- Engel v-duo 3600: the largest machine in its series
- Speeding up the application of lightweight construction technologies in mass production of automobiles
- ProVorPlus project: process technologies for pre-assembly of fibre-reinforced plastic/metal hybrids
An Engel v-duo 3600 machine is currently being built for the Open Hybrid LabFactory e.V. association in Wolfsburg at Engel Austria’s large-scale machine plant in St. Valentin, Austria. The machine will support research into functionally integrated composite technologies. The company is a founder member and sponsor of the research centre initiated by Volkswagen in 2012 and supported by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Education and Research. The factory will be operated by the association together with Braunschweig University of Technology.
ProVorPlus project: process technologies for pre-assembly of fibre-reinforced plastic/metal hybrids
To cover the entire value chain for lightweight hybrid components, from concept and design to production and recycling, the association oversees every step in the process. The aim of such wide-ranging collaborative research is to unlock previously inaccessible potential in both market development and technology while speeding up the application of lightweight construction technologies in the mass production of automobiles. The association has defined a number of research projects to commence this autumn at a new research facility that is currently being built. Amongst other things, the new Engel machine is intended for the ProVorPlus project that focuses on functionally integrated process technologies for the pre-assembly of fibre-reinforced plastic/metal hybrids.
Largest machine in its series
With a clamping force of 36,000 kN, the ENGEL v-duo 3600 is the largest machine in its series. One machine in the same clamping force class is installed at BMW’s Landshut factory, where large structural components of fibre-reinforced plastic composites are manufactured using the HP-RTM process.
To ensure the machine can be deployed with maximum flexibility for various research purposes, the machine for Wolfsburg will be fitted with two injection units. Engel has been adding this option to its injection moulding machines for many years. The same feature is offered in the Engel v-duo series, thereby facilitating multi-component processes, to give one example.
The v-duo series has been specifically developed for fibre-reinforced processing. In contrast to presses conventionally used in such applications, Engel vertical machines have a relatively small footprint. The height and weight of the machines are much lower, which reduces the foundation building overhead. The clamping unit can be accessed from all four sides instead of just two.