CTC advances towards becoming a European benchmark in the development of digital twins for structures and mechanical components

CTC is one of the five technology centres that participate in the Miraged Strategic Programme: a national initiative for the only technology centre in the region to become a national and European benchmark in the development of knowledge regarding digital twins for structures and mechanical components. The programme, which expires in 2022, also pursues the technological transfer of these solutions through collaborative projects with companies in the industry and energy sectors. Being part of this initiative is a giant step forward in the specialisation policy of the Cantabrian centre, which will increase both its equipment and its research capacity to achieve these objectives.

Álvaro Rodríguez, Director of Business Development at CTC, Verónica González de Lena, Manager of the Industry and Energy area, and Jaime Rodríguez, Project Manager in the same field, represented the Cantabrian centre at the meeting to launch this initiative, which was recently held at the headquarters of Ikerlan, the project coordinator. The  CeitIDEKO and Idonial  technology centres complete the consortium of participants in this Strategic Programme promoted by the Centre for Industrial Technological Development (CDTI) of the Ministry of Science and Innovation.

Being part of this project, which aims to position Spanish centres at the continental forefront of digital models and virtual twins for the 4.0 industry, also means becoming a “Cervera Centre of Excellence”. In other words, it involves being part of a network that is dedicated to strengthening the capacities of technology centres in certain strategic technologies through collaborative work, as a basis for promoting greater cooperation with different agents, especially companies.


Reunión de lanzamiento del proyecto.

The general objective of Miraged is to increase the capacities of the working groups in the development of virtual models and digital twins applied to systems of modelling, simulation and prediction of the behaviour of capital goods, machines and manufacturing processes. This improvement in the skills of Spanish researchers should lead to a leap in the international state of the art in this field. It should also enable addressing industrial challenges that are not covered by currently available technologies.

The proposed work structure is segmented into three types of actions: manufacturing process models for virtual factories, in-service capital goods models and digital twins, where the complete value chain of the programme is defined.

Beyond strengthening the positioning and vision of CTC as a national and European benchmark centre for digital twins of mechanical components and structures, the participation of the Cantabrian centre in the programme brings with it another series of benefits associated with the knowledge economy and high added value. Firstly, the Cantabrian centre will have highly qualified technical staff to undertake technology transfer processes. In fact, the number of researchers specialising in the development of digital twins will be increased. In this sense, CTC considers incorporating both a graduate and a Doctor in the field. Computer equipment and specific software for the Simulation laboratory will also be acquired. Both aspects, together with the networking inherent in the programme, will facilitate the processes of attracting talent to the Cantabrian centre.

Furthermore, Miraged will also mean the consolidation of CTC’s line of specialisation in digital twins. Representing numerical models for the prediction of the remaining useful life of structures and components; modelling in detail the most significant degradation mechanisms in component operation (fatigue, fracture, wear, corrosion, etc.); or implementing advanced data analysis techniques applying artificial intelligence will be part of the solutions offered by the Cantabrian innovation centre based on these technologies and fields of application.

The leadership of national and international projects such as MooringSense, a joint European research project in which innovative technological solutions supported by Digital Twins will be applied to reduce the maintenance costs of offshore wind turbines by up to 15%, only reinforces CTC’s position as a technology centre with high-quality projects, capable of promoting, designing and executing high added value initiatives. For MooringSense, if the intended objectives are reached, a new approach to managing the integrity of anchoring systems will be defined.

Miraged is part of the Call for the Accreditation Procedure and granting of aid to “Cervera” Technology Centres of Excellence for the year 2019 (CER-20191001). Its main objectives are to foster leadership and collaboration in the industrial field, to promote specialisation in the priority technologies of the Cervera Network and to improve the impact on the Spanish economy.