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TAILORED THERMOPLASTIC PREFORMING WITH CONTINUOUSLY AUTOMATED CUTTING AND ROBOTIC PICK AND PLACE PROCESSES OF VARIOUS SEMI-FINISHED GOODS

By Michael Kühnel, Alfons Schuster, Christian Rähtz and Michael Kupke

Abstract

Today’s automated production lines for parts of carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTP) are mostly designed for one special part or application. Changing part geometry or material would lead to a complete re-design of the whole process chain. Here comes the flexible and highly automated the DLR process into game: A continuously automated production line “from fabric delivery to the machined and quality inspected part – ready for shipment”. The paper and presentation focus on the first half of this process chain: “from fabric delivery to the tailored preform – ready for consolidation”. The utilized fabrics can be rolled goods like uni-directional (UD) tapes, non-crimp fabrics (NCF), wovens, fleeces and foils or even sheet goods like consolidated organo sheets. The rolled goods are automatically stored, fed and cut on the DLR’s cutting center (see picture 1). After cutting the cut-pieces are automatically picked and stored in a mobile drawer storage system, from where they are automatically supplied to a robot cell. A robotic pick and place process with a cut-piece detection camera, material friendly vacuum gripping and ultrasonic fixation units then detects, grips, stacks and fixates the cut-pieces to point-welded stacks ready for consolidation with e.g. thermoforming or vacuum consolidation

Topics: Automatisierung und Qualitätssicherung in der Produktionstechnologie
Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:elib.dlr.de:106031
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