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In the case of conventional SMC processing, semi-finished part production and processing are spatially and temporally separate. Extremely high logistics expenditure and, therefore, financial expenditure is required in order to ensure constant semi-finished part quality and, ultimately, constant end-product quality.
The direct process for SMC (D-SMC) bypasses the highly costly steps of wrapping, storing and logistical handling of the SMC semi-finished part which used to be required. The direct-compounding technology allows continuous production of SMC compounds with directly subsequent processing into the component in the extrusion compression molding process. The fact that this innovative single-stage process eliminates the maturation time lasting several days is a huge advantage in terms of time and cost-effectiveness. This process reduces the time it takes to turn the raw materials into the finished component to a matter of minutes, plus there is no logistical expenditure. The omission of the semi finished part intermediate step allows simultaneous variations of each individual recipe component (e.g. fillers and reinforcement fibers) during the on-going process. As well as a reduction in cycle times and costs, this approach maximises flexibility during component production. The world's first pilot system of this kind has already entered service. The D-SMC system produces an SMC flat material with constant processing parameters which allow processing in the pressing process as in the case of conventionally produced SMC semifinished parts. An integrated SMC cutting machine produces the loading packages, which are then fed to the press die automatically. The D-SMC line is quoted with different standard widths ranging from 800 to 1,600 mm. Designed with an output capacity of 500 - 1,000kg/h, the line that serves for the central production of SMC can fully automatically feed several presses directly connected to the line. The effective production width is online adjustable by the 50 to 100 fold of the nominal width. An optimised adaptation to the required cutting size minimising the cutting loss is one of the main advantages of this Dieffenbacher innovation. A glass-fiber proportion of 20% to max. 38% can be achieved. The Dieffenbacher plant even allows the production of low-density SMC if hollow glass balls are worked in. A master line control system connects the direct compounding to the cutting station as well as to the automation units and the press. The control system for the D-SMC machine allows recipes and formulations to be set and changed individually and component-specifically within a matter of minutes. For quality assurance purposes, all parameters are monitored and recorded right up to the end product.
Source : Dieffenbacher