Larger, more compact and versatile

A new concept of multi-spindle gantry winding machines at Roth Composite Machinery impresses with numerous improvements.

Flexibility, precision and safety are top priorities: With a concept that can be adapted to individual requirements and additional options for the process data acquisition, the filament winding experts at Roth Composite Machinery are taking the next step in the further development of their multi-spindle gantry winding machines.

A five-spindle machine has been put into operation at a well-known European manufacturer of pressure vessels. The design of this line presented special challenges that had to be solved.

First of all, the new line can handle liners with a diameter of up to 1000 millimeters. This places special demands on the rigidity of the entire machine, not only concerning the dimensions, but also with regard to the dynamic forces generated during the process.

Consequently, the designers at Roth Composite Machinery developed a new machine structure.

Two solitary solid gantry stands with a high base area guarantee the required rigidity and support the frame, which can even be retrofitted to a duplex principle, if required by the customer.

The new design of the base frame enables the lower spindle to work at a decreased height - which makes the entire machine lower as well as more compact. At the same time, it requires considerably less maintenance.

Another added value in terms of compactness and time savings: the design optimisation of the RCA enables the reduction of the distances between the spindles.

Naturally, the new system also benefits from the proven advantages of Roth technology: The degree of automation of the machine is increased by the use of the Roth RCA (automatic cutting and applying of the rovings/fibres). For the winding of pressure vessels, the machine setup has, among others, an automatic filling and pressure measuring system that can create and regulate the necessary inner pressure of the liner during the winding process. In addition, the mandrel supports being equipped with weight gauges provide more accurate measurements than previously achieved for the production data collection to record and track the high level of quality in the Roth CAQ system.

The extreme machine rigidity minimizes mechanical influences of the high dynamics of the manufacturing process on the fibre laying and thus ensures maximum precision as to the fibre placement.

Constant fibre delivery speeds of up to 4.5 meters per second can be realised at this high level of precision.

The impregnation station is suitable for processing carbon fibres as well as basalt, glass or other fibres and reduces roving strains due to decreased wrap angles.

In accordance with the Poka-Yoke philosophy, the quick-change mechanisms in the impregnating bath are particularly easy to handle and robustly designed.

The extensive sensor system ensures the correct set-up process and guarantees a production operation with the same adjustments and impregnating ratios before and after the set-up process.

The high-performance drive concept combined with the new machine frame structure enables performance increases of around 40 percent compared to the international state of the art.

Andreas Reimann, managing director at Roth Composite Machinery, said: "With this new machine concept which is meanwhile successfully proven, we can offer our customers another plus in versatility and optimise the precision as well as the quality assurance thanks to the new possibilities of process data acquisition.

The multi-spindle gantry winding machine is suitable for both small, light as well as large, heavy components and can therefore be used for a wide range of production. Furthermore, with its speed and precision, the machine helps Roth customers to another higher level of competitiveness once again.

State-of-the-art technology

When using the Filament Winding Plant of Roth Composite Machinery, production processes in the traditional wet winding procedure as well as Towpreg and dry winding applications are possible. Roth Composite Machinery uses new spool fixtures at the spool creel – they facilitate the placing of full spools as well as the removal of empty sleeves.

High-performance and long-life production lines

By using the Roth Composite Technology, Filament Winding Machines have been built for 60 years and world-wide leading fully-automated production lines for more than 30 years. The handling of all kinds of fibres – from simple glass fibres to sensitive high-strength fibres – belongs to the company’s expertise. As general contractor, Roth has the know-how for the conception of complete production processes from the filament winding technology to the demoulding. This also includes the prototype manufacturing. Roth gives advice as regards the material selection – for example the use of fibres – as well as concerning all details of the production process. This results in high-performance, reliable and durable machines.

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