Leading-Edge Cluster MAI Carbon achieves cost target
The Leading-Edge Cluster MAI Carbon set itself ambitious technological goals at the beginning of its term. These included cycle times of less than one minute, or a 90% reduction in production costs. The cluster wanted to achieve these goals by 2020 and shows successes.
The MAI Enviro 2.0 research study examined not only the ecological effects of CFRP component production but also the development of production costs. There have been enormous changes in the area of component production over the last seven years. The study was based on established processes from 2010 to 2012, which were only occasionally robust, suitable for large-scale production and automated. The quantities were mostly low, offcuts and process times were high.
Figure 1: Overview of the examined cost reduction measures
In order to quantify the cost reduction potential, the MAI Enviro 2.0 research project investigated various manufacturing processes. The analysis of the processes and their further developments, which were also implemented in the MAI Carbon projects in particular, showed that the new production technologies enable significantly greater cost reductions than expected. In addition to the basic scenario at the start of the cluster, two further variants and their combination with each other were analysed (cf. Figure 1). On the one hand, the halving of fibre prices and on the other hand technological developments that make production more efficient were investigated.
The study has shown that for small series (5,000 units per year) production costs of approx. 40 €/kg CFRP can be realised. Starting with medium series, where plants are used to an average of over 60% capacity, production costs of 18 €/kg CFRP component can be achieved for the manufacture of 1 kilogram CFRP component. This shows that MAI Carbon has largely achieved its ambitious technological goals thanks to the innovative ability of its partners.
The full publication of the results can be obtained from MAI Carbon.