LINQcase will offer non-destructive testing equipment to industry
Interview with Ibon Iribarren and Ane Martinez de Guereñu about creating and launching the new spin-off.
How and why did LINQcase come about?
In mid-2018, during a visit to Ceit, Ane and other staff members showed me how their research on using electromagnetic techniques for non-destructive (ND) testing was progressing. The technology was impressive and it was already at a stage where it was close to being used in industry. Immediately, I saw that it would be of tremendous interest to the customers that I knew, especially in the auto industry.
Shortly after that, Juan Meléndez, Antonio González and I were sitting at a table, discussing the possibility of creating a spin-off. The rest, as they say, is history.
What product/service will the new company offer its customers?
In the main we want to help manufacturers in any number of industries to be more competitive, and with that in mind we offer non-destructive testing equipment based on electromagnetic techniques. This type of equipment will prevent the tested pieces from being destroyed during quality control processes.
At the same time, it’s clear to us that we won't be successful just because of the technology and equipment. We want to be a turnkey project company, accompanying our customers in all phases of adopting the technology, including support service for our customers’ production and maintenance teams.
Who are the company’s shareholders?
The company has two partners: Ceit-IK4 and Seiki Hexagon Investments, a company established by the management team.
What experience does the management team have?
Together we have 27 years of experience in the auxiliary tool machine sector for the auto industry and other advanced manufacturing companies and in high added value projects.
We have been working primarily on commercial projects and opening new lines of business. Essentially, it's the same thing that we have to do now to get this project off the ground.
What will the relationship between the new company and Ceit-IK4 be? Who brings what?
We view ourselves as being fully complementary. For LINQcase, Ceit is our access to a totally disruptive technology, one that can and should be taken to the market. At the same time, LINQcase will be able to provide Ceit with easier access to customers and a separate line of sales. The relationship helps Ceit commercialize the R&D project. and at the same time LINQcase provides customers with robust equipment and its associated maintenance service.
Taking into account the fact that Ceit's research line in ND testing using electromagnetic techniques has great expertise and potential, what do you see for the future?
We think that we’re only scratching the surface of what these advanced process verification technologies can provide. The potential is huge and the demand for turnkey solutions is still largely unmet. In seeking greater competitiveness, companies are asking for more and more quality controls of the type that ND testing provides.
What is LINQcase's target market? Is the internationalization of LINQcase under consideration?
One of the keys to this business is to have an excellent support and service structure. And that means that to start we are focusing our efforts in Spain and Europe, markets where we can offer reliable service.
However, these companies also operate globally and they are going to ask us to help them all over the world. So, yes, we are looking to internationalize the company beyond Europe in 2 to 3 years’ time.
Where is LINQcase located?
Currently we are located at Ceit's campus in Ibaeta. Going forward, we are looking to move to our own premises.