Forschungs- & Entwicklungsinformationsdienst der Gemeinschaft - CORDIS

Development of an on line control system for the prepreg manufacture process suitable to control and regulate on line the prepregs properties, mainly: resin/fibre rate, and solvent content

- Development and manufacture of a measuring system - a near-infrared spectrometer with adapted wavelength range to control the parameters of the prepreg manufacture process to get a more homogeneous product and reducing wastes.
- Development of a software for control of measurement as well as for test evaluation of samples: 3 programmes have been created: one to create calibrations for various fabrics, as well as another one for the validation of the system and an on-line measuring program, which automatically carry out continuous measurements and quantitative determinations of resin and volatile content.
- Calibration of the on-line system. 11 calibrations for yellow and black fabrics were created
- Selection of an application model (the Partial Least Squares method) and automatic computer programmes to determine continuous characteristic parameters of the prepreg.
- Design and manufacture of a system for data acquisition.
- Design and manufacture of the control system A first evaluation shows the need of the development of a enhanced sensitivity
-Redesign the measuring optics and the radiation source
- Analysis of the response against the range of simulated input. Validation and implementation of the complete on-line system in the process of the prepreg production.

The developed calibrations were tested on the prepreg production line. The system shows during the production the contents of resin and the volatile content continuous on a monitor.

The development of this control system guarantee a constant quality in the final product and a high productivity (it is capable to reduce the number of out-of-specifications products by up to 80%). This increases the company's competitiveness and generates a reduction of waste and scraps (that up to now have been discarded in landfills), as well as a better use of raw materials. This system is being adapted for industrial applications

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