Advanced Engineering 2019

AZL Demonstrates New Ultra-Fast Consolidator Machine at the JEC World

04 March 2019

AZL Demonstrates New Ultra-Fast Consolidator Machine at the JEC World

After many years of successful cooperation on JEC World since 2015, the Aachen Centre for Integrative Lightweight Production (AZL) renewed the cooperation with the JEC Group for 2019:

At the dedicated exhibition area called ‘Composites in Action - JEC Group in partnership with AZL’, AZL and its 9 Partner Institutes of RWTH Aachen University present their latest research and development results. The innovations covering the whole composite value chain including research results of AZL, Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology IPT and Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT, the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) in Industry and the Skilled Crafts as well as RWTH Aachen University institutes including the Laboratory for Machine Tools and Production Engineering (WZL), the Welding and Joining Institute (ISF), the ‘Institut für Textiltechnik’ (ITA), the Institute for Automotive Engineering (IKA), the Institute of Structural Mechanics and Lightweight Design (SLA). Following companies are sponsoring partners of this booth and will present their latest products and services: Hille Engineering, Maru Hachi, TELENE and Textechno.

This year, AZL is very proud to present a new machine system development at their booth: The real machine setup of the ‘Ultra-Fast Consolidator Machine’ will be shown at the AZL booth,which is one of three finalists for the JEC AWARD 2019 in the category ‘Industry and Equipment’.

The new UItra-Fast Consolidator Machine offers both high flexibility and mass production of tailored thermoplastic laminates with reduced scrap. Fully consolidated multilayer laminates with different fibre directions and minimised scrap (tailored blanks) can be produced in cycle times below 5 seconds. This individualised mass production is accomplished by a combination of laser-assisted tape placement with in-situ consolidation and a piece-flow principle, which is state of the art in the printing industry but has not been used in such a way within composite production. The achievable productivity is enhanced to more than 500 kg/hour by this piece-flow principle with carriers moved through multiple application stations which are equipped with multiple tape placement applicators. The new machine is scalable: multiple application stations can be added, e.g. for each layer one station for mass production or for each fibre direction one station with a carrier-conveyor carousel: here the carriers are moved multiple times through the application stations.

This innovative machine system is a result of an 18-months AZL Joint Partner Project, conducted in 2017-2018 by the research partners AZL Aachen and Fraunhofer IPT Aachen, in cooperation with industrial partner companies including Conbility, Covestro, Engel, Evonik, Fagor Arrasate, Faurecia, Laserline, Mitsui Chemicals, Mubea Carbo Tech, Philips Photonics, SSDT and Toyota (in alphabetical order). The system will be commercialised by some of the industrial partners in 2019. The real machine setup will be presented at the AZL booth as it is one of three finalists for the JEC AWARD 2019.

Visit AZL in Hall 5A,Stand D17 at JEC World 2019.

Photo provided by AZL

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