Smart Factory Challenge: Flow Generation

Chief researcher

Prof. Dr. D. Alejandro Escudero Santana


María Luisa Muñoz Díaz


University of Seville - GRI TOWER Seville, S.L.


Industrial 4.0, Lean Manufacturing

Summary of the proposal

Current energy needs demand ever greater quantities of sustainable energy, with wind energy being one of the main pillars. Within the field of wind energy, there are two clearly identified means for obtaining greater energy output: (1) increasing the wind capture surface and (2) accessing higher levels. This second means requires larger scale structures, ones which would be more difficult to produce. The project carried out together with GRI aims to achieve disruptive forms of manufacturing wind turbine towers. 

Project goal

To develop disruptive solutions in industrial organization and manufacture compared with the current state of the art. Currently, what happens is serial manufacturing with subprocess carried out in a manufacturing chain, where the product moves sequentially from one manufacturing area to another until it is complete, with bottlenecks that cause stoppages and use up space, etc., which means an increase in lead time. This project aims to radically change this serial manufacturing layout concept and replace it with a more flexible organizational concept which, supported by Industry 4.0 technologies, allows the combination of subprocesses and assembly methods.

Expected results and indicators

The scientific-technical results expected can be grouped into two blocks: research results and applied results.

What is expected is the generation of knowledge related to the organization of the manufacture of wind turbine towers in Smart Factory settings, as well as the application of this knowledge to GRI’s industrial reality.

Expected indicators:

- Conferences: 2

- Indexed publications: 2

- Transfer agreements: 1

- Doctoral theses: 1

Potential technological impact of the project (TRL)

The organization of production in the manufacture of wind turbine towers is a boilermaking process with very high levels of manual labour. The project aims to increase performance and efficiency in manufacturing in this kind of industry, as well as in similar industries.