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Carbon fibre production boost with AI and sensors

System is to be validated at an industrial plant in 2024.

27th November 2023

Innovation in Textiles
 |  Aachen, Germany

Transport/​Aerospace, Industrial

CarboScreen is a new startup that has been spun out of the Institute of Textile Technology (ITA) at RWTH Aachen University in Germany, to commercialise a new AI-supported technology that makes complex carbon fibre production controllable through sensor monitoring.

The production of carbon fibres is highly complex but its manufacturing is currently only monitored manually by semi-skilled workers. Even minimal fibre damage during production, however, leads to a reduction in quality, and in extreme extreme cases, can result in plant fires.

To avoid problems, the production speed of carbon fibre lines is generally limited to a maximum of 15 metres a minute.

CarboScreen founders Felix Pohlkemper and Tim Röding say their sensor-based online monitoring makes it possible to increase production speeds to 30 m/min in the medium term, enabling a significant reduction in production costs and lower prices.

They have calculated that this could lead to savings of an annual €37.5 million for a carbon fibre production plant and also to the wider use of the fibre in traditional markets such as aerospace, automotive and wind energy.

The CarboScreen system continuously monitors the fibre throughout the entire production process, with deviations detected automatically. It is currently being developed for industrial use and is to be validated at an industrial plant in 2024.

CarboScreen was also recently honoured with third place in the AVK Innovation Award 2023 Processes and Procedures category for the development. The award ceremony took place during the JEC Roof Forum in Salzburg, Austria.

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