Purdue University recently held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the first phase of its new Manufacturing Design Laboratory (MD Lab), housed in the university’s new Composites Manufacturing and Simulation Center (CMSC).
The lab, a research space dedicated to cutting-edge innovations in manufacturing, features a new 300 metric ton KraussMaffei CX series FiberForm injection molding machine, plus accompanying 3D preforming equipment by EELCEE Ltd.
“We ultimately chose KraussMaffei because of their high production rate machinery and seamless integration with our composite preforming equipment,” said Dr. Jan-Anders Mansson, Distinguished Professor of Materials and Chemical Engineering Director of the Manufacturing Design Laboratory (MD Lab) at Purdue who spearheads the university’s High-Rate Composite program.
The new set-up will allow the lab to test high-rate composite manufacturing of over-molded continuous fiber preforms in an effort to demonstrate part production rates of less than 1 minute, dramatically increase mechanical stiffness and strength, and significantly reduce cost compared to a fully continuous fiber manufactured part.
“KraussMaffei’s FiberForm technology gives us the ability to do some really unique research in the area of high rate composite manufacturing,” said Justin Miller, graduate research assistant at the MD Lab.
Developed by KraussMaffei, the FiberForm process combines the thermoforming of organo sheets and injection molding into one process, resulting in high-strength, lightweight fiber-reinforced plastic components used primarily in vehicle manufacturing. FiberForm is a one-step procedure featuring integrated reshaping in the mold, short cycle times, and the capability to handle large industrial quantities.
Mansson looks forward to a strong partnership with KraussMaffei, citing existing key factors in the relationship.
“Support and training are critical factors for our success,” Mansson said. “KraussMaffei excels at both.”
For more information, visit www.kraussmaffeigroup.us.