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18th September 2018, Meitingen

FPC at SGL site in Meitingen officially opened

SGL Carbon, a technology-based leader in the development and production of carbon-based solutions, has announced the official opening of the new Fiber Placement Center (FPC) at the company’s site in Meitingen.

Guests at the FPC inaugural celebration were greeted by Dr Jürgen Köhler, CEO of SGL Carbon, Andreas Wüllner, Head of the Composites – Fibers & Materials business unit at SGL Carbon, and Dr Klaus Drechsler, Director of Fraunhofer IGCV and Head of the Carbon Composites chair at the TU Munich.

From left to right: Johann Häusler, Prof Dr Klaus Drechsler, Franz Josef Pschierer, (hidden: Dr Michael Higl, Eva Weber, Hannah Paulus, Andreas Wüllner, Dr Jürgen Köhler). © SGL Carbon

“For us as SGL Carbon, series production of composite-based lightweight components is a crucial element of our company and growth strategy. We want components made of fibre-reinforced plastics to become a standard in every major industry. One key is the right production methods – with fibre placement being one of several trendsetting approaches. With the new centre, we can now offer this technology, originally coming from the aerospace industry, also to other sectors at an industrial level,” said Dr Jürgen Köhler.

Improving efficiency

When it comes to lightweight design with carbon fibre-reinforced plastics (CFRP), efficient series production is key to further establish this material class in more and more applications and industries. The production method of fibre placement – and automated, load-path optimised, material efficient laying and cutting of fibres – plays an important role, as this type of method is ideal for industrial production.

To incorporate the technology into more high-volume applications across industries and further improve efficiency and resource utilisation, SGL Carbon and Fraunhofer IGCV founded the joint Fiber Placement Center at the beginning of this year. The centre is headquartered at the SGL site in Meitingen, near Augsburg. System manufacturers Compositence and BA Composites, as well as the Chair for Carbon Composites at the Technical University of Munich, have also joined the cooperation. In addition, also the system experts Coriolis Group SAS and Cevotec are planning to come on board as partners.

From left to right: Hannah Paulus, Johann Häusler, Prof Dr-Ing Klaus Drechsler, Dr Michael Higl, Franz Josef Pschierer, Eva Weber, Dr Jürgen Köhler, Andreas Wüllner. © SGL Carbon

Following the premiere of the FPC at the JEC World industry fair in Paris this March, the FPC yesterday celebrated its opening on site with around 150 guests from the fields of politics, science and industry. Attendees included Franz Josef Pschierer, Bavarian State Minister of Economic Affairs, Energy and Technology, Eva Weber, Deputy Mayor of Augsburg, Dr Michael Higl, Mayor of Meitingen, and Johann Häusler, Member of the Bavarian Parliament. Martin Sailer, District Administrator of Augsburg, made an appearance via a video message.

New production concepts

With different high-tech systems and a space of over 500 m², the FPC offers customers the option to develop new production concepts and demonstrate them in prototype production. In addition, SGL Carbon can begin with high-volume production of fibre-reinforced components. Both dry and pre-impregnated fibres with or different plastic resins, also referred to as thermoplastic matrix systems, are processed. Both dry and pre-impregnated fibres with or without thermoplastic matrix systems will be processed.

Fibre placement – the automated, load-path optimised, material efficient laying and cutting of fibres – plays an important role for industrial production of composites. © SGL Carbon

Already today, preparations of projects for secondary and primary structural parts with aerospace companies and various automotive parts manufacturers worldwide are under way. The centre’s work is closely linked with that of SGL Carbon’s Lightweight and Application Center (LAC), a facility measuring again around 1,500 square meters also located at the Meitingen site, where the company works with its customers to continually develop innovative lightweight structures, processes and prototypes.

“Thanks to the FPC, we have bundled profound expertise in the area of fibre placement, along with a truly impressive set-up of equipment. For many of our customers, this is a promising opportunity to exceed existing process capabilities for serial production of components made from fibre-reinforced plastic,” explained Andreas Wüllner.

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