Growing abroad

There is no doubt that CATEC has become one of the most advanced technological centres in Spain and a reference in R&D in Europe, especially in areas such as drones and unmanned systems, robotics and industry 4.0, additive manufacturing (3D printing) or non-destructive inspection, which are already marking the present and future of the aerospace industry and other important productive sectors. And not because we say it, but the results that we have achieved throughout our 11 years of history and professional trajectory talk by themselves.

We announced some days ago a new milestone in the history of FADA-CATEC, and especially in our internationalization and growth process towards foreign markets. This is no other than the first project in the field of technological developments in 3D printing outside the European continent, thanks to the collaboration with the company INVAP Argentina, which means our leap crossing the ocean to Latin America, precisely in an area of great value such as components and parts manufacturing for satellites and launchers for the space sector.

In a year in which precisely the city of Seville is assuming and leading the presidency of the Community of Ariane Cities (CVA), and Andalusia is boosting its growth in the aeronautical sector reached in the last decade, we are convinced that this new CATEC project will contribute to show the high technological and industrial capacity that our industry has and to continue encouraging our companies to keep on on this good path, betting on R&D and high added value activities.

The latest figures for the year 2017 are again clear and consolidate Andalusia as a region that has not stopped growing in turnover, employment and exports in the aerospace sector, and that already faces the future with new challenges and illusions. The new strategic plan of the sector must be a key element in all this, and the base for the Andalusian aerospace sector to continue growing abroad, with the support of all the agents involved and with the R&D and the promotion of innovation as main allies. Only this way will strengthen our position as a of the fastest growing industries in the European and international level, and with better prospects for the coming years.

Joaquín Rodríguez Grau
Director of CATEC


CATEC and CiTD develop components in 3D printing for the new CHEOPS satellite of the European Space Agency

Both entities have developed a set of bionic flight parts with a weight reduction of 50%, which allow the connection to the lifting system of the solar panels of the satellite

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CATEC has collaborated with the Spanish engineering company CiTD in the design, development and manufacture of new aerospace components for the new CHEOPS satellite of the European Space Agency (ESA) that will be launched into space at the beginning of 2019. In particular, they have developed parts key of the mechanism that allows to connect the lifting tool of the solar panels that has said satellite.

Due to the processes of assembly and integration, the tools of this mechanism are blocked after the assembly, which supposes an important penalty for the satellite weight. For this reason, CATEC and CiTD have developed a set of 8 pieces of bionic flight through the technology of additive manufacturing (3D printing), which has led to a 50% reduction in weight and an optimization in the design of said component.

The pieces have been manufactured in the facilities of our Center, which has also been responsible for inspection and verification, while CiTD has been responsible for the definition and justification under ESA standards. The entire set of parts was delivered to the Spanish delegation of Airbus Defense & Space, which is the main contractor of the CHEOPS satellite and which completed its integration in recent weeks.

Fernando Lasagni, head of the Materials and Processes Division of CATEC, indicated that the manufacture of this piece means "a further leap in the real application of additive manufacturing to the aerospace sector, where our center has become an international reference thanks to the production of pieces of this type both for the space industry, in shuttles and rockets, and for the aviation industry, already integrated into civilian and military aircraft ".

CHEOPS (Characterizing Exoplanet Satellite) is the first scientific satellite of the European Space Agency (ESA) developed and manufactured in Spain and its objective is to study, for at least three and a half years, the movements of exoplanets that orbit around nearby bright stars beyond the Solar System, and analyze its characteristics.

October 30th 2018
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