Published On: Tue, Sep 27th, 2016

IKV at K 2016: Industry 4.0

The Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV) in Industry and the Skilled Crafts at RWTH Aachen University will again be represented at the K in Düsseldorf from October 19 – 26, 2016 with its own stand in Hall 14/C 16. With the aid of two production cells, the Institute’s main research topics, namely lightweight construction, additive manufacturing, Industry 4.0 and integrative plastics technology will be demonstrated live.

plastics technology

IKV at K 2016: Industry 4.0

With a total of 13 partners from different areas of the plastics industry, IKV will demonstrate the implementation of Industry 4.0 in plastics processing with the aid of a production cell for the customised production of foamed, continuous fibre-reinforced plastic hybrid parts. The entire production is networked in line with the principle of Industry 4.0 and allows continuous documentation from the input of the original order, via the production data to the subsequent quality assurance, which can be viewed by the respective customer.

The demonstrator part in this project is a bicycle sports saddle that can be locally reinforced from one shot to the next depending on the customer’s requirements. The saddle consists of a moulded LGF-PP foam and is optionally supplemented by UD laminates on the top and underneath. The ProFoam technology used in the foam injection moulding process allows gentle, stress-free processing of the long glass fibre-reinforced polypropylene. This makes it possible to attain large residual fibre lengths in the part.

Furthermore, it is shown with the aid of the demonstrator how thermoplastic continuous fibre-reinforced laminates can be integrated fully automatically into the reproducible injection moulding process. This approach allows the weight-specific mechanical properties of FRP materials to be combined with the automation potential of the injection moulding process. The economical use of the individually acting reinforcing inserts in the injection moulding process will thus be demonstrated for the first time.

Visitors to the exhibition can actively control the production process and select a personalised part from the variants, and then have it made. The production parameters of shot volume, part thickness and type of fibre reinforcement can be varied from one shot to another.

The project will be demonstrated on the up-and-running machine on the IKV stand in Hall 14/C16. The partners involved in the project are Arburg, ASS, Georg Kaufmann Formenbau, gwk, Hasco, HRS flow, IOS, Kistler, Krelus, Motan, Sabic, Sensopart and Stäubli.