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JEC World
JEC World
Techtextil NA & TexProcess

4th December 2018, Munich

Successful trade fair presentation for Cevotec

Cevotec showcased its latest developments at a number of industry events this fall, including Advanced Engineering in Birmingham, Composites Europe and ICC in Stuttgart, GoCarbonFibre in Berlin, and JEC Asia in Seoul. “This fall’s leading composite trade shows Advanced Engineering and Composites Europe were undoubtedly successful events for Cevotec’s engineers and developers,” the company says. “Also, the conference’s contributions at these events as well as at GoCarbonFibre, the International Composite Congress (ICC) and the JEC Asia show found a highly interested audience.”

Together with Premium Aerotec, the Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) specialist Cevotec has also been honoured with one of the most prestigious awards of composites industry, the JEC Award for sustainability.

Samba Multi

“Our strategy to always improve and develop Fiber Patch Placement technology according to the requirements of our customers pays off,” commented Thorsten Groene, Managing Director at Cevotec. “Consequently, the Samba Multi production cell gained much attention in Birmingham and Stuttgart.”

Successful trade fair presentation at Composites Europe. © Cevotec

Featuring a multi material feeding unit, Samba Multi automates the time- and cost-intensive multi-material lay-up of aerospace sandwich components. Also, the continuous process monitoring, featured by all production cells of the Samba Series, aroused interest as it enables a constant high placement accuracy and therefore significantly reduces time and cost required for individual unit tests particularly in aerospace industry, the company reports.

Automotive-focused trade show visitors in Stuttgart were also attracted by FPP solutions to reinforce standard car bodies by fibre patches for e.g. increased stiffness in special series models. As the patches are placed directly onto the body structure where needed, no additional tooling is required, and short cycle times are possible. Together with the software Artist Studio, providing a virtual process chain including virtual laminate generation, FEM simulation, as well as automated offline robot programming, FPP opens up perspectives for the carbon fibre industry as a fully-fledged Industry 4.0 technology.

Saving costs

An interesting side effect results from the use of residual tape material that is “left over” in AFP production processes, the manufacturer adds. “Manufacturers are challenged with a lot of uncured prepreg material resulting from APF processes,” explained Felix Michl, CTO at Cevotec. “In order to keep machine set-up times short, all reels of tape are simultaneously changed as soon as the tape left on one reel is not enough to place the next layer of the laminate.” Consequently, manufacturers suffer from virgin tape scrap rates plus additional costs to dispose the material.

Cevotec receives JEC Innovation Award for Sustainability. © Cevotec

“To improve material utilisation and reduce the overall cost are the reasons why Premium Aerotec teamed up with Cevotec in a project supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research,” continued Michl. “With Samba Prepreg production cells, adjusted for processing ½ inch wide thermoset prepreg tape, we effectively recycle the residual AFP tape. Samba also enables us to manufacture the specific part that Premium Aerotec had in mind: a pressure cap with a complex, double-curved shape and a circumferential flange for rivets so complex that regular fabrics could not be draped to achieve the desired geometry.”

JEC Innovation Award

Designing and manufacturing the OP-box with FPP technology, using the residual AFP tape cut the part’s weight by 70%. The recurring costs could be decreased by 75% while the cost reduction thanks to the repurposing of the material is equalling 88%. For these results the partners Premium Aerotec and Cevotec received the JEC Innovation Award for sustainability in Seoul on 15 November.

“We were definitely proud to be among the twelve winners from eight different countries and to receive this award together with Premium Aerotec,” commented Thorsten Gröne. “The JEC Innovation Awards highlight how composites open up solutions considering the new challenges in terms of efficiency, sustainability and product life-cycle.”

“We recognise that this particular project is of special relevance as it demonstrates innovation not only on the component, but also on the process, effectively combining AFP and FPP technology to increase material efficiency, reduce cost and enable new applications. As it is the only technology able to master the challenges of this component, FPP impressively demonstrates the potential it brings to the aerospace industry for efficiently manufacturing complex fibre lay-ups, now and in the future.”

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