Zubiola, the evolution from wood to the automotive and aeronautics industries

Zubiola, the evolution from wood to the automotive and aeronautics industries

The company from Gipuzkoa, specialized in the manufacture and supply of cutting tools, has received support from the BDIK Konexio program.

The economic crisis of the last decade helped the Gipuzkoan company Zubiola to diversify its business, focused on the wood and construction sectors, to other areas such as aeronautics and the automotive industry. The company, located in Azkoitia and dedicated to the manufacture of special cutting tools, has received financial support from the SPRI Group through the BDIH Konexio program with which the Basque Digital Innovation Hub is making available to SMEs the connected network of assets and advanced manufacturing services for training, research, testing and validation.

Zubiola specializes in the manufacturing and supplying of cutting tools for machining by metal removal, mainly of non-ferrous metals and composites, as well as wood and derivatives. It works with two materials that provide higher quality: PCD (polycrystalline diamond), which is more efficient than metal for non-ferrous materials, and PCBN (polycrystalline boron nitride), intended for ferrous materials.

Support from the BDIH Konexio program has been directed to a project to study cutting geometries, types of sharpening and chip-breakers for PCBN tools for steel machining. The objective is to manufacture reamers, drills and milling cutters for the automotive and aeronautics industries, where steel is machined. The company’s challenges include intensifying internationalization, which now accounts for 38% of its business. Zubiola is in the process of drawing up a strategic plan for the period up to 2030.

Among their projects, one of the projects they have carried out is the Gaitzen project, which promotes intrapreneurship in the company to launch new products. They are also participating in other research and development projects.

Evolution in 55 years of existence

The company has been in existence for 55 years. It was founded in Azpeitia in 1966 by two partners who manufactured wood processing machines. Years later, they dedicated themselves to the manufacture of both machines and tools and in 1985 they focused only on tools. The next leap in the company’s evolution occurred in 2000, when they began manufacturing PCD tools for the woodworking industry. In 2005, they started making tools for the automotive and aeronautics sectors, in order to diversify the product. In 2007 they moved to the current facilities in Azkoitia.

The company produces cutting tools for wood, all types of tools for machining automotive and aeronautical parts, one-shot tools, barrel drills and countersinks for airframe and airframe assemblies. The sectors for which it works are automotive, aeronautics, wood and derivatives and industry in general.

It works mainly in custom-made parts. In automotive and aeronautics, they account for 90% of the orders and in wood, around 40%. The company has 30 employees and an annual turnover of around 4.4 million euros. They devote 10% of their business to research and development.

Zubiola industry
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