Jacob Plastics Group (Wilhelmsdorf, Germany) had video screens at its stand to show off its “innovative and integrative” processes for large-scale production of lightweight automotive structures. Two examples were on display: FIT-Hybrid, an efficient process for fabricating hollow parts (a 2011 JEC Innovation Award winner); and SpriForm, a method for building automotive crash structures by combining, in a continuous process, thermoplastic injection-molded parts with thermoformed parts made from continuously fiber-reinforced thermoplastic to unite the benefits of injection molding. Generally, the company is seeking to combine thermoforming of continuous fiber preforms or blanks with injection molding or gas injection technology in a sequential process that produces complex three-dimensional, fiber-reinforced thermoplastic structural parts, such as seat backs and crash structures.
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