Press release

FERSA and TECNALIA join forces to implement Industry 5.0

21 December 2023

FERSA and TECNALIA join forces to implement Industry 5.0 in their European plants

European bearings manufacturer FERSA and Spain's largest technology centre TECNALIA are working together on plant automation and digitalisation by implementing flexible robotics and AI, and developing solutions for advanced materials

13 December 2023. European bearings manufacturer FERSA and applied research and technological development centre TECNALIA are combining their innovation and technological capabilities to boost new manufacturing processes in the field of Industry 5.0. The aim is to take pioneering developments in automation and flexible robotics, advanced materials and digitalisation to FERSA’s European plants.

To this end, David Sánchez, Director of Industry and Mobility at TECNALIA, and Hugo Santos, Chief Business Development Officer at FERSA, have signed a collaboration agreement between the two organisations.

  • First, they will work on automation and flexible robotics in production factories in order to promote the concept of flexible manufacturing and smart warehouse. Specifically, they will develop mobile robotics solutions for loading and unloading at FERSA’s plants in Zaragoza and Austria, promote process automation by incorporating collaborative robots in grinding lines, and optimise logistics with new autonomous supply systems for manufacturing lines.
  • They are also going to work with advanced materials and novel manufacturing processes, which will involve developments in metallic and ceramic materials used in FERSA’s processes, in the automotive and wind energy sectors, and advanced manufacturing processes.
  • They will also collaborate on developments in the field of Industry 5.0, with the aim of implementing AI in FERSA for strategic decision-making. To this end, they will work on the following technologies: planning and optimising operations (hardware and software), evolution of digital tools in the plants, vision and automation systems for quality control at FERSA’s plants, and development of the extraction of information from their machines, which will enable them to develop digital twins of their operations, as well as helping to predict failures.

Hugo Santos, FERSA’s Chief Business Development Officer, explained that “by signing this agreement, FERSA is now backed by one of the most important European technology centres for the development of its products and processes, with a view to increasing its competitiveness in the market.” He also said that “this is just the formalisation of a relationship of many years, in which both organisations have worked together on various national and European projects, achieving outstanding results and winning awards such as those at the AF2022 Congress for the best AI development applied to industrial plants.” For FERSA, this collaboration is also “a commitment to research and development, in line with the hard work carried out in recent years, which led to the opening of the FersaLab development centre in Zaragoza in November,” concluded Santos.

David Sánchez, Director of Industry and Mobility at TECNALIA, said that “for us, this agreement is the successful culmination of years of joint innovation with FERSA in different projects, as well as the start of a stage with an even more strategic alliance, if possible.

He also explained that “thanks to this agreement, and through closer collaboration, TECNALIA will use its capabilities to address strategic challenges identified jointly with FERSA as far in advance as possible, co-investing in those challenges with the greatest technological scope. A way of collaborating that will better guide investment, favouring decision-making and speed of response, achieving a greater reduction in technological risk and a greater return per euro invested for FERSA. At the same time, TECNALIA will achieve its goal of maximising the economic and social impact of its developments, by helping FERSA to develop even stronger competitive advantages through technology.”


FERSA is a Spanish multinational company based in Zaragoza that designs and manufactures bearings, mobility solutions and electromechanical components. Throughout its history, FERSA has worked closely with important brands in the international industrial sector, such as Mercedes, Volvo and SCANIA, as well as in the spare parts market, specialising in automotive, industrial and renewable energy applications. The company has built a global network and is now present in five continents, serving customers in more than 100 countries. FERSA currently has a workforce of more than 850 employees across its six production centres, 19 distribution centres and four R&D centres located around the world.


TECNALIA is the largest applied research and technological development centre in Spain, a European benchmark and member of the Basque Research and Technology Alliance. TECNALIA works with companies and institutions to improve their competitiveness, people's quality of life and achieve sustainable growth, thanks to a team of more than 1,500 people committed to building a better world through technological research and innovation. This is why TECNALIA's research has a real impact on society and generates benefits in the form of quality of life and progress.  Its main areas of action are: smart manufacturing, digital transformation, energy transition, sustainable mobility, health and food, urban ecosystem and circular economy.

In the latest brand awareness and positioning study carried out by the European Research Survey (ERS) in 2022, TECNALIA tops the list regarding R&D and Innovation brand awareness.