Mikrosam is introducing new automation features for filament winding of compressed hydrogen (CHG) and compressed natural gas tanks (CNG), and has signed contracts to provide one of the largest production lines for the automotive industry.
The entire production line will include Mikrosam's multi-axis filament winding (FW) machine, which integrates with new innovative automation units and produces more than 60,000 tanks per year. The contract with JSC DPO Plastic is the result of a two-year intensive competitive design and bidding process.
Mikrosam will provide JSC DPO Plastik with the latest and most advanced multi-axis FW machine for wet and tow winding. It has innovative functions and can quickly and accurately winding glass and carbon fibers. These multi-axis machines are designed to build various tanks between 40L and 350L to store CNG and CHG. In addition to Mikrosam's patented automatic cutting and restart system, dual drive brackets for high-speed and high-precision traction pre-winding, FW equipment also has a unique original pressure vessel shaft design. The system allows programming and continuous control of pressure in tank lining during each winding layer. In addition, during wet winding, resin mixing, transport to resin bath and resin deposition on fibers are carefully controlled. Together, these functions ensure that not only is it very fast.
Mikrosam's project extends the ability to easily expand production by integrating multiple FW units while ensuring high-quality production throughout the production line. In order to achieve high scale and maximize equipment utilization, there is a complex dynamic load balancing system that ensures that four or more multi-axis FW machines are wound simultaneously. Compared with installing many FW machines on the floor only, this dynamic load balancing provides higher overall utilization.
All devices are fully integrated with robot-based processing systems and top-level control systems (TCON). Robot-based processing units control and measure tank weight at each stage of the process: from plastic lining to post-curing. TCON system - the most advanced software developed by Mikrosam - collects detailed information of process parameters in every production step of data warehouse, and even collects data from third-party auxiliary equipment (such as blow moulding, test equipment, etc.). The software integrates data into factory ERP to ensure traceability and quality improvement, while providing unlimited reporting capabilities for customers.
The growing demand for CNG and CHG in the global market, including automobiles, transportation, energy stores and future fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), is driving demand for cost-effective and efficient solutions with high return on investment. This trend has enabled customers to make greater use of advanced composite manufacturing methods to meet these needs. This large automation line follows a very advanced and cost-competitive solution introduced by Mikrosam earlier this year to provide fast towed hydrogen tank windings for first-class Japanese automotive suppliers. In the past few years, Mikrosam has become a high-quality supplier of fast and precise traction winding equipment, providing services for advanced applications. Customers hope to increase machine productivity while maintaining high return on investment.