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Martifer Construções Metalomecânicas has support from INEGI to digitalise cutting and welding processes

18 June 2021
The metalworking sector has shown itself to be receptive to the adoption of new generations of high mechanical strength steels, whose properties allow for the construction of more sustainable structures. This technological progress has clear competitive advantages, but it also demands from companies in the sector a greater effort in terms of quality and precision in welding, and more rigorous control of parameters.

Being aware of the importance of solutions associated with Industry 4.0 (i4.0) to respond to this challenge, Martifer Construções Metalomecânicas joined the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP) with the objective of implementing digitalization solutions and management and control tools in its main manufacturing unit, to interconnect the areas of manufacturing, engineering, planning, and process management.

The company, which operates in the area of construction of steel structures, also decided to add INEGI to the challenge, recognizing its competence in the area. "The manufacturing processes of metallic structures with emerging steels, such as high strength and low alloy steels (HSLA - High Strength Low Alloy Steels), are more complex and the cutting, drilling, and welding processes require optimization and constant monitoring”, explains Ricardo Seara Cardoso, responsible for the project at INEGI.

To respond to this need, Martifer will invest in the development of solutions for data acquisition in an industrial environment, tools for recording the traceability of welding via digital, and retrofitting solutions. The ultimate goal is to increase the productivity of the welding sector by 30%, and the global one by 25%.

In this process, INEGI will support the implementation of instrumentation and process control systems, the simulation and instrumentation of cutting and welding tests for new alloys and contribute to the definition of the roadmap for the implementation of i4.0 solutions.

"We have already produced the works with the highest level of execution. In this case, it will be to increase efficiency and be prepared to work with the HSLA steels that are starting to be used more often”, says Diogo Figueiredo, process engineer at Martifer.

The ‘AARM 4.0 - High Strength Steels in Metalomecânica 4.0’ project is a co-promotion led by Martifer Construções Metalomecânicas with the collaboration of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto, co-funding by Portugal 2020, through the European Regional Development Fund. INEGI assumes the role of a subcontracted partner of the leading company.

Photo @ Martifer
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