Infrastructure and Demonstrators

The Ramp-Up Factory provides a wide range of machinery for the implementation of prototypes to small series as well as demonstrators. It offers small and medium-sized companies an agile environment in which innovative ideas and concepts can be quickly implemented, tested and further developed until they are used in series production.

The following overview of rental machines from the Ramp-Up Factory – with technical specifications, applications and prices – will give you an idea of our machinery. We would be pleased to, in a personal consultation, show you which possibilities we can offer you.

Machinery

In the 1,600 m² hall area in the Production Engineering Cluster on Campus Melaten – as one of three locations of the Ramp-up Factory – a work area with manual mechanical and thermal joining processes (TIG, MSG, CMT and WPS) and a framing station for assembling a car body are available for vehicle production. The body can then be assembled into a complete vehicle on two vehicle assembly lines with lifting platforms, assembly aids and mobile cranes. With the aid of optical measuring technology, a chassis test stand and a climatic chamber, functional testing of assemblies through to complete vehicles can then be carried out. In addition to the specific machines for vehicle production, the hall also features an area for additive manufacturing with 3D printers and various additive manufacturing processes, such as selective laser sintering (SLS), fused filament fabrication (FFF) and photopolymerization (PolyJet). In addition to the manual manufacturing processes, a flexible robotic cell with turntable and a second small measuring robot can also be used. General workshop activities are performed in a shared mechanical and electronic workshop.

Objet Connex 500

3D Printer Objet Connex 500

3D printing of tools and products saves cost-intensive manufacturing processes of regular toolmaking in small and medium-sized series. The polyjet printing process enables the combination of different photopolymers in one print and the realization of complex part geometries such as exterior and interior components.

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miniFactory Ultra

3D Printer miniFactory Ultra

The Minifactory Ultra 3D printer can be used to quickly implement complex component geometries using a high-performance FFF process, supporting agile development processes.

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Fahrwerkprüfstand

Chassis Test Rig

Prototypes are adjusted and tested on the chassis dynamometer. Freely programmable simulations are used to optimize the vehicles.

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Framing Station

Framing Station

At the framing station, side panels and roof are joined to the underbody of a car body. It is used to test and optimize handling processes, fixture systems and joining techniques in vehicle production

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Anlauffabrik/Schulmann

Vehicle Assembly Lines 1 & 2

The vehicle assembly lines are available with various assembly fixtures for researching suitable assembly processes in electric vehicle production – from the assembly of individual components or assemblies to the entire vehicle.

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Further machines are available in the Electromobility Laboratory (eLab) of RWTH Aachen University. There, research is conducted primarily on electromobility-specific components such as battery cell and electric motor production. Due to the high application of remote laser beam welding in electric vehicle production, our laser welding cell is an excellent addition to the equipment in the eLab.

eLab-Halle

Laserschweißzelle

Laserschweißzelle

Laser Welding Cell

The laser welding cell combines various state-of-the-art components in an automated manufacturing cell, e.g. a vertical articulated arm robot, 3D scanner optics and a 180 degree rotary tilt module

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Our machines for the production of metal components are located in the Demonstration Factory. In addition to an industrial 2D laser cutting system, machines for mechanical finishing and a bending machine for sheet metal processing, there are machines for processing bar stock and a robot-guided welding system.

Biegemaschine TruBend 5085

Bending Machine TruBend 5085

The bending machine combines innovative technology, precision and flexibility. Due to the very high variability of the back gauge systems, it is possible to process large part spectra without any problems.

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In addition to free hall space for project processing, the hall area in Aachen-Laurensberg includes a portal milling machine for large-format components, on which molds are milled from plastic and then used on the large thermoforming line for the production of plastic components, as well as a fully automated PUR-RIM line for the production of large plastic components and an injection molding machine.

KFS

Portalfräse Belotti

Portal Milling Machine Belotti

The portal milling machine combines the productivity of a milling machine with the high speed and potential of a movable CNC bridge center. It is suitable for machining large-format resin and aluminum models as well as cutting composite and plastic materials.

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Thermoformanlage

Thermoforming System

In thermoforming, thermoplastic semi-finished products are formed under the influence of heat with the aid of vacuum and/or compressed air. The process is characterized by high cost-effectiveness for small and medium-sized series.

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Hall Areas

At each of our four locations of the Ramp-Up Factory, we have common project areas where the users of the Ramp-Up Factory can carry out scopes of their projects. If you need additional space for your own superstructures, machines or prototypes, you can ask us for free hall space between 20 and 100 m², depending on the location and availability. For the granting of confidential projects, we also offer the possibility to set up partition walls up to complete compartments.

Demonstrators

With our different demonstrators you can on the one hand experience the practical implementation of projects in the Ramp-Up Factory and on the other hand you can also include a part of the demonstrators for the implementation of your own projects in the Ramp-Up Factory.

Using artificial intelligence for a data-driven body shop production of the future

  • Machine data as well as external sensor data from robot-guided joining technologies and quality control processes are networked.
  • Intelligent data analysis using machine learning methods are used to predict process behavior, quality output and machine behavior.
  • Through an AI-supported root cause analysis and optimization strategy, improvement suggestions for process adjustment are derived.
  • Leveraging existing AI methods in a previously untapped application field with great potential.
  • Stabilization and control of quality control loops.
  • Reduction of scrap rate, faster response time to quality deviations.
  • Reduction of start-up times by model re-use during process re-use.

Additively manufactured forming tool of car body sheets and battery busbars

  • Problem: No suitable prototyping process for originally deep-drawn car body components in small and medium-sized series due to high investment costs or long process times.
  • Solution approach: production of forming tools for embossing and deep drawing of thin sheets by means of cost-effective additive manufacturing process Fused Filament Fabrication (FFF) of engineering polymers (esp. PLA).
  • Simulation of mold loads during thermoforming with subsequent load-appropriate design using adapted infill and additional elements for stiffening.
  • Matched active principles and system for a column frame for the use of additively manufactured forming tools.
  • Reduction of manufacturing time and costs of prototype and small series tools.
  • Integration of additional functions through degrees of freedom of additive manufacturing.

Additively manufactured welding fixtures for car body construction and laser beam welding

  • Welding jigs are complex, expensive to manufacture and require a lot of time to deploy (assembly-specific jigs made of steel for stable joining processes).
  • Similar fixtures are also used in pre-production and prototyping, but shorter service lives are required.
  • In particular, component-specific fixture elements of a fixture are suitable for manufacturing by means of the additive manufacturing process fused filament fabrication (FFF) and the plastic PLA.
  • Development of the additive manufacturing process, design guidelines and interfaces for the production of such elements were considered here.
  • Plastic-based additive manufacturing of component-specific fixture elements increases flexibility for changing components in agile development processes.
  • Higher functional integration through greater design options and automation of the fixture manufacturing process chain.
  • Reduction of pre-production fixture manufacturing costs by 50%.

Fixtureless joining by means of component-integrated fixturing (biV) functions

  • The body shop has one of the highest degrees of vertical integration of an OEM and is the most relevant, but at the same time also the most cost-intensive trade.
  • The high degree of automation and the component-specific fixture technology generate high costs & low mutability.
  • By moving fixture functions, such as positioning, orienting and clamping, from the fixture to the part, specific fixture technology is reduced.
  • This is achieved by special geometry elements introduced in the component manufacturing process, which are designed for the clamping and fixturing concept, the joining sequence in the body shop and the joining process.
  • Methodology for selecting biV as well as its geometry features in the product development process and for designing a production with biV.
  • Composition and joining process design of biv.
  • Potential investigation using the example of low-cost battery pack housing.
  • Reduction in mass from 12.4 to 8.2 kg (-34 %)
  • Reduction in the number of components from 26 to 15 (-42 %)
  • Laser welding instead of riveting reduces production time from 38 min. to 3 min. 20 sec. (-91 %)

Cell contacting of various battery cell formats by remote laser beam welding

  • In terms of good mechanical and electrical properties, the laser welding process is often the best method to contact battery cells.
  • Production-oriented design of the battery module with focus on its joints with derivation of requirements for laser welding process development.
  • Suitable laser welding parameters are then determined, which are then measured and validated by a series of tests.
  • This is followed by the development and production of necessary operating equipment by means of additive tooling and laser cutting in order to carry out the cell contacting.
  • Agile realization of project goals with physical prototypes within a short timeframe by using flexible manufacturing processes.
  • High flexibility in equipment and prototype construction using additive manufacturing processes, laser cutting and remote laser welding.
  • Remote laser beam welding for high process speeds, low heat input and high quality welded joints with good strength and resistance properties.

Automated design of operating equipment (fixtures and grippers)

  • Design model with functional elements and design rules for the design of additively manufactured elements.
  • Standardized elements with parameterization options.
  • Additive manufacturing of component-specific fixture elements.
  • Development of a CAD tool for automated fixture design.
  • Testing of the automatically designed fixture with welding tests.
  • Reduction of development times, by automating the design of welding fixtures, by up to approx. 80%.
  • Additive manufacturing of automatically generated specific fixture elements.
  • Significantly faster process chain of fixture provision and thus enabling the implementation of change requirements.
  • Reduction of manufacturing costs through cost-effective production using fused filament fabrication (FFF).

Additive tooling for molding tools

  • Characterization of additive manufacturing processes for the production of molding tools.
  • Derivation of design rules for application-specific design.
  • Simulation of the life cycle of molding tools with regard to dimensional accuracy, durability and material properties.
  • Transfer of the findings to metal molds.
  • Cost reduction in injection mold making by up to 30% for a production of up to 200 units.
  • Components ready for molding in 24 hours or more.
  • Realization of temperature control solutions and integration of moving elements into the additive mold build process.

Additive Manufacturing Machines

  • Process parameterization for thermoplastics in granular form.
  • Development of an extruder screw design for high extrusion rates.
  • Process design for manufacturing components with improved mechanical properties.
  • Reduction of support structures through a multi-axis concept.
  • Illustration of the integration of additive manufacturing systems into the internet of production.
  • Radial extruder screws enable higher printing speeds through a more compact design.
  • Alternative slicer programs optimize part print head alignment for higher part quality and reduced support structures.
  • AI solutions in slicing and printer control enable a learning machine and thus accelerate the start-up of new parts.

Application Center Additive Manufacturing

The Application Center Additive Manufacturing of the Ramp-Up Factory serves as a development and demonstration environment for new applications in additive manufacturing. Together with our customers, new products are developed with the help of additive manufacturing and implemented on the 3D printing machines of the Ramp-Up Factory. The support of our technology partners enables the mapping of a diverse range of processes and materials. We are happy to advise you in the field of additive manufacturing with regard to processes, machines and materials.

 

We are supported by our long-term partner IGO3D, who are experts in the field of additive manufacturing processes, machines and materials.

Anlauffabrik/Schulmann

Our machinery in the field of additive manufacturing: