Technological solutions for the decarbonisation of industry

17 March 2023
Economía circular en las empresas vascas

"One of the biggest challenges facing industry is to move towards decarbonisation in order to reach zero emissions by 2050"

New technological solutions for Industry 4.0

At TECNALIA, we are committed to creating new technological solutions to anticipate the challenges faced by society and help companies become more competitive, facilitating their adaptation to the demands of smart manufacturing. Digitalisation and the incorporation of intelligence into products and manufacturing processes has given rise to Industry 4.0. The industry now faces a new challenge: the successful adoption, integration and rapid deployment of these technologies.

One of industry's biggest challenges is to move towards decarbonisation in order to reach zero emissions by 2050. Along with companies like Sidenor, Tubos Reunidos, Arcelor-Mittal or Furesa, we are immersed in artificial intelligence and the generation of digital twins to reduce energy consumption in industry; the design of new materials to improve efficiency in the generation of energy; the circular economy to recover waste or the commitment to additive manufacturing to achieve more efficient processes.

Solutions to reduce energy consumption: DENIM

Reducing consumption has been one of industry's energy, environmental and economic priorities. TECNALIA is developing a tool based on the digital twin, in conjunction with Sidenor, which will make it possible to know and predict energy consumption and seek solutions to optimise costs and reduce its use and environmental impact.

Its application will lead to a reduction in energy consumption throughout the value chain of around 20-25%, as well as a cost reduction of at least 15% of the final product, due to process optimisation. We are talking about the DENIM project"Digital Intelligence for collaborative energy management in manufacturing".

Efficient alloys and coatings for energy-intensive processes: ACHIEF

Implementing energy-saving strategies in energy-intensive industries is essential for more economically and environmentally sustainable manufacturing. Another project we are developing in this field is aimed at improving efficiency in energy generation through the development of new, more efficient and sustainable steel components.

In the ACHIEF initiative, which we are working on with Tubos Reunidos, we develop steels with increased resistance based on Artificial Intelligence to improve the service life of pipes by 15%. The application of these products focuses on power generation plants, where they are expected to improve energy efficiency by 30% and reduce CO2 emissions by 20%.

These new materials will be tested at ArcelorMittal's Sestao plant.

Industrial waste management towards a circular economy:HORMIGA

Industrial waste management is one of the main areas of action in this quest to create a smart and decarbonised industry. In this case, we are working on the development of a new technology aimed at improving the management of sand from foundry processes. To this end, we are working mainly with the Furesa foundry, with the participation of other companies, such as Castinox, Amurrio Ferrocarril, Fundición Gamarra, Grupo Wec, Alju and the metallurgical company, Foseco.

The HORMIGA project aims to develop a technology to recover the sand used in moulding for reuse in the foundries themselves, as only 35% of the sand used is recovered. It is based on the use of electromagnetic currents to ensure that the sand grain does not break and remains stable, thus facilitating its collection and subsequent reuse.

On one hand, it will facilitate the collection of the sand and its subsequent use in the plant itself, which will reduce the consumption of raw materials and enable the quality of the sand to be controlled from the facilities. On the other hand, it will reduce CO2 emissions and enable each company to align more efficiently with environmental objectives.

Additive manufacturing for multi-material parts: WAAM

Additive manufacturing, using WAAM technology, enables multi-material parts to be manufactured in order to obtain products with better mechanical performance and cost savings.

In conjunction with Addilan, the world’s first manufacturer to offer machines with their own control for the additive manufacturing of metal parts using WAAM, we have designed an alternative technology to metal additive manufacturing. It is more sustainable, versatile and intelligent to achieve a more efficient industry transformation and generation by developing and optimising processes throughout the value chain.

Different technological solutions with a common denominator: sustainability and circular economy.