Apmann, H., Hemmen, A., and Herkt, M., "Automatic Handling of Carbon Fiber Preforms for CFRP Parts in Aerospace," SAE Technical Paper 2012-01-1864, 2012, doi:10.4271/2012-01-1864.
Premium AEROTEC has developed several concepts for an automated process chain in order to manufacture CFRP parts by means of an RTM process. The presented process is robot assisted and the degree of automation can be even increased by the use of sensors.In this paper the authors will present the developed steps of the above mentioned process.The decollating of single layers of a 20 layer stack at the cutting table has been put into practice successfully. After this first process step the layers can be preformed automatically in a preform tool by means of a robot assisted handling device. Then the RTM tool can be loaded. The parts can be cured in a fast RTM process which is vital to cope with the high production rates demanded by the automotive industry. In a final process step the finishing of the outer outline of the cured CFRP part is presented. Special attention will be paid to the automated handling between the process steps of the preform or the CRFP part respectively in consideration of quality and reproducibility.