SHOW PREVIEW COMPOSITES EUROPE 2018: FOCUS ON PROCESS TECHNOLOGIES
- Premiere: “Process live” format
- Lightweight Technologies Forum to present hybrid lightweight construction
- Trade fair kick-off event: International Composites Congress (ICC)
In the competition of lightweight construction and design materials, composites are among the winners – automotive engineering, aerospace, wind energy, boatbuilding and construction can no longer do without glass- and carbon-fibre reinforced plastics (GFRP & CFRP). Nevertheless, the greatest impetus right now is coming from the composites industry itself: technological advancements in the process chain. From 6 to 8 November, COMPOSITES EUROPE in Stuttgart will drive home that point.
Trade fair visitors will meet more than 350 exhibitors from 30 countries who in Stuttgart will present state-of-the-art technology and the potential of fibre-reinforced composites – in the exhibition area as well as in numerous event areas, lecture forums and themed tours.
With the new “Process live” format, coordinated processing and manufacturing processes will become the visible focus of this year’s COMPOSITES EUROPE. Mechanical and plant engineering companies will get together in group exhibits to showcase their technologies in live interactions – thus enabling visitors to experience sub-processes presented in a larger context.
Partnerships in the process chain accelerate growth in the industry
Among others, the cutting specialists Gunnar (Switzerland), the composites automation experts Airborne (Netherlands) and the gripping systems providers Schmalz (Germany) will join forces to create a combined production cell in a process-safe depiction of the entire value chain from roller materials to the finished layer structure of a composite component. In this setup, interlocking hardware components are fully connected with each other via software. “Cooperation among processors is getting closer and closer. These partnerships within the process chain are accelerating the growth of the composites industry; that’s what we want to show with the new ‘Process live’ format”, says Olaf Freier, event director of COMPOSITES EUROPE.
Lightweight Technologies Forum: Platform for multi-material lightweight construction
Besides the optimisation of the process chain, industry research today is heavily focused on the use of GFRP and CFRP in multi-material systems. The Lightweight Technologies Forum will once again demonstrate how composites play to their strengths alongside other materials in the material mix for hybrid structural components. A total of 16 exhibitors will present materials, tools and exhibits here – from fillers to bonding agents and presses for laminating different materials to semi-finished hybrid products.
In various presentations, experts will provide an overview of new products in manufacturing and joining technology as well as applications and lightweight engineering references from the automotive, aerospace and construction sectors. Support for the Lightweight Technologies Forum is provided by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy.
From digitalisation to recycling: Know-how in the supporting programme
A presentation programme, themed tours and special areas complete the COMPOSITES EUROPE lineup. Manufacturing technology, recycling, digitalisation and thermoplastics will be central themes in the programme of the COMPOSITES Forum, which will also feature exhibitors presenting application examples from automotive engineering, aerospace, construction, mechanical engineering, wind energy and shipbuilding.
Themed guided tours, meanwhile, will lead visitors straight to the stands of selected exhibitors ready to explain the latest innovations in fibreglass, thermoplastics, automotive engineering, wind energy and construction.
Special areas and group stands to highlight new ideas
Hosting the special area “Industry meets Science”, the Institute of Plastics Processing (IKV), the leading European research institute for plastics technology based in Aachen, will showcase developments in process technology, design, quality assurance and repair.
The exhibitors at the “Bio-Based Composites Pavilion”, which will again be set up in cooperation with the nova-Institute, will reflect the development of the market for green composites. The focus will be on application options of wood-polymer composites (WPC), natural fibre composites (NFC), bio-based thermoplastics and thermosets for composites, and bio-based plastics.
Moreover, numerous young companies will thrill visitors with fresh ideas: the industry newcomers will present themselves at a group stand funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi). They will cover a wide range of topics from semi-finished carbon-fibre products to metal foams to production lines for multi-material 3D fibre laminates.
Even the automotive experts of tomorrow will have their own forum at the trade fair: under the banner of “Formula Student”, students and apprentices will show visitors racecars they themselves have designed.
Kick-off event: 4th International Composites Congress (ICC)
The International Composites Congress (ICC) will once again kick off COMPOSITES EUROPE. In a series of presentations starting the day before the trade fair (5 and 6 November), international experts at the event with the headline topic “Composites – On the Path to Becoming a Key Industry?” will speak about and discuss applications, materials, process technologies and market prospects.