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Engineering Capability

An integrated approach

The design of aerospace products requires an interdisciplinary, interactive engineering approach. UMBRAGROUP offers highly qualified design and production support for recirculating ball screws, ball bearings, gears, safety rods, no-back devices, devices for primary and secondary load lines, anti-rotation mechanisms, electric motors, static and dynamic brakes, and solenoids.

Integrated, flexible systems

The Group offers comprehensive support in the design of EMA (electromechanical actuator) systems. EMAs with UMBRAGROUP architecture constitute a significant step forward compared to traditional hydraulic and mechanical configurations. In what way? Extensive component integration results in a versatile, reliable, compact design of the smallest possible weight. The optimized system, both linear and rotary, makes it possible to operate in a vast range of applications and conditions.

Experience that benefits the customer

UMBRAGROUP relies on a capable and sizeable engineering team covering all the fields of technical expertise required by a modern organization for the design of high-tech aerospace products:

  • Functional and stress analyses;
  • Safety;
  • Mechanical design;
  • Hardware and software design;
  • Electronics, simulation, and electrical design;
  • Materials and processes;
  • Validation and performance tests.

Electronics And Design: We Implement High Tech Systems

UMBRAGROUP has established a solid and reliable engineering department specialized in the field of electronic design for Aerospace, Defense and Space applications. We conduct these activities at the parent company in Foligno and at the ERA Electronic Systems offices, located in Perugia (PG-Italy), which joined the Group in November 2023. Our capable team and twenty years of ERA Electronic Systems experience allow us to implement high-tech systems and offer additional expertise to our customers in the field of electrification of control and actuation systems. UMBRAGROUP, at the ERA Electronic Systems headquarters, can provide the customer with complete assistance for the entire duration of the product life cycle: from design, qualification, production, up to the development of complex and high-tech electronic systems and equipment for various applications in the Aerospace and Defense markets.

We provide turnkey solutions for various applications from Defense control systems, electronic communication, and Safety Critical control systems to electromechanical actuation systems. This includes flight surfaces, multiplatform power distribution and conversion systems, Automatic Test Equipment and Simulator.

In the Civil Aviation/Urban Air Mobility sectors, ERA Electronic Systems produces these key systems:

  • Digital Control Unit for EMA: high integrity and single channel control unit for brushless motors based on FPGA and microprocessor. Software and hardware certifiable according to DO178C and DO254.

In the Defense sector, ERA Electronic Systems can provide:

  • Programmable Signal Converter;
  • Power Supply Unit from 100W up to 24kW;
  • Remote Data Concentrator;
  • Airborne TX RX Blanking System;
  • Automatic test bench for electronics;
  • Multi-purpose electronic boards.

Prototyping, Testing & Mechanical Design

UMBRAGROUP has a solid and integrated structure dedicated to testing and prototyping products under development, both through Dedicated Internal Departments and through the SERMS company. SERMS, which is in Terni (TR) joined the Group in 2017. It offers Environmental Testing & Mechanical Design services for uses in the aerospace, automotive, naval and industrial sectors.

Engineering and qualification testing are the final phases of the validation and testing process. We can perform most of these activities within the Group’s own organization. Special test benches are part of a huge investment that also includes structures for general use such as climatic chambers, silent chamber, vibration platforms, semi-anechoic chamber, EMI equipment and vacuum chamber.

SERMS can conduct these main environmental tests:

SERMS has electrodynamic shakers available for vibration tests, with a force of over 150 KN and capable of reproducing practically any type of dynamic stress.

SERMS has at its disposal a thermo vacuum chamber of 2100 mm in diameter and 2100 mm in depth, with a temperature range between -60°C and +120°C and a temperature gradient of <1°C /min. Heating and cooling can occur by conduction through direct contact with the three plates or by radiation using the chamber's "shroud" (test area of the thermo vacuum chamber). Up to 54 channels (class B PT100 temperature sensors) can be acquired with different speeds.

The environmental chambers present at SERMS srl vary from 1.0 to 0.5 cubic meters. It is possible to simulate temperatures from -70°C to 180°C (up to 15°C/min in both heating and cooling). The relative humidity can vary from 10% to 98% RH and it is possible to monitor the temperature using PT100 class B and have up to 54 channels with different acquisition speeds.

The salt fog test is a standardized test method used to test the corrosion resistance of coated specimens. The SERMS srl team can conduct salt spray tests according to most industrial standards.

With the help of hammers or shakers, at SERMS it is possible to carry out modal tests to precisely determine the frequencies and damping of the tested components. It is also possible to calibrate the FEM model based on experimental data.

At SERMS it is possible to acquire and record over 160 accelerometer channels and approximately 60 strain gauge channels, using Spectral Dynamics, LMS and National Instruments systems. The engineering team can quickly customize software programs for any type of data processing.

SERMS srl has developed and refined several methods to produce repeatable shock response spectra (SRS) that can be tailored to produce the required shock pulse with a high degree of accuracy.

SERMS srl can design and produce test fixtures and expanders with adequate dynamic stiffness to interface the object and the shaker armature correctly.

The altitude chamber (approximately 1500mm diameter and 1550mm depth) complies with most standards (RTCA DO160, MIL-STD810/883). The possible tests are:

  • Altitude;
  • Decompression;
  • Overpressure. 

Pressure range: 10mbar-1700mbar.

A fundamental test for many products which is frequently requested by industries is the drop and impact test. SERMS has created its own drop testing machine capable of carrying out tests in compliance with the main standards.

The entire SERMS team has gained solid experience in the acquisition of real data both for their reproduction in the laboratory and to optimize the structural resistance at both component and system level in the time or frequency domain.

Thanks to the collaboration with the University of Perugia’s Department of Materials and with the CSM of Terni, SERMS srl can offer customers an expert, interdisciplinary team in failure analysis in a short time to be able to define with precision the problems that may be encountered.

Furthermore, SERMS srl is a highly specialized company in mechanical design and various related activities that guarantees 360° support to the customer.

It offers the following Mechanical Design services:

SERMS regularly uses advanced 3D modeling programs (CATIA V5) to design, optimize and produce mechanical components and assemblies.

SERMS can analyze the product, develop a load spectrum, and make predictions about the fatigue life of a system. Deformation information can come from test data or finite element modeling. It can support strain gauges and load measurements to provide data for these analyses.

SERMS srl has gained extensive experience in the analysis of bolted connections, especially for aerospace components. A methodology and criteria have been developed that each preloaded joint must meet to ensure correct selection of fasteners for use in extreme temperature/load conditions, including those in composite flanges.

Special support equipment, such as MGSE (Mechanical Ground Support Equipment) is used for the handling, integration, setup and transport of modules for satellite systems. The design, manufacture, and testing of the MGSE requires extreme precision at every stage of program development. SERMS can guarantee high-quality design and production of support systems in full compliance with the most rigorous requirements.

SERMS can measure the thermal conductivity of materials. Some polymer fiber reinforced composite and metal samples were tested with innovative methods, leading to satisfactory results.

The company has several years of experience performing stress analyzes for parts and assemblies.

Static, modal, transient, random, and thermal analyzes are performed for both metallic and composite structures, for aerospace applications.

SERMS can design transport enclosures suitable for fragile hardware or systems, reducing transmitted vibrations to tolerable levels. Anti-vibration dampers can be selected based on the dynamic behavior of the object to be protected.

The specialized SERMS team can provide advice and support in the choice of materials (sandwich panels, carbon fiber, ceramic and metal).

Thermal modeling and simulations play a critical role in the design and development process of any space payload. SERMS can run the complete overall sequences for thermal simulations.

At SERMS it is possible to perform all the tests necessary to correlate the experimentally measured data with the predictions of the simulated tests in order to optimize the thermal model.

Research & Development programs

Through the years, UMBRAGROUP has been a lead character in the introduction of numerous product innovations, including: 

  • The use of corrosion-resistant materials to produce recirculating ball screws
  • The use of ceramic balls
  • PTFE gaskets
  • Ball recirculation inside screw shafts
  • Safety lock devices
  • Anti-rotation mechanisms
  • Integrated architecture for electromechanical actuators, fault-tolerant actuators, fully redundant actuators, rotary actuators based on recirculating ball screw technology

At present, intense R&D activity is focused on electric aircraft: UMBRAGROUP is participating in the development of electromechanical landing gear and primary and secondary actuators, for both fixed and rotary wings. A strong, well-organized collaboration effort with universities and R&D centers and widespread participation in Italian and European R&D programs form the cornerstone of the Group’s research activity.

Umbra Development System

Our goal is to “be the forefront”, and to offer our customers innovative products that meet the demands of an extremely dynamic market. For this reason, we’ve formed integrated teams of engineers coming from the Research & Development, Analyses, Design, Testing, Production, Continuous Improvement, and Purchasing departments.

These teams are coordinated by the Project Managers with the aim of developing products of excellence. Through the Lean Six Sigma projects, UMBRAGROUP reduces cost and lead time in the production process. We support the customer through co-design activities based on performance and cost objectives starting from the project definition stage.

We’re our customer’s partner, always by their side offering engineering support at every stage of the product’s life cycle.

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