Abele Ingenieure developed a mobile oven table for the DLR’s Center for Lightweight-Production-Technology (ZLP), based in Augsburg, for the manufacturing of lightweight thermoplastic structures for aerospace applications. The oven is used for a process in which custom-made organic plastic sheets and component parts are made from high-performance carbon-fibre-reinforced thermoplastics through vacuum consolidation.
During the typical process sequence, the surface of the oven table is first used to stack and tack semi-finished products into pre-defined layered stacks in a robot-based process. The automated placement of components is carried out in a flexible DLR-ZLP production cell. A forklifter is then used to move the oven table into the convection oven (interior dimensions: 5 m x 3 m x 3 m) where the parts are vacuum consolidated at temperatures of up to 410°C.
Abele Ingenieure developed a dimensionally stable oven table whose exterior dimensions are 3 m x 2 m x 1 m. The grey cast-iron work surface of this purpose-built item was designed to meet sophisticated specifications of both roughness and evenness. The vacuum extraction required for the process is integrated into the table, which remains airtight even throughout immense temperature changes. The table’s unique design, together with suitable clamping devices, makes it possible for curved tools to be used. This enables the manufacture of even the largest of complex structural carbon parts.