Ordered by a reputed U.S. aerospace company, the press gives the advantage of high efficiency, quiet operation, easier maintenance and overall shorter cycle times.
The electric press opens wide enough for operators to access the mold comfortably. Photo Credit: BBG Gmbh & Co. KG PVC water pipe making machine
In December 2022, industrial equipment supplier BBG Gmbh & Co. KG (Mindelheim, Germany), supplied an electric composite press for the manufacture of aircraft interior parts to a reputed aerospace company in the U.S. The cooperation between the two companies goes back to a project managed by U.S. subsidiary BBG North America. Composite prototype parts were produced for the aircraft manufacturer at the BBG technical center at Oxford, Mich, U.S., and, satisfied with the production technology, the aerospace company ordered a pilot plant, including the molds, for the production of lightweight components.
BBG relies on decades of experience in the development and manufacture of mold carrier systems and composite presses. While hydraulic presses continue to be a standard in the field of composites, the U.S. customer is said to have intentionally chosen a system that is equipped with an electric drive. One of their main advantages, BBG notes, are the systems’ high level of efficiency, which reduces energy consumption by around 35 watt-hours per production cycle. Further benefits include particularly quiet operation and high dynamics, which contribute to shorter cycle times. Moreover, an electric drive is easier to maintain than the hydraulic variant.
All electric press systems are manufactured in and shipped from Mindelheim, Germany. The composite press mentioned above is specifically configured for use in aircraft construction. The mold is manufactured by BBG North America and then shipped at the same time as the press.
The mold mounting plates are 2,200 × 1,500 millimeters. Molds can be moved and positioned with little effort, thanks to integrated pneumatic roller bars. The angle of traverse of the lower carrier plate is zero to 27º, and that of the upper plate is zero to 75º. According to BBG, this opens the press wide enough for operators to access the mold comfortably. Maximum capacity is 3,500 kilograms for the lower plate, and 3,000 kilograms for the upper plate.
Intelligent pressure control enable a press force of 60 U.S. tons — which corresponds to about 535 kilonewtons — and an infinitely variable adjustment option from 50 kilonewtons onward.
In addition, the composite press is operated via the Easy Control 2.0 user interface developed by BBG. The man-machine interface reportedly simplifies the programming and operation of the press while increasing productivity and improving process reliability. For most of BBG’s customers, this is a core concern, just as in aircraft manufacturing, production must deliver reliable results while being simple and manageable. The user interface shows the press and mold functions and workflows so that users are able to operate the machine quickly and easily without PLC knowledge.
BBG GmbH & Co. KG is an international system partner for the plastics processing industry with its own mold, machine and plant construction. In addition to end-to-end production lines, BBG designs, develops and manufactures molds for processing polyurethane (PUR), PVC, TPE and other elastomers, as well as a wide range of composite materials. This includes production processes such as PUR composite spray molding (PUR-CSM), long fiber injection (LFI), resin transfer molding (RTM), sheet molding compound (SMC) or glass mat-reinforced thermoplastics (GMT). The company also focuses on solutions for lightweight construction, the processing of composites and the production of fiber-reinforced composite components in a large number of industries in Asian, European and North American markets. Since 2020, the company has also developed and built packaging machines for pharmaceutical products and food supplements.
Fiber-reinforced plastic (FRP) replacing coated steel in more reinforced-concrete applications.
Applications aren't as demanding as airframe composites, but requirements are still exacting — passenger safety is key.
Fast-reacting resins and speedier processes are making economical volume manufacturing possible.