Conbility GmbH offers the worldwide first table-based tape placement machine for producing fully consolidated tailored blanks using laser heating. | NewsLIGHT #15 | Conbility
Tailored blanks made of thermoplastic tapes are a key-technology to reduce production costs for continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastics. Flat blanks are produced by the assembly of tape cuts and then the blanks thermoformed. To achieve a repeatable forming and a fast, homogeneous heating of the blanks, a consolidation of the single layers of the blanks is necessary. Like Conbility´s 3D tape placement heads, the new 2D-placement machine uses laser radiation to directly weld the tapes together. By that, the blanks can be directly processed further in classical stamp forming or in one-shot forming/overmoulding processes.
Fig.: 3-spool production machine for laser-assisted in-situ consolidation of thermoplastic composite blanks
The characteristics of the new machine are:
- Plug&Produce Production Machine for manufacturing tailored composite blanks by automated thermoplastic tape laying
- Small footprint of 5 x 2.5 x 2.5 m3 with integrated laser-safety, no additional safety measures necessary
- Flexible arrange- and reconfigurable on the shop-floor by low weight of 3.2 t, moveable by forklift
- Integrable into fully automated production lines by automated unloading mechanism
- Direct further processing of laminates in thermoforming by using in-situ consolidation (no additional, energy-consuming and space-demanding consolidation step needed)
- High cost- and material efficiency by independent cut and add on-the-fly for each tape
- High productivity by consolidation of tapes with up to 1 m/s and simultaneous placement of three tapes in parallel
- Highest standard for the laminate quality by using aerospace proven laser heating
- Prevention of over-heating by closed-loop temperature-control in the process zone
- Flexible adaptable of tape material by exchangeable modules to cover tape widths from 6 to 25 mm, thickness up to 0.3 mm
- Full control and documentation of all relevant process parameters by user-friendly HMI and machine control
The machine is installed in Conbility´s new technical center based in Herzogenrath near Aachen and available for evaluations and job-shop manufacturing of laminates.
Conbility offers also customized machine developments or adaption of the standard machines, according to the customers requirements, to enable the optimum usage of your equipment for your application.