EADS licenses its patented DeltaN friction-stir welding technology to BRÖTJE-Automation

29 March 2012 

EADS has granted licensing rights for its patented DeltaN friction-stir welding technology to BRÖTJE-Automation GmbH, which will apply this technology in the company’s product line of gantry production machines. 

The EADS technology – based on its DeltaN tool – provides high-quality welds for the solid-state friction-stir welding technique, which is employed with metallic alloys in a range of production applications. Developed by EADS Innovation Works, which is the company’s research and technology organization, the technology is made available through the EADS Technology Licensing initiative.

With the licensing approval – signed at this week’s JEC Composites show in Paris – EADS will transfer DeltaN technology and know-how to BRÖTJE-Automation for gantry production machines developed to serve the aerospace sector, and potentially in other industrial applications. The agreement has a licensing value of up to €600,000 during the contract’s initial three-year term.

“The DeltaN tool results from more than 12 years of development at EADS,” said Yann Barbaux, the Head of EADS Innovation Works. “Its full advantages are now available to further improve the flexibility and capabilities of BRÖTJE-Automation’s gantry machines – many of which are used in the production of EADS aircraft and systems. This is an example of how our technologies can create new business for licensing partners, while also improving the quality of EADS’ own products.”

Incorporating a simple and robust design, the DeltaN tool features a stationary shoulder portion and a rotating welding pin. This concept places the high revolutions on the pin and zero revolutions on the shoulder, providing significant reductions in welding distortion and vertical down-forces when compared with typical standard tools, while also increasing the pin’s lifetime by reducing lateral loads.

“This DeltaN technology will give us major benefits for future assembly applications, especially when combined with our unique gantry positioning systems,” said Christian Meiners, Head of the Technology Center at BRÖTJE-Automation.

It is the second such technology agreement involving the two companies, follows the licensing of an end effecter system for the drilling and riveting of spars and clamps, which was developed during the 1990s in a joint effort of EADS and BRÖTJE-Automation.

The new DeltaN contract for BRÖTJE-Automation was enabled by PATEV Associates GmbH, which is the EADS Technology Licensing initiative’s European technology licensing partner.

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At the JEC Composites show, the licensing rights agreement for BRÖTJE-Automation’s use of DeltaN friction-stir welding technology is signed on EADS’ behalf by Yann Barbaux, the Head of EADS Innovation Works. With him (from left to right) are Dr. Peter Westphal, the EADS Senior Manager for Technology Licensing & Intellectual Property; Dr. Michael Beyer, Chief Operating Officer at PATEV – EADS’ licensing partner in Europe; Wulf Hoeflich, head of the EADS Technology Licensing initiative; Eberhard, Key Account Manager at BRÖTJE-Automation; and BRÖTJE-Automation engineer Timo Dierssen.