KraussMaffei wins the JEC Award 2018
Award for FiberForm technology

KraussMaffei together with partners of the MAI Hiras+Handle project received the renowned JEC Innovation Award 2018 in Paris. The award was being presented in recognition of a modular system for manufacturing a rear-wheel swinging arm for motorcycles with carbon-fiber reinforcement and a complex shape.

Text Petra Rehmet  Photos KraussMaffei

The major benefit of the new motorcycle swing arm lies in its flexibility. Thanks to the modular concept, the mechanical properties of the component can be customized and expanded as needed. In comparison to metal-based solutions, the composite variant also features a lower weight while keeping manufacturing costs competitive.

Proud winners at the JEC 2018 (from left):
Proud winners at the JEC 2018 (from left):
Dr. Richard Söhnchen (Managing Partner for Automation at W+R GmbH), Dr. Joachim Starke (Light-weight Innovations at BMW Group) and Stefan Schierl (Technology Development at KraussMaffei)

In the scope of the MAI Hiras+Handle project funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research, KraussMaffei took over the development and design for the appropriate machine and process technology. Due to the requirements for short cycle times, low weight and high functional integration, FiberForm technology was selected for the project. The process developed by KraussMaffei combines composite sheet thermoforming and injection molding into one process. The result: components that are outstandingly lightweight and feature high strength at the same time. The motorcycle rear-wheel swinging arm was manufactured on an MX 1600-1200 FiberForm injection molding machine at KraussMaffei's TechCenter in Munich. This is also where preliminary tests were run. The challenging task of handling the composite sheets was entrusted to a LRX 500 linear robot from KraussMaffei.

Project partners for MAI Hiras+Handle include BMW AG (project management), Edag Engineering GmbH, Christian Karl Siebenwurst GmbH & Co. KG, Chair of Carbon Composites at the Technical University of Munich, Automation W + R GmbH and Fraunhofer IGCV.

Champions of the composite industry

By presenting the JEC Innovation Award, the JEC Group recognizes innovations in the composite material industry every year. In 1998, the first award was created to promote and recognize the top companies within the sector. The selection is based on criteria such as involvement of innovation partners along the value chain, the technical character of the innovation and its commercial applications. The JEC Innovation Award is conferred yearly as part of the JEC Show World in Paris.

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Stefan Schierl

Technology Development