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Control of a thermoplastic tape winding process with optical in-line metrology

: Schmitt, R.; Witte, A.

Proceedings in manufacturing systems 7 (2012), No.3, pp.125-130
ISSN: 2067-9238
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IPT ()

The energy-efficient production of fiber reinforced plastics allow the usage of lightweight products for various applications in future. Structures made of carbon fibers convince through 70% lower weights in comparison to products made of steel or aluminum and can achieve better mechanical and chemical properties at the same time. Carbon fibers are therefore very attractive for automotive applications and can be used to reduce the weight of vehicles and consequently their fuel consumption.
The thermoplastic tape winding process is an energy-efficient technique for the production of fiber reinforced plastics. The main disadvantage of this process in comparison to established thermosetting winding processes is the missing quality assurance. Products for safety critical applications like pressure vessels require high process stabilities which are not obtainable without any quality assurance provisions.
The process integration of innovative metrology systems enables the industry to use thermoplastic tape winding for safety critical products. One of the main quality weaknesses of the manufacturing process is the exact positioning of the tapes. To increase the tape positioning accuracy, a metrology based control system has to be implemented. As the manufacturing process is using robots as machine tools the control systems needs to be adapted to robot specific requirements. Within this paper we present a system which has been developed to analyze and evaluate the use of optical metrology to control the robot based tape winding process.