Multi-head positioner
Mul­ti-head po­si­tion­er
Image 1/5, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Multi-head positioner

Si­mul­ta­ne­ous pro­duc­tion of a com­po­nent with sev­er­al place­ment de­vices.
Robot-based manufacturing units
Robot-based man­u­fac­tur­ing units
Image 2/5, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Robot-based manufacturing units

Au­to­mat­ed tape place­ment (left) and au­to­mat­ed fi­bre place­ment (right) tech­no­lo­gies.
Multi-head positioner
Mul­ti-head po­si­tion­er
Image 3/5, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Multi-head positioner

Mul­ti-head po­si­tion­er. Si­mul­ta­ne­ous pro­duc­tion of a com­po­nent with sev­er­al place­ment de­vices.
GroFi® research facility at the DLR site in Stade
GroFi® re­search fa­cil­i­ty at the DLR site in Stade
Image 4/5, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

GroFi® research facility at the DLR site in Stade

The large-scale GroFi® re­search fa­cil­i­ty is used for the au­to­mat­ed pro­duc­tion of large fi­bre-com­pos­ite com­po­nents us­ing co­or­di­nat­ed robots.
Tape laying tests
Tape lay­ing tests
Image 5/5, Credit: DLR (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Tape laying tests

Tests with au­to­mat­ed tape lay­ing tech­nol­o­gy and glass-fi­bre ma­te­ri­al.

The large-scale GroFi® facility is based at the German Aerospace Center (DLR) Center for Lightweight-Production-Technology in Stade. The facility is focused on coordinated robotics and the automated production of large fibre-composite components. The simultaneous use of several robotic units is to develop production technologies for the manufacturing of large-scale, highly integrated components using automated fibre-placement processes. In doing so, new and innovative approaches are being taken that will enable optimised, reproducible and, at the same time, cost-effective manufacturing.

Robots work on large-scale components made of fibre-composite materials

With the help of the GroFi® fibre placement and tape laying system, the material required for the processing step involving fibre placement and preform production can be analysed and validated under conditions similar to those seen in industry. In addition to the testing of materials – such as epoxy prepreg, thermoplastic, dry fibres, fibre-metal laminates and others – the facility enables new technologies and processes to be developed. Such technologies can be assessed through the simulation and demonstration of manufacturing processes with predefined requirements (for example, production rate, component quality and cost).

The simultaneous use of several robot units can drastically reduce production times, as well as the production facility’s workload; additionally, this approach allows a range of different materials and technologies to be used for demand-oriented component production.

The applications of the facility include the development of self-regulating processes, which fulfil the requirements of Industry 4.0. In such processes, design is based on precise technology and process simulation, where information relevant to component manufacturing is collected digitally and analysed using intelligent plant control systems. In addition, adaptive and corrective measures are introduced if required. Potential industry users include component manufacturers, system suppliers and material manufacturers.

Contact
  • Christian Krombholz
    Strate­gi­cal Ma­chine Of­fi­cer
    Ger­man Aerospace Cen­ter (DLR)
    Cen­ter for Lightweight Pro­duc­tion Tech­nol­o­gy (ZLP)
    Com­pos­ite Pro­cess Tech­nolo­gies
    Telephone: +49 531 295-3712
    Fax: +49 531 295-3702
    Ottenbecker Damm 12
    21684 Stade
    Contact

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