Mikrosam delivers filament winding Cell for CNG tank production


Macedonian composite machine manufacturer, Mikrosam has delivered a fully-automated filament winding line for the production of CNG tank modules.

Developed for global automotive supplier, Magna and installed in its plant in Austria uses filament winding technology to produce an alternative propulsion system that results in a car weight reduction of up to 50% and 40% lower fuel expenses.

A fully-integrated Mikrosam solution consists of multi-spindle filament winding machines with Mikrosam’s patented solution for automated ‘cut and restart’ of the fibre tape during winding process; automatic handling operations of the liners or winded tanks and cured tanks between numerous equipment units in the production process and sophisticated curing oven that matches curing requirements of different resin systems.

The winding machine is equipped with two winding carriages, one carriage for winding of main composite structure and one carriage for winding of outer protective layer, so that full continuous production of the CNG tanks is realised on same machine in single winding cycle.

In total, there are 24 servomotor controlled axes integrated in the filament winding machine itself, which is said to make it one of the most advanced winding machines in the world built so far.

The production line has the flexibility to change production cycle from one tank size to another. When required, all programs, mechanical and electrical parts are automatically adjusted to the different CNG tanks sizes that are necessary to be produced. It’s possible to make these changes and adjust the capacity of each single equipment station quickly to increase productivity of the overall production line.

Control and monitoring of the work cell and whole manufacturing process is carried out from Mikrosam’s Top level automation control system (TCON). It manages all modules in the integrated production line from one location, whilst recording all important parameters, such as raw material consumption, a complete set of production parameters, product tracking at every station and data for the multiple quality check points.

Control of the quality at every point of the production cycle is imperative in Mikrosam’s view. In order to reach high quality of the overall manufacturing process, the company develops control software and a data acquisition system that enables the customer to see the line in operation, investigate it and discuss any issues before accepting. After the production cell has been installed in the customer facility, continued support via remote maintenance system is guaranteed. Software is updated for the lifetime of the automated production line.

Designed to fit the required high volume production capacity, the Filament Winding Production Cell combines full automation; optimisation of the production rate by avoiding bottlenecks; flexibility of each single equipment station; well-timed process between each component in the cell; lower material waste; energy efficiency; real control on the quality at every point of the production cycle, monitoring of the complete manufacturing process and integration of safety functions in all modes of operation.



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