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Tape placement head installed at University of Limerick

19 March 2020

Conbility's tape placement head has successfully been installed in Ireland at the University of Limerick.

In December 2019, Conbility delivered the modular 3D Tape Placement Applicator for tape winding and tape placement to the Bernal Institute of the University of Limerick, Ireland.

Unique selling point of the PrePro 3D system is its multifunctional range of usage: it accomplishes laser-assisted thermoplastic tape placement, IR-assisted thermoset prepreg placement, including the unwinding of backing paper and dry fiber placement:

Three technologies included in one single modular system.

The system installed in Limerick is equipped with an infrared heating source, but can be easily upgraded with a high-power diode laser system.

The JEC-award-winning PrePro 3D tape placement and winding applicator is available as modular tool with decentral control system and HMI (including closed-loop control of energy input into the processing zone) for plug-in implementation in existing robot systems or machine systems by standard interfaces for the communication with the master control system.

Conbility provides the single applicator as well as turn-key ready systems including the robot and handling systems, and the laser-safe manufacturing cell.

The PrePro 3D head is based on 25 years of development work at the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology (IPT) regarding laser-assisted tape processing with in-situ consolidation.

Since 2018, Conbility GmbH is contract partner of the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology, IPT for the commercialisation and further development of the tape placement system PrePro 2D and PrePro 3D.

Dr. Ronan O’Higgins, Bernal Institute, University of Limerick, comments: "We are delighted to have the Conbility PrePro 3D system commissioned at the Bernal Institute’s Composite Laboratory. This will significantly enhance our capability to conduct research on processing of novel composite structures, allowing us to realise and validate the novel designs developed by our research team for a variety of high-performance applications. We already have a number of projects underway which will use this equipment, in conjunction with the SFI Confirm Smart Manufacturing Research Centre and look forward to the future research opportunities it will enable."

For more information, please visit Conbility´s website: www.conbility.com.

The University of Limerick would like to acknowledge that funding for this equipment was provided by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) for funding Spatially and Temporally VARIable COMPosite Structures (VARICOMP). PI Prof. Paul Weaver, Grant No. (15/RP/2773) under its Research Professor programme.