Composites Europe 2012 - Electrostatic gripper automates handling of carbon fiber materials
The Fraunhofer IPT is presenting an automated, highly flexible electrostatic gripper system which is capable of lifting semi-finished textile products made of carbon fibers and other materials and putting them down again with pin-point accuracy, without damaging them. The demonstration is part of the joint Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft booth, Hall 8a, Booth A11.
Picking up and depositing carbon-fiber materials automatically
Handling non-rigid, semi-finished products such as woven carbon-fiber mats is technologically a challenging task. So far, the human hand can pick up and deposit a semi-finished textile at a given point, more efficiently than any machine. Accordingly, the manufacture of semi-finished textile goods has traditionally been labor intensive and costly.
The Fraunhofer IPT has therefore developed a gripper system capable of picking up the semi-finished textile product automatically and depositing it as required – more reliably, reproducibly and accurately than a human operative and without damaging the delicate textiles. Electrostatic phenomena are the key. An electric charge is applied to the material. This causes an attraction between the material and the gripper which is sufficiently strong to lift the semi-finished product. Now, for the first time, the electrostatic gripper is also capable of positioning the object in its grasp accurately when it puts it down.
Modular gripper system for a range of manufacturing processes
The gripper can also be constructed in modular fashion. Consequently, it can be adapted to suit virtually any manufacturing process. In conjunction with an adaptive gripper arm and the facility to activate gripper elements individually, it is possible to pick up blanks from a cutting table and lay them down on a curved tool mold, for example. This enables the gripper to handle sheet materials and other flat semi-finished goods as well as carbon fiber materials.
During Composites Europe, The Fraunhofer IPT will present a gripper prototype which will demonstrate the capabilities of the system. The business unit “Lightweight Production Technology” will also present new scope for designing the manufacture of three-dimensional parts in automated tape laying operations as well as fiber-composite product development for medical engineering.
Dr.-Ing. Michael Emonts
Production Technology IPT
Telephone +49 241 8904-150
Fax +49 241 8904-6150
Joachim Riegel | Fraunhofer-Institut
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
PyFR code combines high accuracy with flexibility to resolve unsteady turbulence problems
Scientists and engineers striving to create the next machine-age marvel--whether it be a more aerodynamic rocket, a faster race car, or a higher-efficiency jet...
Waveguides are widely used for filtering, confining, guiding, coupling or splitting beams of visible light. However, creating waveguides that could do the same for X-rays has posed tremendous challenges in fabrication, so they are still only in an early stage of development.
In the latest issue of Acta Crystallographica Section A: Foundations and Advances , Sarah Hoffmann-Urlaub and Tim Salditt report the fabrication and testing of...
Electrochemists at TU Graz have managed to use monocrystalline semiconductor silicon as an active storage electrode in lithium batteries. This enables an integrated power supply to be made for microchips with a rechargeable battery.
Small electrical gadgets, such as mobile phones, tablets or notebooks, are indispensable accompaniments of everyday life. Integrated circuits in the interiors...
Light particle could be key to understanding dark matter in universe
Recent findings indicating the possible discovery of a previously unknown subatomic particle may be evidence of a fifth fundamental force of nature, according...
White light from lasers demonstrates data speeds of up to 2 GB/s
A nanocrystalline material that rapidly makes white light out of blue light has been developed by KAUST researchers.