Experience of the Tolosaldea coordinator in the TKgune area

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Andoni Arraras from the integrated vocational training center to which he belongs actively works promoting innovation among the companies in his environment. In this interview we delve into their role within the TKgune network, the type of projects in which they usually work, and finally in the different opportunities that are presented to them thanks to the TKgune program.



Role of the coordinator


What is your current job at the Tolosaldea Institute?

I am the director of innovation of the center and also responsible for TKgune. From the school I take care of visiting the companies, offering collaboration with the TKgune and coordinating the development of the Tkgune projects that may arise.


– How many years have you been as Tkgune coordinator?

– 4 years.


– In your work team, do your colleagues repeat themselves year after year or is it a very changing group?

– Some have been 4-5 years and some have been 2 years. We try to make the team stable, and for now I would say that it is fulfilled.

– What was the reason for entering the dynamic of teaching at Tkgune/Innovation?

I was a boilermaking teacher and we started developing projects related to this field. Afterwards, I went on to assist the coordinator in the management and, finally, when the coordinator became director of the center, I assumed the responsibility of coordinator.


Collaborative projects


– What kind of projects did you start doing?

– Technological projects in general, mechanical manufacturing, the world of mechanics, welding and boilermaking for the most part.


– At present and since the last 2 or 3 years, have you seen any evolution in relation to the types of projects?

– In our case we are still similar, but we have also developed those related to other fields; those related to cold-heat, those related to additive manufacturing, etc.


– Tell us how any of these projects came about, what you have done and how it ended.

– Yes, for example the case of a company that produces models for foundry:
To respond to the requirements of their customers and the new regulations of the sector, they had to implement the methodology of measurement by 3D scanner. A professor from our center was working on a project of Tknika or the vice-ministry related to that topic.

Therefore, as we had resources and taking advantage of the knowledge of the teacher, we made a series of measurements to the company, we taught them this new technology and we gave them training and the advantages and certifications they can have at work.

As a result the company acquired this equipment and we launched it, we accompany them by monitoring throughout the process.

Finally, the center has provided the rest of the teaching staff with the training of this new technology and other companies have been invited to know and use it in the future.


– What relationship is achieved with the company by carrying out this project? Is the collaboration maintained a posteriori?

– The relationship with the company is close and thanks to this initial collaboration, together with the Provincial Council of Gipuzkoa, we are developing a project with the company aimed at the development of people’s talent.


– As for the emotional point of view, the experience of the teachers who have participated in the project, what can you tell us?

– In general it has been positive and we have had very good feelings, although at certain times, being the expectations of the company a little high, there has been a feeling of fear due to ignorance and / or not achieving the objectives, although in the end everything has gone well.


– What other projects have you participated in?

– I can quote you the following:


Strategic analysis with 3D printing techniques to obtain castings

This company has a network of spare parts suppliers that serves the needs that come from its customers. Currently, the deadlines and costs they handle in some of these spare parts means that this company has decided to look for possible manufacturing or supply alternatives. On the other hand, the company is immersed in the development of digital solutions such as 3D printing of parts for trams with the ultimate aim of guaranteeing better customer service.
That is why it has been decided to develop an alternative to casting models, originally made of wood, using additive manufacturing.
The general objectives set would be the following:
1. Design a model adapted to additive manufacturing for a piece of relevant dimensions of approximately 1 meter.
2. Manufacture using additive manufacturing a model of axle box for one meter. For this, additive manufacturing technologies are established in plastic and directly the manufacture of a mold in sand.
3. Manufacture final parts, metro axle box, using alternative models.
4. Validate the developed solution with the corresponding departments and those of the clients.

Sensorized braking system for paper cutting machine

It is a company that throughout its history has achieved an important market share both nationally and internationally, based on the proven ability to offer quality and service. All this has allowed the company to have a portfolio of clients among which are paper companies of great prestige and whose demands in terms of quality and service are of great consideration.
This company offers a wide range of possibilities for cutting and handling paper to formats adjusted to the printer, considering its process as the intermediate step between the paper roll and large printers: publishers, paper distributors, multicopyists and even domestic consumers.
In order to continue improving the service offered to the customer, it is necessary to act on one of its machines to have full control over the speed of the shafts that support the coils in the cutting machine so that quality problems do not occur in production. That is why TOLOSALDEA LHII has been asked to carry out this project with the ultimate aim of being able to develop and validate a solution, through which the speed of the shaft and the tension of the paper can be automatically controlled.


Design and manufacture of bike racks

This project is about making a design with aesthetic and functional change in relation to the current bicycle clamps of a company that is dedicated to the manufacture and assembly of tools for the transport of bicycles and their components. These elements go in the transport rack to carry the frames of the bikes in the vehicles they use in cycling competitions. These designs will be used for the manufacture of various prototypes using 3D printing.
Once the tests and prototypes of the calipers have been carried out, obtaining the expected results according to the initial approach, the way to manufacture and market the product as innovative worldwide in the sector of cycling sports competition is studied.


For belonging to the TKgune network …


– Do you have any evidence of how you have transferred to the teaching staff or students what you learned in the TKgune projects?

– Yes, for example, what we did in their day with the company CADINOX to weld some special materials they needed: guidelines, studies, project development and delivery to the company. Thus, the transfer of all this was carried out through training to other welding teachers (from the center and from abroad) and with the students the guidelines and parameters that were learned there have also been incorporated into the protected welding material.


– What would you say to a colleague who does not know TKgune to encourage them to participate in a collaborative project with companies?

– In the center there is a great knowledge among the teaching staff, and thanks to the technical means and resources that we have it is a way of supporting the small companies of the environment.

In addition, during the development of the project, the knowledge of the teaching staff is increased, gaining in their professional development and strengthening the relationship with the business world, which will then undoubtedly have an impact on the students thanks to the transfer that is carried out once the project is finished.

Therefore, the company and the school, both teachers and students, win, although sometimes it involves an additional workload. From another point of view, these projects are an opportunity to carry out interesting and innovative challenges, but if once valued among the team we see that we can not do them, we can always say no, since there is no obligation for their realization.

Furthermore, as the TKgune is a network of centers there is always the possibility of working several centers in the same project, each contributing its specific knowledge, or propose it to another center of the network.