The ComMUnion project enables productive and cost effective manufacturing of 3D metal / continuous fibre reinforced thermoplastics (CFRTP) multi-material components. Automatic tape placement of CFRTP with controlled laser-assisted heating, high-speed laser texturing and cleaning, on-line monitoring and inspection, and computational multi-scale modelling will be combined in a multi-stage robot solution for joining to provide the greatest performance joints. Tools for quality diagnosis and decision support will be also implemented under a cognitive approach.
Fraunhofer IPT has a huge experience in the development of Automated Tape-Laying and Fibre Placement (ATL/AFP) equipment for composite lay-up. Within the ComMUnion project, Fraunhofer IPT implements newest laser technology into automated production equipment for the manufacturing of multi-material-components. Together with newly developed and enhanced high-performance process control systems, Fraunhofer IPT offers highly flexible production equipment for ATL and AFP processes.
The major goal of ComMUnion is to develop a novel solution for manufacturing metal reinforced-CFRTP multi-material components by addressing all the relevant value chain. A multi-stage advanced joining process will be developed. This joining process will combine state-of the art automatic placement of CFRTP tapes with controlled laser-assisted heating, high-speed laser texturing and cleaning of metallic surface, and on-line monitoring and inspection for the manufacturing of new complex 3D components with enhanced properties. ComMUnion will rely on a robot-based approach that also enables on-line inspection for layer-to-layer self-adjustment of the process. Moreover, tools for multi-scale modelling, parametric offline programming, quality diagnosis and decision support will be developed under a cognitive approach to ensure interoperability and usability.