Championing the Push Toward Industry 4.0Thu, 12/01/2016 - 10:47
Q: What are CIDESI’s principal objectives?
A: One sole objective is to support industry growth. We must continue to work on projects that increase global competitiveness for companies operating in Mexico, ultimately to convince these same corporations to bring their R&D operations to our country. In the long term we would like to be an integral part of product development. We know we have the resources and expertise to participate but the national industry as a whole must work to generate trust in local operations.
Q: How is CIDESI developing materials and technology for the aerospace industry?
A: We have been acquiring equipment to create an attractive offering for potential clients, including coatings for materials varying from plastics to turbine blades. We also are contracting specialists to form a new department for aerospace coatings and additive manufacturing, for which we have two production lines. The first is the diffusion of molecular atoms to generate characteristics that resist carburizing, oxidation and nitration. The second area is coating applications to both upper and lower surfaces. The preparation of materials for this process is equally important to ensure they do not deform when applying the coating. CIDESI must offer high-quality treatment from start to finish. Additive technologies offer flexibility in manufacturing to create parts that would be extremely complicated to produce, known as hybrid manufacturing. This involves machines that can consecutively perform both processes on the same part and we are beginning to use the first machine of this type in the hope of expanding our hybrid manufacturing in the near future.
Q: To what extent have CIDESI and public and private institutions collaborated in the last year?
A: CIDESI is pushing to be in contact with large companies such as Mabe, which has an R&D center in Queretaro. We have jointly planned strategies with private companies to understand our clients’ objectives and to collaborate in defining new technologies that will influence local industry. Mabe, specifically, has directed MX$6 million (US$353,000) toward a clean room that could define the positive impact of microelectromechanical systems (MEM) sensors on household electrical products. Grupo Carso also uses our services, with whom we are in contact constantly regarding innovations as we share long-term goals.
Last year we contracted the necessary human talent to manufacture MEMs here in CIDESI. We will be producing these instruments by the end of 2016. MEMs can be used in numerous sectors including the automotive, aeronautics, manufacturing and energy sectors. We expect Honeywell to be the first to develop this type of specialized technology, while our vocation is supporting manufacturing evolution toward Industry 4.0.
Mexican institutions are training people through specialized courses and we are excited to see new experts who will graduate with specializations in connectivity, Big Data and high-tech electronics. Nanotechnology is also becoming increasingly available as a university course and it will soon be possible for young people to study intelligent manufacturing.
Q: How is CIDESI tackling the influx of aerospace companies?
A: About 10 percent of CIDESI’s efforts are targeted at the aerospace industry. We have been incubating the National Center for Aeronautics Technology (CENTA) and as soon as it is up and running, we will begin to expand the area and contract more personnel. CENTA will firstly focus on metrology for aeronautics applications and the majority of the equipment acquired is destined for this use. Many research centers, such as the Research Center of Advanced Materials (CIMAV), CIDESI, the Center of Advanced Technology (CIATEQ) and the Research and Development Center of Electrochemistry (CIDETEQ) in Queretaro, are involved in aerospace activities. CENTA will be responsible for taking over and coordinating those departments. Despite not being operational yet, the center has already secured several clients. Leading a team of about eight people, the director of CENTA has overseen an investment of MX$80 million (US$4.7 million) in equipment and MX$120 million (US$7 million) for the construction of the center.