For Engel, this marks their third consecutive exhibit at the JEC show. "This trade fair is one of the most important networking events worldwide for the composites industry," emphasizes Peter Egger, Director of the Engel Center for Lightweight Composite Technologies in St. Valentin, Austria. "We meet in Paris with representatives of OEMs and processors as well as suppliers and can therefore generate interesting projects."
As an injection moulding machine manufacturer with great expertise in automation and system solutions, Engel provides important factors for the successful economical fabrication of FRP components in large batch numbers, and therefore established its own center for the interdisciplinary development of new composites processing technologies in 2012. Together with its customers and development partners from the industry and university research institutes, Engel has already set many milestones in automotive lightweight design in past years and has long become established as a preferred supplier for automobile companies and their international suppliers.
Automation and heating system included"Injection moulding applications in automobile manufacturing have always been subject to a particularly high pressure concerning efficiency," as Egger points out. "Based on our decades of experience in this industry, we have developed the Engel v-duo machine series for processing composite materials. The result is a very compact, energy-efficient machine that allows for particularly cost-effective fabrication concepts." The vertical clamping unit can be accessed from all four sides instead of just two, which speeds up maintenance work and facilitates automation because handling devices can be integrated without taking up much space and have direct and unobstructed access to the mould area. The presses are delivered as desired either with or without injection unit. Thus their capacity can be utilized flexibly.
When Engel supplies both the machine and the robot, both components of the manufacturing cell access a common database and can coordinate their movement sequences, thus increasing the overall efficiency and also reducing the cycle times in many applications. The infrared-oven can also be completely integrated into the control unit of the machine and thus be operated with its consistent logic via the display on the machine. The heating system serves to heat semi-finished materials such as thermoplastic fabric and is one of the latest products that Engel has developed for processing fibre-reinforced composite materials and manufactures itself. Thanks to modern infrared technology, the Engel IR-ovens can perform quick heating processes very efficiently. As a quality-relevant parameter, the temperature is regulated and fully documented using contactless pyrometers.