OPTIMAI partner Andrea Gómez is the latest interviewee to feature in our Behind The Scenes series. In her answers, Andrea gives a rich insight into the world of Unimetrik and their expertise in the fields of metrology and calibration. Keep reading to find out more!
Hi Andrea, thanks for speaking to us today. Could you start by introducing yourself and telling us where you are based?
Hello, my name is Andrea Gómez and I am a Research & Development (R&D) Project Manager at Unimetrik, an advanced metrological services company located in The Basque Country, Spain. Unimetrik has more than 10 years of experience in the fields of calibration, dimensional measurement and metrological engineering. It is a certified laboratory accredited by ISO 10012 and ENAC (National Accreditation Entity), and part of the Innovalia Metrology group. Currently, Unimetrik is acknowledged by the principal aeronautic groups in Spain and is exporting its technology to countries such as the USA, Germany, Brazil and the Czech Republic.
What does your typical working day in the OPTIMAI project involve?
During this first stage of the project, the work has been concentrated on having technical discussions with both other partners of the consortium and the end-users, through virtual meetings, in order to define the requirements and use cases that will be addressed by our technologies and knowledge; better defining what can we offer to each particular scenario in the pilots. At the same time, the first deliverables of the project have been submitted and we have prepared a contribution to them.
Unimetrik is also in charge of the Intellectual Property Rights (IPR ) management in the project, thus the initial planning and templates for the asset information gathering have been defined and prepared.
What is your main task in the OPTIMAI project?
Unimetrik will bring to the project its expertise in metrology, calibration, and dimensional quality control assurance. The company will make available their advanced facilities with the most accurate systems for verification of parts/tools and advanced metrology software in order to design, in collaboration with consortium partners, the best solutions to fulfill the pilot needs and provide dimensional quality validation and traceability. Additionally, Unimetrik will lead the task related to IPR protection for the exploitable assets that result from the project.
Has working remotely affected your work on OPTIMAI in any way?
Not that much, at this first stage of the project. Physical visits to the pilots’ facilities are always a fundamental step to adequately understand their needs and solve technical doubts from the technological provider’s side, however, the end users have been very collaborative in finding ways of providing a lot of visual, textual, and spoken information regarding their needs and their systems.
How do your professional interests match the objectives of OPTIMAI?
Innovating is the only way to improve the services that we offer to our customers, as innovation and research allow us to find solutions before problems arise. Thus, we place special emphasis on R&D activities; in fact, the importance that we give to research new processes, new methodologies, and tools relating to 3D Vision, optics, electronics and software engineering is the driving force behind this activity in the company. In this sense, OPTIMAI objectives related to a multi-sensorial network for monitoring and quality inspection, data traceability and exchange, defect detection and decision support, perfectly fit with our expertise area and with our desire to dive deep into technological improvements and applicability of metrology in the industrial sector.
What makes your organisation ideal for participating in the research/activities of OPTIMAI?
Unimetrik provides advanced services for industrial metrology (measurement, calibration, verification, reverse engineering, consulting and 3D printing services) in a laboratory that counts with ENAC certification. As part of the Innovalia Metrology (strategic alliance between Trimek, Datapixel and Unimetrik), Unimetrik joins forces to offer best-in-class metrology solutions that integrate traditional metrology with the latest technological developments, from laboratories to production lines. We have vast experience in metrology and we are acknowledged in Spain by the aeronautics sector. Unimetrik ensures the quality and trust of the values obtained by the measurement equipment in conformance with international standards and norms, supported by calibration artefacts and software services.
What do you see as the biggest challenge for OPTIMAI?
The biggest challenge might arise during the integration and validation of the developments in the pilot production lines, when it is needed to demonstrate the improvements in terms of zero-defect manufacturing, production efficiency and quantified benefits within the project duration, taking into account that travel and visiting restrictions may be still present in many cases. However, as a consortium, we will work to anticipate constraints and make the best decisions for the project’s success.
Could you describe the overall expected impact of the OPTIMAI project in three words?
Optimized QC [Quality Control] for Manufacturing.
What would be your advice to anyone interested in getting involved with a Horizon Europe project?
Assess the work program structure well when applying and invest the necessary time, knowledge, and preparation in your proposal. Once you are in the project, it could be overwhelming at first – R&D projects are risky and full of technical challenges, but with good planning, effective task assignation, and open communication between partners, the course of the project begins to take shape and the objectives are fulfilled one by one.
Horizon Europe is an excellent opportunity to learn, collaborate, research, innovate, promote and grow as a company and as a team, alongside strengthening the impact of the developments and allowing to test them in real industrial scenarios. One of the best benefits of these projects is to be involved in a network of SMEs, technological centres, industries, universities, and research institutes that constantly work with innovative and state-of-the-art technologies.
Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Andrea! We look forward to more updates from the team at Unimetrik.