JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #52 - October 2009 - 47

Automation tools guarantee the production of high-quality components, but are very slow to operate due to the long periods of time it takes to heat and cool the large amounts of material involved. Furthermore, the existing sealing systems have been designed to separate the resin inside the tool from relatively highly-viscous thermoplastics. These systems would not be capable of keeping out low-viscosity thermosetting matrix systems. Applying its core competences in the areas of process automation, tool technology and moulding tool construction, the Fraunhofer IPT has targeted the automation of processes used to produce fibre-reinforced components. For several years already, the Aachen-based researchers have been exploring fully-automatic production processes such as laser-assisted tape laying and pultrusion. The know-how and expertise acquired during these experiments will now feed the FOR860 group’s research on the cross-process-chain automation of handling processes. It is also planned to subject the tools involved in the construction of FRP components to detailed analysis and to optimize them to the point where they can be used in large-scale industrial production facilities. subsequently applied a scientifically-detailed test plan featuring roughly 10,000 individual tests, the results of which were entered into a database. A “gripper selection software tool” specifically designed by the Fraunhofer IPT makes the database very convenient to use and provides researchers with instant access to the test results and assessments, so they can quickly decide which gripping system to use for specific handling tasks. The specific handling tasks are defined through an input mask: parameters and attributes such as the type, weight and state of the fibre product (dry, drenched or hardened) are entered, and the software then automatically selects the most suitable gripper from the database. The process sequence is shown in figure 3. Research into the automation of handling processes for semi-finished fibre-reinforced products With a view to automating the handling tasks, the Fraunhofer IPT is conducting a separate sub-project to explore the basic mechanisms involved in the gripping, transportation and deposition (placement) of various semi-finished fibre products. All of these handling tasks must be performed in such a way that the semi-finished fabrics can be picked up, transported and put down safely, without folds or damages, while ensuring reproducibility and high levels of accuracy. These “semi-finished fabrics” include dry pre-cut fabrics, moulded preforms – whether they are still dry or have already been drenched in resin – and hardened components. Experiments with all of these fabrics were conducted and analyzed as part of the project. Fig. 3: Handling test devices and gripping properties. Its comprehensive experiments provided the Fraunhofer IPT with detailed insight into the properties of the existing gripping systems. The newly developed “gripper selection software tool” is a powerful, useful and scientifically-valuable resource that will assist and inform the selection of gripper systems at the Fraunhofer IPT, enabling its experts to provide first-class advice to anybody who wants to install and implement automatic handling systems into production lines for fibre-reinforced components. While the currently-available gripping systems were analyzed, new systems were also considered and designed. Electrostatic gripping systems promise better performance than most existing systems, providing benefits such as low weight, consistent surface power and a highly flexible adjustment to different fabric cuts and preform shapes. Since electrostatic grippers do not have any moveable components, they will also provide a robust functionality – bearing in mind the risk of resin contamination. When testing this technology, it was Fig. 2: State-of-the-art gripping systems and technologies [Schunk], [Schmalz] The experiments initially focused on existing, well-known gripping technologies and systems (Figure 2), trying to establish which of these, if any, would be suitable for the kind of handling tasks involved in the production of fibre-reinforced components. To assess the different systems, Fraunhofer IPT developed and Fig. 4: Electrostatic gripper prototypes. No52 October 2009 / jec composites magazine
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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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