Aitiip leads the HERON project to improve energy efficiency in aeronautics
The Aitiip technology center in Zaragoza has taken the reins of the European HERON project. The idea arose out of the European commitment to the environment, more precisely because of the carbon emissions of the aeronautics industry. Thus, the main mission of this initiative is to effect changes in production systems in this sector, which is currently one of the biggest contributors of CO2 emissions to the atmosphere in the world. This is where Aitiip comes in, the organization that is committed to developing a suite of innovative technological solutions in order to manufacture the tools necessary to achieve the objectives of the mission. These tools will then be used to manufacture, among other things, an aircraft wing demonstrator that is more respectful of the environment.
In recent times, additive manufacturing and sustainability are two concepts that go hand in hand. It has been proven repeatedly that 3D technology, in terms of environmental sustainability, is many times more traditional than manufacturing methods. This is seen in the reduction of production times and materials, since only the necessary quantity is used, as well as in the low emission of gases during the process. However, there is still a lot to do in terms of sustainability and even more in the aviation industry. Indeed, according to data from the European Union itself, air transport represents around 2% of the 36 billion tonnes of CO2 generated per year by human activity. This is why 3D printing has also played a leading role in the HERON project which, thanks to the solutions of the Aitiip technology center, intends to change these figures.
What is the HERON project?
Funded by the European Commission to the tune of nearly 1 million euros, the HERON project focuses on the development of tools for aircraft wings. The three parts to be manufactured are the leading edge, the torsion box and the trailing edge. The final objective is to make production processes in aeronautics profitable by adopting the circular economy throughout the value chain. But how do you get there? The collaborating organizations of the project intend to develop a set of advanced and intelligent technologies that combine hybrid additive manufacturing and high precision machining processes. These parts will improve the aerodynamic and kinematic parameters of the mobile wing, and therefore the aircraft will consume less fuel. The project could reduce CO2 emissions by 30%.
As we can see, the methodology of the HERON project is based on several key strategic axes. Now it only remains to see how these initiatives develop and how advanced technologies are implemented in the final process. In the meantime, you can find more information HERE.
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