Published on December 14, 2023

Fiber Patch Placement for H2 tank reinforcements: Fuji Industries brings Cevotec’s SAMBA Pro PV to Japan

Fiber Patch Placement for H2 tank reinforcements: Fuji Industries brings Cevotec’s SAMBA Pro PV to Japan

(Munich / Kobe, 14.12.2023) – Cevotec, the leading provider of automation equipment based on Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) technology, announces the introduction of the first FPP production system on the Japanese market. Fuji Industries, a specialized Japanese trading company with in-depth knowledge and experience in industries such as aerospace and high-tech equipment, has ordered Cevotec’s SAMBA Pro PV system. The first FPP system on Japanese soil will be primarily dedicated to advancing H2 tank production with dome reinforcements, thereby reducing the weight, cost and environmental footprint of composite tanks significantly

Following the preview of Cevotec’s new FPP system SAMBA Pro PV, dedicated to the production of reinforcements for hydrogen pressure vessels, at this year’s JEC in Paris, Fuji Industries has placed an order for the specialized FPP system and thus becomes the first mover to bring this technology to the Japanese market. This strategic move reflects their commitment to advancing the country’s composites production capabilities and support the local industry with advanced, state-of-the-art technology solutions.

“With Fiber Patch Placement it is possible to reinforce the dome areas of type 4 hydrogen tanks which leads to sizable material savings. This technology has the potential to establish a new standard in composite tank production – it enables us to support our customers with new automation options that they need to stay competitive”, states Junji Yamada, President & CEO of Fuji Industries.

In order to enable broad industrial and scientific engagement with the first FPP system in Japan, Fuji Industries is planning on placing the system at a strategic R&D location that is accessible to relevant industry companies in aerospace and H2 and is well integrated in the Japanese composite research ecosystem.

The SAMBA system configuration is mainly suited to the production of dome reinforcements for composite pressure vessels. It features a temperature-controlled automated material cutting & feeding unit and pick & place robot with 6 axes for high geometrical flexibility. The robot cooperates with a length-adjustable rotational axis in which the vessel liner is mounted. Suitable liner dimensions are 800 mm to 3000 mm in length and 300 mm to 1000 mm in diameter. The system features a vision system for quality inspection and position check. By placing stationary lay-up tools in free spaces of the FPP cell, the range of applications can also be extended to aerospace and automotive applications.

“We are excited to bring Fiber Patch Placement to the Japanese market and looking forward to a successful corporation with Fuji Industries”, says Thorsten Groene, CEO and Co-Founder of Cevotec. He further underlines the strategic relevance: “The expected fiber demand for H2 tanks will likely outgrow available fiber supply in the next 5-10 years. Technologies like FPP that bring double-digit material savings become strategically important for staying competitive long-term in the global market.”

About Cevotec:

Munich-based automation specialist Cevotec offers one of the world’s most advanced production systems for complex fiber composites. At the intersection of composites, mechanical engineering and software, Cevotec develops production systems and software based on Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) technology: SAMBA and ARTIST STUDIO. The production systems enable the automated lay-up of carbon fiber, glass fibers, adhesive films and other technical fibers on complex 3D geometries. Manufacturers use FPP technology to produce e.g. multi-material aerostructures, composite pressure vessel reinforcements, and other high-performance components in a quality-controlled, fully automated process, which enables them to realize cost & cycle time savings of 20%-60% when switching from conventional processes to Fiber Patch Placement.

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