Pilot machine for the production of lightweight sandwich-elements in batch mode consisting only of one polymer component.
This "Fabrik der Zukunft" - demonstration-project is part of a sustained development process, with the goal to develop a new technology for the manufacturing of novel sandwich-elements made up of only one thermoplastic material. The present idea was born in collaboration with a foreign company, which is going to place a new concept for electrical vehicles on the market The car bodies of their first prototypes have been produced by rotomoulding, where complicated heavy tools are required. That is why the production of these parts is cost and energy intensive on one hand and on the other hand the high wall thicknesses of the parts, necessary for the mechanical performance, result in very heavy components.
Currently there a two big issues on the electric vehicle market: firstly the improvement of the battery systems and secondly the weight reduction in general. Therefore the idea was born to produce recyclable light weight sandwich parts made of polypropylene for car bodies in order to save 50 % of the weight, while the mechanical performance should be comparable to the common rotomoulded components.
In the last years Hammerschmid Maschinenbau did a lot of basic research within the scope of a Bridge-project with the title "3 D-Batch Forming - Production of novel sandwich components". The aim of this project was the evaluation of fundamental knowledge, necessary for the production of such newly planned sandwich components. During this development a manually controlled prototype machine was constructed and intensive research was done with respect to the polymeric foam formulations.
The aim of this "Fabrik der Zukunft" - demonstration-project is the systematic improvement of the manually operated prototype in order to develop an automated pilot plant. Therefore the project is divided in two stages of development. The first stage of development includes the design, the construction and the commissioning of the foaming machine and of the manipulator for the moulds. The second stage of development includes the design, the construction and the commissioning of the equipment necessary for the production of the compact sandwich skin.
During the first period of this project Hammerschmid Maschinenbau was able to manufacture a large scale sandwich part by the use of the enhanced foaming equipment. At the moment the production is performed semi-automatically. The goal for the end of this project is of course a fully automates zero series production of the large scale sandwich parts.
In interesting issue that Hammerschmid Maschinenbau is currently working on together with other companies is the combination of the newly developed foaming device with other plastic processing technologies.
In 2011 it is planed to present some of the produced sandwich parts within the scope of an international exhibition in mailand (italy).
Hammerschmid Maschinenbau GmbH