Engel, Fill develop automated cell for thermoplastic composites
Source | Engel
Engel Austria (Schwertberg, Austria) and its partner Fill (Gurten, Austria) have announced the development of a production line for the manufacture of thermoplastic composite blanks. To efficiently make the semi-finished products from both glass fiber and carbon fiber-reinforced tapes with a thermoplastic matrix, Engel combined a tape-laying cell with a consolidation unit in an automated production line. Engel says the integrated process can produce fit-for-purpose blanks with 15-30 tapes in 1-minute intervals, for high-volume, cost-effective production.
To achieve the shortest possible cycle times, the tape-laying cell uses a pick-and-place approach. The individual tapes are picked up, visually checked, placed with closed-loop control and then spot-welded together. Since the quality of the resulting stack largely depends on the accuracy of tape positioning, the cell is equipped with a measuring system that uses high-resolution camera technology and two high-speed robots.
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