Producing fibre-reinforced plastics entails craftsmanship involving a lot of work by hand. It is labour-intensive and quality is not always consistent. There are also potential health problems and low-quality results when applying the open-mould technique. The significant amount of extra work and materials required are obstacles for transitioning to the closed-mould technique.
Inholland works together with institutions and SMEs in reducing the threshold for automated production of composites and helping composite producers to compete at a higher technical level. The objective is to develop knowledge together with SMEs concerning technical and economical possibilities of automating the vacuum infusion process using a practical approach.
In order to determine the research topics an inventory is being made of the currently applied processes including all relevant parameters and possible automation methods, resulting in a blueprint; the ideal image producing products by pressing a single button.
The first phase showed that process time, product and process complexity and batch sizes have significant influence when considering automation. For many parts of the process automation methods are available. However the processes are not integrated or connected through information exchange.
The next steps are:
These will be achieved by involving the partners, outside companies and educational institutions. This could involve, for instance, developing a demonstrator and new concepts for manipulating materials. Finally, the economic aspects are taken into account.
Date : 2016-10-22
Client Name : Robocompo
Category : Automation
Project link : http://www.robocompo.nl