CW Blog

For me, the major themes at JEC were industrialization, thermoplastics and a dramatic increase in technologies and touted capability for Industry 4.0 production. Though I expect to blog more fully and/or publish print articles about the following companies in the near future, here is my tour of highlights from the 2017 JEC World exhibit floor:

Automated Preforming at 10-15 seconds per layer
I first encountered FILL Machine Engineering (Gurten, Austria) when touring nearby FACC (Ried im Innkreis, see my 2014 article). When I asked who supplied all of the automated NDT systems for composites, my tour guide answered, “You don’t know FILL?” I do now. FILL is a family-owned company with 715 employees, a turnover of app. 145 million € and additional facilities in Shanghai, China and Puebla, Mexico. It designs and supplies automated systems for production in metals, wood and plastics, the latter including industrial-scale production lines for composites, polyurethane and particle foam. In composites, FILL has produced units for handling of reinforcements and preforming, molding, machining and testing including NDT.  

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InFactory Solutions (Taufkirchen, Germany) is an Airbus subsidiary created in 2016 to deliver automated, connected and intelligent systems for manufacturing. It offers sensor systems, data analytics and engineering consulting services mainly for composites production.

Its vision is that each step in a composites production process will be fully monitored and connected to a central data base that is analyzing for efficiency and may also optimize and adapt the production according to evolving needs.

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JEC World 2017 (March 14-16, Paris, France) was, by almost any measure, the biggest and busiest JEC event yet, and exhibitors came with much to show the world of composites about innovation in materials, equipment and technology. CompositesWorld was there for all three days, and senior editors Sara Black and Ginger Gardiner, along with myself, tried to capture as much as we could about what was new, interesting and noteworthy. Below is my coverage, and you can find Sara’s and Ginger’s here:

The automotive end market, in many ways, dominated the show. Material and equipment suppliers are working hard to make it difficult for automotive OEMs to overlook the capabilities of composite materials. Faster-curing resins and optimized manufacturing processes introduced at the show are clearly designed to meet the automotive industry’s high-volume, high-repeatability needs.

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It was a long three days – but a good three days at JEC World 2017. Check out the below video report where CW’s Jeff Sloan gives an update from the last day of the show. (And be sure to watch our other JEC World video reports, Watch: JEC World 2017 Day 1 Show Report and JEC World 2017: Day 2 Video Report).

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Automotive news took center stage during day two of JEC World 2017. Watch below for a video recap.  

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