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4th October 2016, Munich

Industry 4.0 for carbon composites

Munich-based Cevotec is planning to launch a commercial version of its Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) system for the high volume construction of complex 3D carbon composite parts at the JEC World trade show in Paris next March.

The company, which is a spin-off from the Institute for Carbon Composites at TU Munich, has is collaborating with industrial robotics specialist Baumann Automation, of Amber, Germany, on the assembly of the system.

Through the additive manufacturing process, Cevotec’s FPP system only places fibres where needed, enabling varying thickness laminates to be positioned easily throughout the part. © Cevotec

The use of robotics to facilitate automation and the process integration required for such projects are among Baumann’s core strengths. Its automation systems represent the ideal combination of standard modules and customised applications.

Through the additive manufacturing process, Cevotec’s FPP system only places fibres where needed, enabling varying thickness laminates to be positioned easily throughout the part. This reduces material input compared to traditional processes by up to 30%, and material scrap by more than 50%. FPP will enable a new dimension of freedom in load-path oriented laminate design leading to an increase of mechanical properties like strength and stiffness in parts by to up 150%.

“The orientation of fibres in a component is key when it comes to quality and mechanical properties,” says Felix Michl, Cevotec MD. “With this patch technology, we have no restrictions on how the fibres are aligned in the component and can manufacture a complex fibre laminate in a fully automated, quality-controlled way – this is quite simply a first.”

“The digital product development process plays a key role for the success of the new technology,” adds Dr Neven Majic, co-founder and head of software development. “We optimize the orientation and position of every single patch by using high-performance software that significantly reduces the workload of the engineers in product development. With a fully digitized product development and an additive manufacturing process, Cevotec is bringing so-called Industry 4.0 technology – the smart combination of physical and digital systems – to the composites industry.”

Cevotec developed the software in-house, drawing on over 16 years of experience in composites.

Earlier in 2016 the company raised €1.75 million in seed funding.

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