Thermoplastic composites in large-scale production

Tape stacking cell with high-resolution camera technology

The tape stacking cell was developed by Engel. In order to achieve the shortest possible cycle times here too, it relies on the pick-and-place principle. This means that tapes can be deposited and spot-welded together at three-second intervals. Since the quality of the stack depends largely on the accuracy of the tape positioning, Engel has equipped the stacking cell with a measuring system comprising high-resolution camera technology. The measuring system delivers data that is used for actively intervening in the depositing process, thus guaranteeing the greatest possible depositing accuracy.

Pick-and-place stacking technology with optical image processing offers highly flexible use. The tapes can have almost arbitrary widths and contours. Because the stacks obtain their shape required for the component during stacking, consolidation can be followed by forming and functionalisation in the injection moulding step without the need for intermediate trimming.

Engel is already using this kind of solution for the manufacturing of its own products. The rotation arm of the e-pic robot consists of carbon fibre reinforced tapes.

All future-oriented technologies at a glance

With its decades of experience in injection moulding machine manufacturing and the automation of production processes, Engel brings the key success factors for developing highly efficient processes for the production of innovative lightweight composites for the particularly price-sensitive automotive industry to the table. Since 2012, Engel has combined its own lightweight construction expertise with the know-how of other companies, universities and research institutes at its own Centre for Lightweight Composite Technologies. The interdisciplinary development team there looks into all future-oriented composite technologies. In addition to the processing of fibre-reinforced thermoplastic semi-finished products, this also includes HP-RTM, SMC and reactive processes such as in-situ polymerization (T-RTM). At Composites Europe, Engel's lightweight construction experts will be presenting the broad spectrum of technological possibilities and providing insights into current development projects.

Engel  tape stacking cell

The tape stacking cell developed by Engel uses high-resolution camera technology to produce precise stacks from tape blanks.

Source: Engel
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World’s largest manufacturer of injection moulding machines and, at the same time, one of the world’s leading plastics processing machine manufacturers