Start of operation of the world's fastest tape laying machine for the additive production of continuous fiber reinforced thermoplastics at IVW in Kaiserslautern!


Within the scope of its ERDF project "Technology Center Thermoplastic Composites" (TTC), IVW has now reached a new milestone:

On an area of 3.5 m x 1.5 m thermoplastic tapes can be manufactured with a depositing speed of up to 4 m/s and a material throughput of more than 100 kg/h. Not only standard thermoplastics, but also carbon fiber reinforced high-performance thermoplastics, such as those required in the aerospace industry, can be used. This progress has been made possible by years of R&D work at the institute.

 "This means an increase in productivity by a factor of 10 compared to the worldwide state of the art! The technology enables us to develop economical applications, especially for the energy turnaround and the transport sector, but also for the medical sector, e.g. for the production of patient-friendly orthoses", explains Prof. Breuer, managing director of IVW.

Spin-off founder Markus Steeg, CEO of ASH Automation Steeg & Hoffmeyer GmbH, has successfully brought the plant technology to market readiness: "The technology represents a breakthrough for economic efficiency. Thanks to the enormous speed, even the processing of narrower tapes becomes efficient, since expensive production waste is avoided, for example in the edge areas of components. A "zero waste" production also means a major advantage in terms of eco-efficiency," says Dr. Steeg.

"Rhineland-Palatinate is a research state. IVW proves this impressively. With this new infrastructure, the institute can further expand its internationally leading position in the research and application of thermoplastic composites. This facility is also important because it represents a further important step towards the profitable application of thermoplastic composites, which offer new and innovative possibilities for use in many economic sectors," states Science Minister Prof. Dr. Konrad Wolf.

The Institute's "Thermoplastic Composites Technology Center" project, which is supported by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) with state funding and European ERDF funding of around 9.2 million euros, includes not only ultra-fast additive production but also a large forming plant for the manufacture of complex shaped components (tool surface area 3 m x 2 m, press force 2500 t), which will be commissioned in 2021. Already installed in-house are an interval heating press for the continuous production of organo sheets, a fully automated production cell for the manufacture of hybrid component structures with multiaxial continuous fiber reinforcement and discontinuous fiber reinforcement, and a laser cutting system for the efficient and tool-free processing of semi-finished products and components.

IVW, which will be funded from next year on as a Leibniz institute within the framework of joint research funding by the Federal Government and the states by decision of the Joint Science Conference (GWK) made on 29 June 2020, is one of the leading research institutes in this high-tech area.

Together with its excellent capabilities in material analysis and component development, i.e. the design and optimization of fiber composite components in line with material and production requirements, the new TTC facilities in the field of high-performance thermoplastic composites represent the international top position for IVW in Kaiserslautern!   


Fact Sheet
IVW Thermoplastic Tape Laying Machine - ASH Automation F2-Compositor®

  • highly customizable gantry portal for thermoplastic tape / fiber placement
  • glass fiber and carbon fiber reinforced thermoplastic tapes
  • PP, PA, PEI, PPS, PEEK, PEKK etc.
  • tape width ¼’’ to 2’’
  • tape thickness between 0.05 and 0.5 mm
  • laying area 3500 mm x 1500 mm for a process speed of 2 m/s (120 m/min)
  • laying speed up to 4 m/s (240 m/min)
  • ultra high precision placement and cutting
  • multi-axial straight line placement and curved placement
  • hydrogen torch heating (laser heating interface prepared)
  • Beckhoff PLC with Ethercat G

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