The operating principle of the RTM-ROBOT® process

Automation, process monitoring and process documentation for quality management

The RTM-ROBOT® enables the manufacture (injection) of composite components using sensor-based process automation. The measurement of parameters (temperature, pressure, injection speed) relevant for production together with the targeted control of the flow of resin through RS valves allows the injection to be controlled and monitored in a fully automated fashion.  

Using an interactive system consisting of a capacitive measuring unit for detecting the flow of resin and pneumatically operated RS valves, the software connects the individual profile of the component with the injection routine written by the user in manual operating mode. During the subsequent stages of process automation, sensors detect the flow of resin in the cavity and at the moulding tool’s outlets, where the latter are automatically closed and opened using what are known as RS valves. Here it is irrelevant whether the sequence of the resin flowing out of the mould outlets is the same as the sequence for the previous component in the same series. This in no way affects the quality of the component.

The RTM-ROBOT® process is subdivided into two different types:

A manual operating mode is used for the construction of the prototype and for pilot production. This enables the user to set certain parameters by simply navigating a menu and to manually control the process. During the injection process the RTM-ROBOT® collects all the adjustment and control commands issued by the user and uses them to programme an injection routine. This is stored in the system or discarded, in line with the user’s instructions. The clear arrangement of all of the relevant process parameters on the screen is of great aid during this task of creating the best injection routine, which later on will enable automated serial production to commence.

Once the final injection routine has been secured, this stored file can be retrieved in automatic mode. The component is then injected with the resin/hardener mixture in a fully automatic manner without the user’s intervention. This ensures that the quality of the component produced during the injection process remains uniformly high. All the process parameters are monitored and secured both in manual and in automatic operating modes. This ensures the availability of a complete documentation for quality management. If required a PDF containing all the relevant parameters can be created for each individual component.