The world leader in carbon and glass fiber profiles relies on Creaform's 3D scanner for 3D curvature measurements, directly on the production site.
Fiberline A / S is a Danish family business founded by Henrik and Dorthe Thorning in 1979.
Today it is the world's leading manufacturer of carbon and fiberglass profiles. The head office and technology center are both located in Middelfart, Denmark, but the company also has a manufacturing site in China. It now employs more than 300 people, who share a common fascination with innovative materials and manufacturing processes. With Fiberline A / S's pultrusion technique, dry fibers are continuously unwound through a closed mold, into which a matrix is inserted. The resulting product exhibits very special properties, which can be tailored to specific customer needs.
Fiberline A / S products are mainly used in three sectors: wind turbines, windows and facades, as well as structural profiles. In the manufacture of wind turbines, carbon and fiberglass profiles are used to reinforce some of the longest turbine blades in the world. The excellent insulating properties of glass fibers improve the energy balance of windows and building facades. Regarding structural profiles, the strength, low weight and durability of Fiberline A / S products allow intelligent solutions to be designed, especially in the manufacture of bridges.
Measurement of curvatures of composite profiles
Previously, Fiberline A / S used a manual measuring station to inspect the curvature of composite profiles. This method worked well, but being a stationary device, the team had to cut the test pieces directly on the production line, resulting in a decrease in yield. The objective was therefore to find an easy way to measure the curvature of the profiles continuously, without interrupting their production cycle.
HandySCAN 3D digitizing positioning targets
Creaform's HandySCAN 3D portable scanner caught the attention of Fiberline A / S in its search for solutions. With the collaboration of Kvejborg APS , the distributor of Creaform in Denmark, a technical response was developed. Rather than conducting inspections manually by cutting out materials for testing, the HandySCAN 3D made it possible to perform in-line measurements, thus avoiding unnecessary material scrap.
Carbon composite profiles are made through a process called pultrusion, in which the carbon fibers are mixed with a matrix in a tool. The profiles are less than 1 cm high, more than 100 mm wide and have several widths. A large traction unit pulls the profile out of the tool, which then follows a roller conveyor. The thin sections are then wound into large coils of several hundred meters.
Composite carbon profiles are made through a process called pultrusion.
In order to ensure that the profiles are completely straight, it is necessary to perform tests to evaluate the torsion over a length of 8 m. This is why Fiberline A / S has installed three measuring stations just below the roller conveyor, over which the profiles pass. Positioning targets are placed on these three stations. The installation with these targets is then scanned and saved as a reference file.
Example of measuring profiles with curvatures
When operators want to measure the curvature of a profile, they then use the HandySCAN 3D, a computer with VXelements acquisition software , as well as a barcode scanner to scan the composite profile. The scanned data and part barcode are entered into software, along with information for the specific production line, the lot number for the specific reel and operator IDs. The system automatically generates a time stamp. Operators can then scan the profile at each measuring station. Once the process is complete, the scanned data is imported into the Polyworks software. The scan is compared to the reference file. The software automatically detects any presence of a slight curvature along the 8 m length of the scanned profiles.
Kristine Lund, Production Technology Engineer at Fiberline A / S explains: “In addition to its ease of use, the HandySCAN 3D is the most accurate inspection system on the market. Since many people need to use the equipment, it must be easy to use so as not to depend on the skills of the operator. Creaform's HandySCAN 3D is used in the workshop by five different teams over a week. The production works 24/7 ”.
There are other systems on the market for performing this type of in-line measurement, but the inspection would have required a much more complex installation. Now getting measurements is easy and it is possible to use the same equipment on multiple production lines, rather than using a stationary configuration.
Today, Fiberline A / S no longer needs to cut test pieces to perform measurements, saving money and improving efficiency. Each individual measurement is now documented automatically, avoiding manual processing. In addition, the measurements being taken directly on the production line with immediate display of the results, it is possible
to intervene much more quickly in the event of a deviation.
Fiberline A / S is fully satisfied with the technical solution and the support provided by the Kvejborg Company, distributor of Creaform. The HandySCAN 3D scanner, by its ease of use and its extreme precision, has perfectly met expectations. Any changes requested after the initial implementation on the programs or on the system have been made successfully.