JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 43

preforming technology

FPP technology: industrial end-to-end
automation for complex preforms

Felix Michl
CTO
Dr. NeveN Majic
EVP Software Technology
Cevotec

F

Automated preform manufacturing
A short technology recap: FPP is a high-performance process for automated manufacturing of preform-based complex-geometry
parts. The two robots position unidirectional
carbon fibre patches exactly on the positions
of a preforming tool calculated by the FPP
design software. By processing standardized
patches with a form-adaptive gripper, the

process enables automation for complexgeometry preforms. Fibre Patch Placement
extends the spectrum of automation to parts
that are built only manually today (Figure 1).
While other preforming technologies often
use their preforming tools also for transportation and impregnation, Fibre Patch
Placement enables the automated handling
and removal of 3D patch preforms from the
preforming tool. This makes it possible to
separate the preforming tools and impregnation tools, effectively reducing overall tooling
costs. Moreover, preform removal enables
fast cycle times for the machinery, as no
treatment of the preforming tool is needed.
This maximizes productivity and reduces
downtime, while automating the previously
manual interface between preforming and
impregnation.
To enable automated preform removal and
manipulation, three critical issues had to be
solved: 1) Creating a preform stiff enough
for automated handling; 2) removing the
preform from the tool without damaging
it; and 3) using suitable grippers. In the following case study, the automated preform
processing is demonstrated with a CFRP
roadbike racing helmet shell as a demonstrator. This preform is integrally produced with
absolutely no manual labour steps involved.
Preform stability
The interfaces along the preforming-infiltra-

Gripper on complex geometry

tion route are usually critical for short cycle
times, maintaining high preform quality
and enabling automation solutions with low
investment costs. In this context, the question arises of how to handle complex 3D
preforms during the subsequent processing
stages. An inherent stability of the preform
seems to be the best solution, but how can
this be achieved when using dry fibres?
The patch-based technology developed by
Cevotec makes this possible using a dry fibre
carbon tape with a thermoplastic binder on
one side (less than 10% of the tape's areal
weight). The patches are picked up with a
gripper, which simultaneously heats up the
patches to make the binder sticky, so that the
patches are "glued" to each other. Two main
parameters influence the inherent preform
stability: varying the patch orientation within the laminate and varying the overall laminate thickness - both of which are possible

No109 November - December 2016

/ jec composites magazine

Feature Automation

ibre Patch Placement (FPP) came a
long way from its inception at Airbus
Group Innovation Works in 2008 to
the current industrialization performed
by Cevotec. In 2014, JEC Composites
Magazine reported on the latest development as the technology reached the prototype level with its 3D preforming capability.
Since then, a lot has happened. Cevotec was
founded to industrialize the FPP technology,
combining fibre know-how with production
process technology and composite design
software. The company plans to launch an
industry-ready production system, together
with an FPP software package, at JEC World
2017. Cevotec effectively enabled end-toend automation through the entire preforming process chain, including the automated
handling of the resulting preforms with the
help of robots.

Fibre Patch Placement (FPP), the automated preforming technology
that works with load-path oriented patches to enable complex 3D
fibre laminates, is taking the final step to industrial use. Munichbased Cevotec is launching the first FPP production system at JEC
World 2017. The process features end-to-end automation, including
the handling of form-stable 3D carbon fibre preforms.

43



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016

Cover
Edito
Opinion: Public transportation
Contents
NEWS
In brief
Development
Graphene
Agenda
Cyclitech, the international conference on bicycle technology
BUSINESS
Prospective
Latin America
Biocomposites
MANUFACTURING
Overmoulding
RTM
Viscous resin
Feature Automation - The key to success?
Conferences
Awards
Floorplan
Preforming technology
Robotization
Carbon fibre
Cutting
SOLUTIONS
UAV
Sailing
Fire rescue
Public transportation
Autonomous vehicle
In the world
TECHNOLOGY
NDT
Certification
Index
Advertisers
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - BckCovAd
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Cover
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 2
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Edito
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Opinion: Public transportation
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 5
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Contents
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 7
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - In brief
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 9
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Development
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 11
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Graphene
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 13
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Agenda
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Cyclitech, the international conference on bicycle technology
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Prospective
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 17
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 18
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Latin America
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Biocomposites
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 21
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Overmoulding
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 23
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 24
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 25
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - RTM
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 27
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 28
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Viscous resin
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 30
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 31
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Feature Automation - The key to success?
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Conferences
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 34
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Awards
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 36
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 37
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 38
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 39
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 40
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Floorplan
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 42
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Preforming technology
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 44
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Robotization
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Carbon fibre
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 47
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Cutting
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 49
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 50
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - UAV
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 52
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Sailing
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Fire rescue
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Public transportation
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Autonomous vehicle
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - In the world
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 58
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - NDT
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 60
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 61
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Certification
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 63
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 64
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 65
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - Advertisers
JEC COMPOSITES MAGAZINE - Issue #109 - November/December 2016 - 67
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