Technical textiles offer great market potential - for example in lightweight construction with fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP). In the production of FRP structural components, the reproducible handling of textile semi-finished products has a major influence on the entire manufacturing process and thus on the achievable product quality. Classic gripper solutions usually consist of vacuum- or needle-based systems. These reach their limits wherever sensitive, flexible and air-permeable semi-finished products with a low weight per unit area need to be precisely picked up, moved and deposited.
Automated handling of FRP and technical textiles
The Fraunhofer IPT automates the handling of dry, impregnated as well as cured fiber composite semi-finished products and technical textiles with new solutions. We develop certified handling solutions ranging from process control and system interfaces to special kinematics and various gripper technologies that enable, for example, automated handling of fiber composites, heated organosheets and textiles. Rigid and flexible electroadhesive grippers are one example.
Handling of FRP semi-finished products by electroadhesion
With the help of electrostatic charging, the FRP semi-finished products are picked up and deposited without distortion. Compared to manual handling, the automated process ensures greater reproducibility in the processing of organic sheets and ensures that tight tolerances can be maintained. At the same time, electroadhesion as a gripper solution is cost-effective and energy-efficient. With a flexible gripper structure, handling is also successful in and on three-dimensional geometries. Even stacked gripped goods can be picked up and deposited selectively, easily and silently thanks to a segmented gripper surface.
Our services at a glance
- Consulting for the automation of FRP processing operations
- Development of adapted grippers for different process environments
- Integration of new handling processes and systems into existing plants
- Process studies for FRP handling and for handling other textile materials