Engel Equips Open Hybrid LabFactory
An Engel v-duo 3600 machine is currently being built for the Open Hybrid LabFactory e.V. association in Wolfsburg at Engel Austria’s large-scale machine plant in St. Valentin, Austria. The machine will support research into functionally integrated composite technologies.
Engel is a founder member and sponsor of the research centre initiated by Volkswagen in 2012 and supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The factory will be operated by the association together with Braunschweig University of Technology. The aim of such wide-ranging collaborative research is to unlock previously inaccessible potential in both market development and technology while speeding up the application of innovative lightweight construction technologies in the mass production of automobiles. With this in mind, the association has defined a number of research projects to commence this autumn at a new research facility that is currently being built. Amongst other things, the new Engel machine is intended for the ProVorPlus project that focuses on functionally integrated process technologies for the pre-assembly of fiber-reinforced plastic/metal hybrids.
With clamping force of 36,000 kN, the Engel v-duo 3600 is the largest machine in its series. One machine in the same clamping force class is installed at BMW’s Landshut factory, where large structural components of fibre-reinforced plastic composites are manufactured using the HP-RTM process.
In its own Center for Lightweight Composite Technologies in Austria, too, ENGEL intensively deals with innovative technologies for lightweight automotive construction."One important precondition for successful FRP projects is that the materials, design and production process mesh in the best possible way. This can only work if enterprises bundle their expertise along the value chain. Composite engineering needs 'composite' development", stresses Peter Egger, Director of Engel Center for Lightweight Composite Technologies. “That belief underpins our commitment to the Open Hybrid LabFactory association.”
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