneously designed a lay-out that increases the competitiveness of internal production logistics, which were under continuous stress in their old facility. All these divisions will be moved within the current year.

Finally, the directors of IAM have decided to maintain the plan for the renewal of workshop technologies, based on the intention to improve performance and scale the dimensions of the parts that have to be manufactured. The most recent investment was made last May for this purpose, consisting of the inclusion of a Fanuc ‘Robocut Alfa-C800iB’ wire EDM machine, with capacity for parts measuring 800 x 600 x 500 mm, thereby expanding their offer in this field. IAM is also considering the purchase of Flow micro-cutting equipment to cover increase in demand, while its ‘Cut’ division is studying the medium-term purchase of equipment capable of cutting sheets up to 12 metres in length, which would double its current capacity.

Source: Empresa XXI




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