Automated preform production line for carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) aircraft frames.
Automated preform production line for carbon fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) aircraft frames.

SGL Kümpers is a joint venture between SGL Group and family-owned Kümpers GmbH. SGL, headquartered in Germany, supplies SIGRAFIL® C carbon fibres for use in wind energy, aerospace, automotive and other industrial applications.

The automated process for the production of high-quality, cost-competitive preforms combines various technologies such as braiding, winding and unidrectional (UD) tape application. It is reported to offer maximum design flexibility and repeatability to meet the high-volume demands of future aircraft manufacture.

For this invention, SGL Kümpers, EADS-IW and Airbus Operations won a  JEC Innovation Award in the Automation category. The award was presented at the JEC Composites Show in Paris in April.