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VDMA sets up Composite Technology Network
10
Aug '10
The VDMA has put in place a new network for machinery manufacturers engaged in the development and production of technologies for the manufacture and quality control of composite materials. Initially, firms from four different VDMA associations have come together to form the VDMA Composite Technology Forum, in order to create a platform for exchanges among themselves, with users and with research establishments.

Jochen Zaun, managing director of Georg Sahm GmbH & Co.KG, Eschwege, was elected honorary spokesman of the VDMA Composite Technology Forum at the inaugural meeting.

Composites: Keys to producing and saving energy
Lightweight construction is a central challenge as regards design engineering, and composites are the key materials for fuel-saving transport equipment as well as for sustainable sources of energy.

The tremendous weight savings made by using fibre-reinforced materials in modern aircraft, for example, make a substantial contribution to reducing kerosene consumption. Lightweight composite materials used in modern wind turbine rotor blades, which are capable of withstanding high mechanical stress, lie behind the success of this renewable source of energy. The automotive industry, too, is looking to make ever increasing use of composite materials.

Challenges: Manual work involved, cycle times, component quality
The technology chain for composites begins with the manufacture of reinforcing fibres from glass, carbon and other materials. The textile reinforcing structures are then embedded in a plastic or concrete matrix to create semi-finished and finished products. All this, and the processing of composites, including materials testing and component quality, needs to be increasingly automated.

Reducing the large amount of work that still has to be done manually, shortening cycle times as well as ensuring, for example, that component quality is always maintained are major challenges in terms of the manufacture of composites and intermediate products. Given that these are important issues for many user industries, the VDMA decided to set up the "VDMA Composite Technology" grouping with a view to bringing together the technologies for the manufacture and quality control of composites, to be found in a number of machinery manufacturers' association.

“Understanding the process itself and networking with customers are our main concerns, but we also want to be involved in market intelligence and marketing issues and provide proper representation of the interests of firms in the technology chain,” explains VDMA Composite Technology Forum spokesman Jochen Zaun, whose company supplies special machinery for the manufacture of the textile base material.

Exchange of experience with interested firms in November
Representatives of KSL Keilmann Sondermaschinenbau GmbH, Dürkopp Adler AG, Reimotec Maschinen- und Anlagenbau GmbH and Dieffenbacher GmbH + Co. KG, together with the VDMA team headed by Thorsten Kühmann (Managing Director of the Plastics and Rubber Machinery Association) and Thomas Waldmann (Managing Director of the Textile Machinery Association) have assumed responsibility for the Forum's further activities. Aimed at all interested suppliers of technology, VDMA Composite Technology has scheduled a meeting to be held in Frankfurt am Main on 19 November 2010 with a view to exchanging experiences and establishing the future work programme.

VDMA Textile Machinery Association

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