Process live

"Process live" special area shows the value-added chain from the roll material to the finished layer structure



Focus on process technology for the aerospace and automotive supplier industries

From 6 to 8 November, the new Process Live space at COMPOSITES EUROPE in Stuttgart will put a clear focus on processing and manufacturing. The aim: to turn innovative manufacturing processes in the composite industry into real, tangible experiences. The joint exhibition space will feature machinery and plant manufacturers showcasing their technologies in live interaction – and will include the Swiss cutting specialists GUNNAR. Working together with the composites automation experts AIRBORNE (Netherlands) and the gripping system suppliers SCHMALZ (Germany), GUNNAR will be presenting a processing system which illustrates the much closer collaboration between processors involved in the process chain. Thomas Schwarz, Marketing Director at GUNNAR, explains what’s so special about their presentation.

Mr Schwarz, in November GUNNAR joined forces with some well-known partners as one of the first exhibitors in the new Process Live space at COMPOSITES EUROPE. So what exciting things will be happening at your stand?

It’s the first time ever that the entire value chain will be shown in a combined manufacturing cell, all the way from the rolled material to the finished layered product, a fibre composite component.

Who will be involved, and how do your technologies interact with one another?

The three technology partners AIRBORNE, GUNNAR and SCHMALZ will provide the main components of the entire manufacturing cell. The relevant hardware components, which will efficiently interact at certain predefined points, will be linked together by an overarching logic, created by the software. A fully integrated automatic nesting algorithm, enhanced to cover the requirements of the process, will control the layering – complete with savings in raw material.

Which industries will find this process chain particularly attractive?

Primarily, we are targeting businesses who need high volume throughput, good product quality and extremely reliable processes. Typically, though not exclusively, such projects will be of interest to the aerospace and automotive supplier industries.

Why is it so important to show processes live at the trade fair?

It’s a highly complex job to visualise new products and processes. A trade fair makes it possible for visitors to get a direct touch-and-feel experience of such a process. And this is where we can see an overlap between the goals of COMPOSITES EUROPE and the aspirations of the exhibition team at GUNNAR: we want to turn innovative manufacturing processes in the composite industry into real, tangible experiences.

Concatenation of top-level technologies

AIRBORNE, the partner for process automation in composites, and supplier of robotic cells for sorting and kitting:

“The combination and integration of different manufacturing stages in an automated and digitally controlled process is one of the greatest challenges. It will dictate the next stages in the evolution of the composites industry. We are recognised technology leaders in highly developed composites, and we specialise in the automation and digital manufacturing of composites for the aerospace, automotive, marine, oil, gas and consumer electronics industries.”
Pieter Broos, Business Development Manager at AIRBORNE“

SCHMALZ, partners in gripping equipment and suppliers of vacuum matrix grippers:

“We are pleased to be part of this joint presentation, as this may be a breakthrough in the automated manufacturing of composite parts – something which is only possible with a team where everybody is very much involved, and with unique, forward-looking gripper technology. Schmalz offers intelligent gripping solutions and systems with integrated process control. Our systems also make it possible to collect and process process-relevant data. That's why this approach fits in perfectly with our "plug-and-work" strategy. Here technical solutions are developed with direct potential for integration in industry 4.0.”
Markus Schmider, Industry Segment Management Composites at J. Schmalz GmbH".

GUNNAR, partners in automated cutting equipment and suppliers of a digital cutting table:

“This is a visionary project, as the entire first part of the process chain in the manufacturing of composite parts is mapped within a fully automated cell. Our consortium of industry experts condenses the entire value chain into a single cell, all the way from the rolled material to the finished layered product. It’s an excellent way to boost efficiency, improve quality and save raw material. Moreover, it features a highly modular and flexibly automated cutting table.
Thomas Schwarz, Marketing Director at GUNNAR AG