Thanks to the FiberForm process, KraussMaffei has brought thermoplastic lightweight construction to a new performance level and successfully established it in series production. At NPE, KraussMaffei is debuting a FiberForm application in combination with swivel plate technology for multi-component injection molding on a GXW 450-2000/1400. "This combination can be used to create completely new visual and haptic component features for thermoplastic composites in a single process. Thanks to the TPE component, the center armrest produced at NPE has functional parts and visible parts with surfaces that are extremely soft and visually appealing, which increases comfort and visual aesthetics in the vehicle interior," says Paul Caprio, President of US subsidiary Krauss-Maffei Corporation in Florence, KY. In turn, the use of the composite sheet increases the rigidity and strength of the component. This means that the reinforcing ribs and component itself are made with thinner walls, which reduces their weight.
FiberForm combines the thermoforming of composite sheets and injection molding in a single process. This process results in fiber-reinforced plastic components that are particularly lightweight yet feature a high level of strength. They are used primarily in vehicle manufacturing. “Our groundbreaking FiberForm system is second to none when it comes to lightweight production using fiber-reinforced plastic components. Our customers appreciate the high quality, reliability and cost-efficiency when manufacturing fiber-reinforced lightweight components in large quantities and fast cycle times," explains Caprio. Intelligent automation solutions and heating technology optimized for the injection molding process support short cycle times of fewer than 60 seconds.
Reliably linked with Plastics 4.0
Industry 4.0, Internet of Things or just the networking of machines and production processes: KraussMaffei is advanced this development under the umbrella term "Plastics 4.0" and presened solutions at NPE that can help customers increase their productivity and efficiency in the long term. This includes for example the KraussMaffei DataXplorer - a system providing a nearly microscopic look at the process, enabling users to respond to unclear fault patterns. Depending on the machine's equipment, it displays up to 500 high-resolution signal paths, visualizes the signal paths, and makes them available for evaluation. Visitors at NPE can use the FiberForm application to experience this system for themselves. A QR code on the component gives them direct access to the specific production parameters, for example the curves for heating the organic sheets or the injection pressure.