September 12, 2012      

EADS (parent to plane maker Airbus, helicopter maker Eurocopter, satellite builder Astrium and defense electronics contractor Cassidian) recently announced an agreement to license their DeltaN friction-stir welding technology to industrial robot behemoth, KUKA Robotics.

The partnership may be related to the EADS Technology Licensing initiative. Earlier this summer, EADS highlighted opportunities for U.S. and Canadian companies to benefit from the company?s patent portfolio at two North American outreach events involving the licensing initiative ? which is overseen by the company?s Corporate Technology Office.

The effort to proactively advertize EADS relevant patents to targeted executives (along with potential feasibility studies, training and engineering support) was led by EADS? Peter Westphal, Senior Manager for Technology Licensing & Intellectual Property.

A memorandum of understanding, signed on Tuesday at the 2012 ILA Airshow in Berlin with the EADS Technology Licensing initiative, sets the framework for KUKA to offer its industrial robots with the DeltaN welding technology, which provides high-quality welds using the friction-stir welding technique.

The technology, developed for aerospace applications at EADS Innovation Works over 12 years, will provide an advanced welding solution along with KUKA?s industrial robots to system integrators and end-use customers, with applications including the automotive and computer industries, as well as other sectors.

The respective agreement with KUKA also covers joint engineering services and training activity for KUKA customers using this solid-state joining process. The partners are also evaluating possibilities for the establishment of a DeltaN application centre at the new Bavarian International Campus Aerospace & Security (BICAS) in Germany.

EADS’ DeltaN friction-stir welding technology is robust in design, featuring 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. The result is a construction far stronger and more reliable than those offered by conventional welding methods.

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

Profitable partnerships continue to manifest for EADS who also announced on Wednesday a potential merger with major U.K. defense contractor BAE Systems PLC that could ramp up Airbus? competition with Boeing.

The companies confirmed that under the proposed merger, BAE Systems shareholders would own 40 percent and EADS shareholders 60 percent of the enlarged group.

The merged companies would have combined sales of more than 70 billion euros ($90.3 billion) and more than 220,000 employees, changing the European defense market ?beyond recognition? according to HIS Jane?s analyst Guy Anderson.