Automation and Production Technology

Solutions for the adaptable production of lightweight structures

Cost-effective, flexible, and quick – industries such as the aircraft, commercial vehicle, and car manufacturing sectors are increasingly opting for production environments that easily adapt to changing customer demands. Since September 2010 scientists and engineers in the Automation and Production Technology department at Research Center CFRP NORTH (Forschungszentrum CFK NORD) in Stade have been developing modular solutions for realizing adaptable production.

Automation allows flexibility

The focus is on the automation of processes that need to adapt continuously and with high precision to dimensional variation, different components, changing production procedures, and human work tasks. Fraunhofer IFAM researchers use robots mobilized via linear axes or vehicles that cooperate with each other and with actively shape sensing and shape adjusting fixtures.

Our R&D portfolio at a glance

The work activities are carried out with partners from industry and R&D organizations and encompass automated assembly involving adhesive bonding, the machining of lightweight structures, and innovative FRP production (FlexPLAS®) on up to a 1:1 scale. A hall having an area of 4000 m2 and a height of 25 m is available for this work. The current focus of the work is on lightweight construction materials and in particular carbon fiber reinforced plastics (CFRPs).

Our R&D portfolio covers all phases of the development process:

  • Analysis of requirements
  • Drawing up of draft and detailed concepts
  • Evaluation of technical feasibility
  • Automation at hardware and software levels
  • Process development using existing large scale equipment
  • Design and construction of test plants in our own hall
  • Evaluation and benchmarking of processes and plants
  • Assembly and machining of lightweight prototype structures up to a 1:1 scale
We offer large-scale solutions from a single organization in a timely and cost-efficient way, helping you to be a leader in innovation and technology.

Core Competence Surface Technology

Core Competence Adhesive Bonding

Core Competence Automation and Digitalization