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formnext 2022: Sustainability and lightweight construction for product development

Overath, 07.11.2022 At this year’s formnext, which takes place from 15 – 18.11.2022 in Frankfurt am Main, the family-run Overath-based company BARLOG Plastics will also be represented again. In Hall 12.1, Stand E08, the plastics expert will be showing its services “from the idea to series production”, bringing prototypes closer to series components. Even running processes can be optimised with the help of simulations from BARLOG Plastics’ CAE consulting and thus help to achieve considerable cost savings.

BARLOG Plastics GmbH, Overath near Cologne, is presenting its optimised range of customised development services for plastics processors at this year’s Formnext – Hall 12.1, Stand E08. Under the guiding principle “from the idea to series production”, BARLOG Plastics is focusing not only on article development and prototype construction for injection moulding, but also increasingly on aspects that environmental protection demands of the industry today: agile design for manufacturing and the determination of material data, also from recycled plastics, for simulation. Injection moulding processes that are already underway can be continuously improved with capability analyses in the area of quality assurance, for example with the help of CT analyses of the moulded parts.

With these services, BARLOG Plastics is focusing more on increasing the economic efficiency of plastics processing, thereby ensuring the avoidance of unnecessary waste and a reduction in CO2 emissions. Higher component quality also stands for a longer service life – and thus for waste avoidance – while at the same time increasing added value.

ECO-Consulting: Sustainability for product development

“In today’s world, it is more important than ever to pay attention to sustainability and CO2 savings,” says Frank Barlog, managing partner of BARLOG Plastics GmbH, “and so we have made it our goal not only to reduce our own carbon footprint but also to improve it along the entire supply chain.” The plastics expert’s view is directed both “upstream” towards suppliers and “downsteam” towards customers and their products.

For this purpose, BARLOG Plastics introduced ECO-Consulting – which is divided into three service modules that lead to one goal: Sustainability for the customers’ product development. ECO-Selection supports the customer in selecting the right material for the planned component, taking into account the resources of our planet. ECO-Design forms the second service module, which offers the joint development of the best possible component design with regard to Design-for-Repair and Design-for-Recycling. By simulating the production cycle, ECO-Simulation reveals whether and where cycle time reductions or better tempering layouts are possible.

In addition to the building blocks of ECO-Consulting, BARLOG Plastics also offers several other development services that can support customers in a wide range of process stages. Since the BARLOG Plastics process chain is offered both as a complete package and in individual packages, customers will find optimal support from the full-service provider at every stage of their component planning and production.

High-quality prototypes and small series

“As a specialist in our protosys® business line, we process all thermoplastics from PE to PEEK, thermoplastic elastomers and liquid silicone (LSR) and thus produce high-quality prototypes made of plastic,” explains Frank Barlog. “The use of the rapid tooling process enables us to provide our customers with prototypes of optimum quality in the shortest possible time. Here, we use aluminium mould sets and flexible master mould concepts, which cause an extreme reduction in machining times and tool costs compared to steel tools.”

“For some time now, we have also been applying our experience, which has been steadily expanded for over two decades, to Design for Manufacturing. This means that already during the design of a component on the PC, its series production is taken into account – with the help of digital twins – even before the first prototypes are produced,” says Frank Barlog. “Starting from the customer’s CAD data, we try to improve the product step by step – long before the customer holds the first prototype in his hands. Detailed documentation of the development steps is a matter of course. Afterwards, we are happy to accompany the production process with the full support of our measurement technology and simulation expertise until series production, if desired.”

Rapid tooling – the optimal complement to 3D printing

Additive manufacturing has become an important pillar of plastics processing technology. “We recognised this early on and have been working with additive processes ourselves for years and also offer our customers these technologies and the necessary know-how,” says Frank Barlog. “But despite all the advances, even the most up-to-date 3D printers can’t necessarily cope with typical injection moulding granulates,” he adds. Take fibre-reinforced types, for example. “This is a typical example of how rapid tooling and 3D printing are not necessarily in competition, but complement each other perfectly. We then decide together with the customer what the optimal solution is for their project,” adds Frank Barlog.

80 % lighter thanks to clever steel replacement

In a project jointly realised by BARLOG Plastics and Viebahn Systemtechnik, an adapter plate for transporting engines in transport racks was produced with a weight saving of 80 % through the clever use of plastic. The original steel version weighed 19.5 kg, the plastic version only 4 kg.

With the help of topology optimisation and FEM structure simulations, among other things, the geometry was further adapted in further iteration steps to suit the plastic and the tool. With the help of these techniques, the BARLOG Plastics team was able to analyse any mechanical weaknesses in advance in the simulation and optimise them, for example, using suitable rib structures and wall thickness adjustments.

You will find BARLOG Plastics GmbH in Hall 12.1 at Stand E08.

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