Research project focused on production plants for heavy-duty hybrid components

To begin the project, twelve partners from companies and institutions met in Eppingen, Germany at the headquarters of Dieffenbacher, the head of the consortium. The goal is the joint development of a modular and configurable production plant for the manufacture of hybrid components. The intention is to build a reference plant by 2018.

The goal of the "MoPaHyb" project is to make production of hybrid components more economical by means of configuring individual value-adding processing modules and connecting handling modules in a flexible manner.

The research project is principally concerned with the development of new approaches for controlling a modular production line, from the transfer of virtual product, material and process data, generation of NC planning records and interface communication with the modules, to the recognition of quality characteristics and component-specific process parameters. For the purposes of Industry 4.0, the intention is to build a versatile production plant for the manufacture of hybrid components that can be easily reconfigured for new combinations of materials, work steps or changes to the process chain. The first plant is planned to start operation by September 2018.

The research of the MoPaHyb group also encompasses "intrinsic hybridization". These innovative materials are intended to combine unidirectional continuous-fiber-reinforced tapes (in connection with short or long-fiber-reinforced plastic) with metal-inlay and reinforcement parts. The tape layup process makes it possible to realize highly flexible , component-specific layer structures in an additive manufacturing process in accordance with product data. These tape structures—which correspond closely to the final contour—are shaped and connected to metal and fiber composite materials to form the final component in a single process step.

The new method will benefit the automotive sector, as well as the metal and plastic processing industry. This method may also be used in other sectors, such as the aerospace industry, or energy and medical technology.

Progress in the area of intrinsic hybridization and the wide range of applications reduces manufacturing costs and increases the marketability of hybrid components. This makes further functional integration possible and offers many opportunities. A versatile system will increase the useful life of plants and significantly reduce costs associated with converting plants to accommodate the production of new components. This is extremely important in a dynamic market environment with ever shorter product life cycles and an increasing number of derivatives and component variety. This means that the impact of investing in high-quality production technology can be calculated and becomes more appealing from an economic perspective.

About MoPaHyb

MoPaHyb is a research project focused on the development of a modular production plant for the manufacture of heavy-duty hybrid components (In German, "modularen Produktionsanlage zur Herstellung hochbelastbarer Hybridbauteile"). The research group is a collaboration between partners from the technology industry, with the consortium steered by Dieffenbacher GmbH Maschinen- und Anlagebau. The project partners are: A. Raymond GmbH & Co. KG, Arburg GmbH + Co KG, Dr. h.c. Porsche AG, the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology, GK Concept GmbH, Johnson Controls GmbH, J. Schmalz GmbH, Siemens AG, Trumpf GmbH & Co. KG, Vitronic Dr.-Ing. Stein Bildverarbeitungssysteme GmbH., the Forum on Composite Technology for the Verband Deutscher Machinen- und Anlagenbau (VDMA — German Engineering Federation) and the wbk Institut für Produktionstechnik des Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT — wbk Institute of Production Technology of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology). This research and development project is funded by the Bundesministeriums für Bildung und Forschung (BMBF — German Federal Ministry of Education and Research) and supervised by Projektträger Karlsruhe (PTKA — Karlsruhe Project Management Agency). The research project will run for three years in total.

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