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    Automated Preforming

    Preforming, particularly of dry textile fabric or other semi-finished products, is key technology in the production process of continuous-fiber-reinforced plastic components by means of the RTM process (Resin Transfer Molding). We enable our customers to produce complex 3D component contours with short cycle times and reproducible preform quality with our robust production equipment.

    With our innovative machine technology, we are setting new standards in producing dry fiber or prepreg material based products. The transportation unit, adapted to the product specific cutting geometry, allows tension-free feeding of the fabric to the mold or an intermediate heating station. Alternatively, the material can be fed directly onto the lower tool outside the pressing unit by means of a shuttle table.

    The core of the machine consists of the draping tool, which is opened and closed by the pressing unit. The lower part of the mold is rigid, whereas the upper part consists of segmented draping stamps, thus allowing a sequential forming of the semi-finished material. Handling units mounted in the working area of the pressing station coordinate the material transfer from the transport device onto the draping tool. Simultaneously to the closing of the draping tool, the handling units can induce local membrane tension to influence the draping process positively. In an integral production process, it is possible to introduce additional component parts such as reinforcing elements or core materials for sandwich constructions.

    Heated draping tools allow both, the processing of thermoplastic and reactive binder systems in order to pre-consolidate the preform. Auxiliary mold functions, if necessary, such as local clamping elements or guided elements are integrated to the mold base plate.

    The movement of each individual draping stamp for closing the tool is realized by a servo-electric drive that can be positioned in an accurate repeatable manner. For a higher efficiency, the draping tools are integrated in a modular system. Compared to single tools, this reduces design costs considerably and enables the recycling of existing tooling.

    The customized and component specific process can be programmed comfortably with the core control unit. A simulation-based system and process pre-engineering enables efficient and economic design and reduces installation and commissioning time of the machines and tools.

    The following additional features are available

    • Production of several parts in one machine by integration of process stations
    • Preforming with low pressure to avoid fabric damage
    • Thermoplastic or reactive binder usage
    • Product changes require only exchange of stamps and other parts with direct contact to the product
    • Added value through robot-based integration of reinforcements, cores o.a. if required by the product

    Key parameters are

    MACHINE SIZE 8 m x 3 m TABLE SIZE 1,200 x 2,000 mm TOOL WEIGHT max 3.5 t HANDLING UNITS up to 6 units per table

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