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Friction Welded Valve for Enhanced Hygiene in Food and Beverage Industry

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FricWeld (Friction Welded Valve for Enhanced Hygiene in Food and Beverage Industry)

Reporting period: 2016-07-01 to 2016-11-30

Aviatec is a high-end welding and part finishing company active a part-supplier to the hygienic food equipment industry by means of friction welding (FW).
The opportunity is to develop a FW-method to produce valve houses of improved quality by an environmental friendlier welding technique.
The objectives are:
1. To detail the technical viability of the novel valve housing.
2. To develop a viable business plan
3. To plan the Phase 2 project
Technical feasibility
The technical study consisted of the developed and optimization of friction welding process. The workpieces produced under the optimal conditions were tested by the Teknologisk Institut 8000 Aarhus. The analysis showed that the weld is fault free and properties equal to the parent material. Thus, the friction welding technique is suitable to produce valves in compliance with the EHEGD criteria for hygienic design.

Market analysis
The insight into potential market and players was obtained by means of desk research, company visits attending fairs and exhibitions.
- We noticed that the large European players are interested in the friction welding technique but are very reluctant to actively participate in the further development.
- We have decided to strive a collaboration with a SME that has a good reputation as a mixed production and development company and is also a supplier our market. We that joining our strengths we can form a consortium that that has all the needed capabilities.

Business analysis
To prepare the internal organization and for a phase 2 project the state-of-the-art of the company was mapped. This revealed that prior to applying for a phase 2 project Aviatec will focus on that in 2017.
1. The technique works; The technical feasibility study of the novel welding technique for the manufacturing of valve houses by means of Friction Welding is completed successful. The principle has been proven and showed that the friction welding technique can be competitive on quality and costs in comparison to present techniques.
2. Conservative market remains a threshold; the large valve producers will not change overnight their present methods and are very hard to actively involved in this research topic.
3. Aviatec will strengthen its developments capacity; Aviatec will take time to to expand its staff with additional expertise before it will apply for and start a Phase 2 innovation project in 2018.
Friction Welded dummy valve house
Macroscopic image of weld
Finished weld, welded surface is on the level of the circle