EADS signs four agreements for the licensing of its patented technologies in avionics networks, production, connectors and testing applications

12 September 2012

Four new agreements were signed today by EADS for the licensed use of company-developed technologies in the areas of high-quality data networks, friction-stir welding, electrical connectors and water erosion testing.

These accords – involving one contract and three memorandums of understanding – were formalised at the 2012 Berlin Air Show in Germany, and they expand the customer base for EADS’ licensing activities while also widening the scope of technologies chosen by customers for use in developing new products, improving production and expanding market opportunities.

“Today’s agreements mark a new milestone in EADS’ commitment to offer a broad spectrum of approved intellectual property from throughout the company,” said Wulf Hoeflich, who heads the EADS Technology Licensing initiative. “Our licensing partners benefit from the integrated strategy at EADS, which includes the availability of our experts for training, engineering support and assistance, along with potential joint sales and marketing activities.”

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Axel Krein, Airbus’ Senior Vice President of Research & Technology (centre) congratulates Auto-Kabel Managing Director Jens Schumacher on his company’s memorandum of understanding signing for Plug & Twist connector technology at the ILA Berlin Air Show. Joining them is Martin Dehn, Head of Intellectual Property - Airbus Operations GmbH.

The contract signed today with Germany’s Vector Informatik GmbH provides this company with a license for the use of Avionics Full DupleX Switched Ethernet (AFDX®) backbone network technology in its development, analysis and test tools for avionics networks. AFDX® was conceived by the Airbus division of EADS, and facilitates safe and secure data transfer – particularly in demanding applications – while also enabling the simplification of data exchange compared to previous protocols. This inter-system communication network is incorporated on Airbus’ A380 jetliner, A400M military airlifter and other aircraft. Vector is a leading manufacturer of software tools and software components for the networking of electronic systems, and its products are used in the aerospace, automotive engineering, commercial vehicle, transportation and control technologies sectors.

A memorandum of understanding concluded today in Berlin with Auto-Kabel Management GmbH sets the framework for this company’s licensed use of Airbus-patented Plug & Twist electrical connectors and their components. Plug & Twist connectors provide the form-fitting contact of at least three conductive surfaces, which are extensively compressed when the connection is made. This design ensures safe, high quality and cost-efficient contacts for high-current connections, while the contact quality is unaffected by vibration, corrosion or other environmental influences. Auto-Kabel is a major supplier of electrical cables, connectors and systems for the automotive and industrial sectors. Its access to the Plug & Twist technology positions this German company to expand its connector product portfolio, particularly with the new generation of electric vehicles in mind. 

Also concluded at the ILA Berlin Air Show is a memorandum of understanding with Germany’s WALTER Gerätebau GmbH, marking a step toward its acquisition of EADS patented technology to be applied in paint coating test equipment, based on EADS Innovation Works’ Pulsating Jet Erosion Testing (PJET) system. PJET significantly simplifies the infrastructure required for such testing, replacing complex set-ups with a simpler, lower-cost facility that employs a perforated rotating disc, high-pressure pump and nozzle to create water droplets. EADS Innovation Works developed PJET for rain erosion testing of protective coatings on aircraft wings and helicopter rotor blades, as well as in the development of laminar flow aerodynamic surfaces. The technology is sought by WALTER for its test systems marketed to the aerospace, wind energy and automotive industries.

The agreements with Auto-Kabel and WALTER were enabled by PATEV Associates GmbH, which is the EADS Technology Licensing initiative’s European technology licensing partner.

Completing the agreements signed today is a memorandum of understanding with PaR Systems, Inc. that focuses on this U.S. company’s interest in the DeltaN® friction-stir welding technology and related manufacturing processes developed by EADS Innovation Works – the corporate research and technology arm at EADS. PaR Systems is seeking access to this expertise to develop, manufacture and sell machines incorporating the DeltaN® technology by its wholly-owned I-STIR Technology Inc. subsidiary – a global leader in friction-stir welding equipment for both production and research. With DeltaN®, the solid-state friction-stir welding process offers a superior welding option for joining a variety of materials, as well as the capability to weld components with complex geometries. The DeltaN® technology results from more than 12 years of development at EADS, which has been successful in its commercial integration on production robots – significantly bringing down capital costs for users.

Cheers Interactive, the EADS Technology Licensing initiative’s global partner, structured and enabled the friction-stir welding cooperation with PaR Systems.

These four accords signed at the ILA Berlin Air Show today are in addition to a memorandum of understanding concluded yesterday that sets the context for Germany’s KUKA Robot Group to access EADS DeltaN® friction-stir welding technology for industrial robot applications. That agreement’s scope also extends to potential joint engineering services and training activity for KUKA customers using the solid-state joining process, along with the potential establishment of a DeltaN application centre at the new Bavarian International Campus Aerospace & Security (BICAS), which is being created at the EADS Ottobrunn site near Munich.