Pioneering and Safe-
FRIMO at FAKUMA 2015
10 / 2015 - When FAKUMA turns Friedrichshafen into the meeting point for the European plastics industry from October 13 – 17, the FRIMO Group will once again be unveiling its latest developments in the areas of plastics joining, thermoforming, trimming technology, PU processing and composites (Hall A1, Stand 1334).
Plastics joining: Infrared welding for door panels
In line with the motto “pioneering and safe”, FRIMO is showcasing welding of door panels using infrared technology on an IR-V-ECO-800 system as one of the highlights of the trade fair. Instead of riveting the individual parts, such as the frame, door pocket and various inserts and handles to make a complete door module, FRIMO is opting in future for line welding applications using infrared technology, which avoids distortion on the face side and simultaneously results in the highest possible strength.
The system to be exhibited at the fair is the economical all-rounder from the standardized FRIMO JoinLine IR series, the ideal entry-level model for the integration of infrared welding as a new technology into production processes. Typical applications include welding containers, lids, loudspeaker boxes or intake manifolds. “High-performance polyamides used in components in the engine compartment are particularly suited for use of infrared welding with this machine,” adds Detlev Böl, Head of the Plastics Joining business field within the FRIMO group.
FRIMO uses an enhanced image processing system with intelligent infrared cameras for quality assurance that is in line with the customer’s project and quality specifications. In addition to the actual recording of the thermal images, the entire spectrum of image processing and analytical processes takes place in the camera itself, so that there is no need for an additional computer with software. The cameras communicate directly with the PLC of the welding machine via Ethernet. The thermal images are displayed directly on the control panel of the machine and for the first time can be sent straight to the parent control system with the process dataset for quality documentation.
In addition the machine has been equipped with newly developed communication interfaces from system to system, which are one of the topics to be discussed at the FRIMO booth. During the FAKUMA an iPad will be the interface between machine and operator. Visitors can operate the machine and see the analysis and evaluation of the processing parameters, temperature, pressure and time profiles via the iPad. Maintenance support is also digitally provided and if needed a remote service can be executed directly by the FRIMO specialists.
Thermoforming: Four in one - the FRIMO Multi-Purpose Machine
FRIMO is unveiling a new solution in the field of thermoforming, lamination and edge folding: a machine that brings together up to four technologies. The multi-purpose machine is an attractive alternative in the context of flexible production, an area that is gaining in importance because of the increasing range of variants. Where, until now, separate machines have been required for vacuum lamination, press lamination, groove lamination and edge folding, these surface-finishing processes can now be carried out with a single system – the FRIMO MPM. A fully automatic tool change system delivers extraordinary flexibility and very short tool changing times.
Flexible cutting / punching:
Highly automated applications in the flexible FRIMO Cutting Center
The optimal trimming technology must be chosen in accordance with a whole series of factors to be defined, such as component geometry, materials, production environment, process, cycle time required and quality. Punching, milling, water-jet and blade cutting are used depending on the product and the type of cut required, and their suitability varies. For complex applications, such as trimming instrument panels, a combination of several procedures is the best solution.
By interlinking punching and milling operations with a flexible cutting center the advantages of both cutting processes are combined in one production system. For punching, these include the high level of productivity and automation and the precision and repeatability of the process. With milling, the component can be machined on both sides and modifications to the cutting line/angle can be made at any time.
Once trimming masters and milling simulations have been set up, the Cutting Center is ready for a wide range of punching and milling operations. The system layouts depend on the application. Assembly and removal can be carried out fully automatically by handling robots. The punching operation is carried out in the FRIMO hydraulic press or an EcoCut punching machine; a milling cell is integrated for partly trimming, processing of variants and airbag weakening. The key advantage is the central control for the entire system. This covers all of the hardware and software planning for the interfaces within the trimming system and the customer’s higher-level control systems (PDA; traceability systems). Linking the technologies produces the best possible trimming results with short cycle times (< 40 sec. possible) within a minimal floor space. As a result, high volumes can be achieved with high system availability and process reliability.
PU processing: The sealing system of the future
FRIMO has developed a new sealing system for foam molds that offers a range of persuasive benefits relating to handling, maintenance and costs. The core of the new sealing system for foam molds is an inflatable sealing end piece. This new, flexible end piece is itself charged with compressed air and therefore achieves the required lifting movement and contact pressure between skin and carrier. As it has the same dimensions as the roll-up end piece, it can be used immediately as a replacement on existing foam molds without modifications.
This does away with the disadvantages of traditional sealing systems, in which the hose had to be rolled up with a special set of tongs. In the new system the hose does not have to be rolled up, as the end of the hose can simply be fed into the hole and assembly virtually takes care of itself. Faults such as leaks or inadequate functioning of the supply air if the length of the roll-up is not correct are therefore no longer possible. Material fatigue and the resulting failure of the seals, e.g. because of expansion of the hose in the fold-back area, are also things of the past.
Quick changeover, within a cycle if necessary, can be achieved without difficulty, as the correct hose length simply has to be set. The system is very robust as it functions with no moving parts and no internal sealing elements. The seal expands over its whole length without interruption and ensures an outstanding sealing effect. It also shrinks back safely to its original size. The use of silicon in itself ensures that there is little foam adhesion. Even in steep contour areas, use of the new end piece is advantageous as it does not protrude over the clamping edge. Various designs, e.g. with supply air function, a short model without supply air function and even a T-piece for use as a center connection with two short end pieces, are in development and will be available in future. The system, which has a patent pending, has already been implemented successfully in various customer projects.
Composites: One shot hybrid technology
In the field of system solutions for large-series processing of composites, FRIMO offers its customers tailored tools, machines and systems as individual or complete solutions from a single source. This includes manufacturing solutions for composites made from all common reinforcement materials in conjunction with thermoplastic and duromeric matrix systems.
By combining forming and back-injection into one step, with the so-called organo sheet injection (OSI) method, FRIMO has for some time been offering a process that helps to accelerate the manufacturing process of hybrid components and make design more economical. In this process, the edge areas of components have presented a particular challenge until now. With the extension of this process, components made from semi-formed fiber materials or organic sheets can now be formed, trimmed, back-injected and have the trimmed trailing edge overmolded, all in one process step.
Sandwich lightweight construction with functional surface by FRIMO wins the SPE Innovation Award 2015 Automotive Body Exterior
The market demands for fiber composite parts are various: there is a need to manufacture large-surface components in short cycle times with manageable investments. The general demand for weight reduction is also underpinned by legal framework conditions and provisions in the direction of E-mobility. Intelligent processes and materials for the large-scale serial manufacture of light constructional components are in demand. The polyurethane matrix material implemented for Street Shark has a low exothermic reaction and enables a process with low internal pressure during treatment, allowing for the use of standard equipment. At the same time, intelligent sandwich construction allows for weight reduction and an increase in the stiffness of the component. Furthermore, because of its low clamping force it is possible to work with ceramic tools, which allow the detailed outlining of structures to be performed through off-tool production.
For this, the hardtop and engine hood were transformed with a bionic surface in a sandwich method of construction and the resulting advantages with respect to weight and flow resistance have already been proven. Just touching the surface you can feel the fine scale structure which was modeled after real sharks. The Street Shark 3.0 has already proven its aerodynamic advantage in independent wind tunnel tests. This functional solution convinced the jury in the Body Exterior category. The award went to FRIMO. For this project too, RÜHL PUROMER, Dstyle, Eschmann and Huntsman participated as project partners. In a next step, the self-healing effect, for which RÜHL PUROMER won the Innovation Award in the Body Interior category, was also applied to the exterior area, with the aim of achieving a symbiosis between interior and exterior with regard to “natural” sports performance and dynamics - Street Shark 4.0.
Photos - Photos on request
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