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28th September 2018, Stuttgart

Focus on process technologies at Composites Europe

Composites Europe visitors will meet more than 350 exhibitors from 30 countries who in Stuttgart will present state-of-the-art technology and the potential of fibre-reinforced composites – in the exhibition area, as well as in numerous event areas, lecture forums and themed tours.

With the new Process live format, coordinated processing and manufacturing processes will become the visible focus of this year's Composites Europe. Mechanical and plant engineering companies will get together in group exhibits to showcase their technologies in live interactions - thus enabling visitors to experience sub-processes presented in a larger context.

Coordinated processing and manufacturing processes will become the visible focus of this year's Composites Europe. © Composites Europe

“In the competition of lightweight construction and design materials, composites are among the winners – automotive engineering, aerospace, wind energy, boatbuilding and construction can no longer do without glass- and carbon-fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP and CFRP),” organisers say. “Nevertheless, the greatest impetus right now is coming from the composites industry itself: technological advancements in the process chain. From 6-8 November, Composites Europe will drive home that point.”

Partnerships in the process chain

Among others, the cutting specialist Gunnar (Switzerland), the composites automation expert Airborne (Netherlands) and the gripping systems provider Schmalz (Germany) will join forces to create a combined production cell in a process-safe depiction of the entire value chain from roller materials to the finished layer structure of a composite component.

In this setup, interlocking hardware components are fully connected with each other via software. “Cooperation among processors is getting closer and closer. These partnerships within the process chain are accelerating the growth of the composites industry; that's what we want to show with the new 'Process live' format,” said Olaf Freier, event director of Composites Europe.

Lightweight Technologies Forum

Besides the optimisation of the process chain, industry research today is heavily focused on the use of GFRP and CFRP in multi-material systems. The Lightweight Technologies Forum will once again demonstrate how composites play to their strengths alongside other materials in the material mix for hybrid structural components. A total of 16 exhibitors will present materials, tools and exhibits here - from fillers to bonding agents and presses for laminating different materials to semi-finished hybrid products.

Composites Europe visitors will meet more than 350 exhibitors from 30 countries. © Composites Europe

In presentations, experts will provide an overview of new products in manufacturing and joining technology as well as applications and lightweight engineering references from the automotive, aerospace and construction sectors.

From digitalisation to recycling

A presentation programme, themed tours and special areas complete the Composites Europe line-up. Manufacturing technology, recycling, digitalisation and thermoplastics will be central themes in the programme of the Composites Forum, which will also feature exhibitors presenting application examples from automotive engineering, aerospace, construction, mechanical engineering, wind energy and shipbuilding.

Themed guided tours, meanwhile, will lead visitors straight to the stands of selected exhibitors ready to explain the latest innovations in fibreglass, thermoplastics, automotive engineering, wind energy and construction.

Special areas and group stands

Hosting the special area Industry meets Science, the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV), the leading European research institute for plastics technology based in Aachen, will showcase developments in process technology, design, quality assurance and repair.

The exhibitors at the Bio-Based Composites Pavilion, which will again be set up in cooperation with the nova-Institute, will reflect the development of the market for green composites. The focus will be on application options of wood-polymer composites (WPC), natural fibre composites (NFC), bio-based thermoplastics and thermosets for composites, and bio-based plastics.

The industry newcomers will present themselves at a group stand funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). They will cover a wide range of topics from semi-finished carbon-fibre products to metal foams to production lines for multi-material 3D fibre laminates. In addition, under the banner of Formula Student, students and apprentices will show visitors race cars they themselves have designed.

Kick-off event

The International Composites Congress (ICC) will once again kick off Composites Europe. In a series of presentations starting the day before the trade fair (5-6 November), international experts at the event with the headline topic Composites - On the Path to Becoming a Key Industry? will speak about and discuss applications, materials, process technologies and market prospects.

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