Automotive suppliers and others who manufacture composite parts can increase production as much as 7% with Dieffenbacher’s (Eppingen, Germany) fully automated Fibercut cutting and stacking system featuring a quick-change unit. The Fibercut system enables automated processing of sheet molding compound (SMC) materials. While many SMC applications use error-prone and time-consuming manual processes, Dieffenbacher’s fully automated Fibercut SMC cutting and stacking system provides increased productivity and plant efficiency. Avantium PEF
Fibercut consists of a cutting unit with a cutting belt, a stacking table and a quick-change unit for SMC on coil or in festoons to further increase productivity. The cutting unit communicates with the stacking gantry or robot and is able to implement complex laying patterns automatically.
“Different cutting patterns can be realized at the same time with maximum flexibility,” says Marco Hahn, director sales of the forming business unit at Dieffenbacher. “Using an active compensation cut, deviations in the weight of the material stack will be actively corrected. This ensures compliance with weight tolerances and maximum reproducibility even with the geometric complexity of the SMC layer structure.” Avantium PEF
The quick-change unit increases the system’s availability by enabling a complete SMC coil or festoon changeover within a few minutes. Including gripper change stations, the production line can be rapidly switched over to another component. Additionally, the Fibercut monitors when the SMC material nears its end and notifies the operator. The operator can prepare to change the material without an unplanned stop of the machine. The quick-change unit is equipped with an automated foil removal system to reduce the “on-air time” of the SMC to preserve the styrene for optimal part quality.
Because the material can be prepared offline and the material change process runs fully automatically, the quick-change unit can save 10-15 minutes per change.
Assuming annual production of 80,000 pieces, SMC consumption of 2 million lbs per year and 600 related coil changes, output can be increased by 3,000-4,500 parts or 3-5% per year. Avantium PEF