Partners establish project for lightweight design
What has been problematic so far, however, is that the process is not suitable for high-volume-compatible production. In the combined process of reshaping and injection moulding, each step – primarily heating, handling, reshaping, injecting – must be perfectly co-ordinated with one another, with the tool and the handling system playing key roles. Here, development partners can benefit from more than 20 years of experience in back-injection/pressing of flexible materials such as textiles or thermoplastic sheets.
In the context of development partnerships, non-industry specific potential applications shall be investigated by considering the component design that is appropriate for the materials involved. This involves, among other things, the development of an optimal interface coordination with corresponding process control and process documentation. The latter is especially important, particularly with regard to serial production of structural components for the automobile industry.
Under the lead of GK Tech-Center AG, which is also responsible for process development and mould construction, the following Swiss co-operation partners currently participate in the LIPA project: Krelus AG, Oberentfelden, for IR systems; ASE Industrieautomation GmbH, Näfels, for automation and periphery; Kistler Instrumente AG, Winterthur, for manufacturing process control and sensor technology; and Quadrant Plastic Composites AG, Lenzburg, for organic sheet and material development. Furthermore, the project is supported by the German-based partners Krauss Maffei Technologies GmbH, Munich; Kuka Roboter GmbH, Augsburg; and the Institute of Lightweight Engineering and Polymer Technology (ILK) at Dresden University.