JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 46

FEATURE Automated mass production of fibre-reinforced components Process automation is the key to reducing the production costs of fibre-reinforced components. Comprehensive research into the handling processes involved and the further development of the relevant tool technologies can pave the way for more costeffective production lines. components and defined technical properties that were meant to reflect the results of their research and to provide a basis to assess their success (Figure 1). 1- DIPL.-ING. MARTIN STEYER, 2- DIPL.-ING. MARKUS DUBRATZ, 3- DIPL.-ING. ADRIAN SCHÜTTE, 4- DR.-ING. CHRISTIAN WENZEL, 5- PROF. DR.-ING. CHRISTIAN BRECHER FRAUNHOFER IPT AACHEN ibre-reinforced plastics (FRP) are the perfect materials for lightweight constructions and would be highly suitable for a wide range of technical applications. However, they have so far failed to appeal to the mass market. The key reason for this is the high cost involved in their pro-duction. These high production costs result from large labour requirements, a low degree of automation, the need for manual maintenance and cleaning operations, and long cycle times. Fig. 1: Demonstrator components designed to assess the process chains. To pave the way for an economically-viable and competitive mass production of FRP components, the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) established a joint working group of researchers with the Institute for Plastics Processing (IKV) and the Institute for Textile Technology (ITA). Since late 2007, this Aachenbased research team has been developing a range of new process chains for the production of structural FRP components, under the umbrella of a research project funded and supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft DFG. The project is entitled “The development of new process chains for fibre-reinforced plastic components and the integration of pre-forming, forming and crosslinking processes”. Structural elements with 3D geometries including apertures, different levels of strength and stringers on the one hand, and the need to integrate inserts and functional elements on the other hand, are the main challenges for the new production technology. Mass production also requires a combination of high quality and reproducibility with short cycle times. These requirements became the targets for the working group of researchers. They designed industry-relevant demonstrator Current status The industrial mass production of fibre-reinforced structural elements involves a large number of handling tasks that are still performed by hand, and labour costs are correspondingly high. The automation of all handling tasks along the process chain would therefore reduce production costs significantly. It would further serve to cut handling times, substantially reducing the overall cycle time for each component. Another important point is that the quality of the production process and, ultimately, the products themselves would be improved if it could be guaranteed that the semi-finished fabrics are always correctly and consistently handled, i.e. if they were picked up and placed in a reproducible manner. It is also fair to say that the current tool moulding concepts provide some room for improvement. The temperature of the moulding tools is generally controlled through electric heating units that are integrated into the tools themselves. These dies – that are operated in a non-isothermal process – are often made from thermally invariable steel alloys (INVAR), avoiding damage that might otherwise result from different levels of thermal expansion. These jec composites magazine / No52 October 2009
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JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009

Cover
Editorial
Contents
NEWS WORLDWIDE - Companies
 - Agenda of events
 - Equipment: Control
BUSINESS
 - Market survey
 - Trends
 - Niche market
FEATURE
 - JEC Show Asia
 - Biocomposites
 - Automation
USERS' PLATFORM
 - Composites in the world
 - Successful partners
 - Application
KNOW-HOW
 - Laser placement
 - Process
 - LFI
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - Editorial
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 4
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - NEWS WORLDWIDE - Companies
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 9
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 -  - Agenda of events
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 11
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 -  - Equipment: Control
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 14
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - BUSINESS
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 -  - Market survey
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 -  - Trends
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 18
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 19
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 -  - Niche market
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - Pub1
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - Pub2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - FEATURE
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 -  - JEC Show Asia
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 23
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 24
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 26
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 27
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 28
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 29
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 30
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 31
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 32
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 33
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 34
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 35
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 36
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 37
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 -  - Biocomposites
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 39
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 -  - Automation
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 41
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 42
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 43
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 44
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 45
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 46
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 47
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 48
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - USERS' PLATFORM
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 -  - Composites in the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 51
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 -  - Successful partners
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 53
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 -  - Application
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 55
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 56
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - KNOW-HOW
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 -  - Laser placement
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 59
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 60
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 -  - Process
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 62
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 63
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 -  - LFI
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 65
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 66
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 67
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 68
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