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Innovation Awards 2022 Winner

JEC World


Voith Composites SE & Co. KG, (Germany)

Partner(s) : J.M. Voith SE & Co.KG | VTA, Germany - Gurit, UK - COTESA GmbH, Germany

Key Benefits:

  • Higher quality standard through precisely automated lamination

  • Higher productivity from faster/fewer manufacturing processes

  • Lower production cost from reduction of processes

  • Reduced waste and reduced manufacturing hazard

  • Higher consistency in the mass manufacturing of parts

Voith Inline Thruster CFRP rotor blades are made using Voith's groundbreaking prepreg stacks (Carbon4Stack) laminate to provide ultimate vessel maneuverability to the marine industry.

The innovative CFRP rotor blade design of the Voith Inline Thruster (VIT) is the result of a close R&D corporation between Voith Composites, Voith Turbo, Gurit and Cotesa. The blades are made using precisely laminated stacks (Carbon4Stack) laid on Voith's automated machinery (VRA NextGen). The advantages of carbon fiber rotor blades over conventional materials are clear: the material is lighter, stiffer and more resistant to corrosion. The cutting edge technology used for the pre-stacking and cutting translates into a drastic reduction in manufacturing time, waste and risk. The Carbon4Stack used for this application consists of several layers of multi directional oriented UD tapes, with local reinforcements in respect of load path and stiffness requirements. Due to its near-net shape manufacturing, pre-compacting and cutting to final shape, the resulting kit is ready for direct molding and for final curing in an autoclave. Voith "Carbon4Stack" prepreg stacks bring immense benefits to the automotive, aerospace, wind and other industries starting from a 70% reduction of their manufacturing cycle. The next generation of Voith Roving Applicator (VRA - winner of the 2017 JEC innovation award), ensures a precise and fully automated placement of 50mm wide prepreg tapes onto a turntable, for a perfect manufacturing consistency and repeatability. The massive streamlining of the manufacturing process results in enormous time, cost and material savings.

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