What kind of request does a customer now come to you with?
Kristina Schüllner: For example, the customer comes to us with a 3D geometry that he wants to have examined because problems have arisen in the finished component, such as a non-homogeneous density distribution and more material has been compacted in some positions than in others. In order to prevent such a problem as far as possible, we can now use the test tool, obtain precise information and carry out optimizations by, for example, using different filler positions or filling parameters.
Who benefits from your development in the short or long term?
Schüllner: In principle, the entire process chain benefits, that means from the idea to the finished component. The end user from the quality of the product. Research and development, because gaps in the literature can be filled, more information and data can be collected, and research possibilities can be expanded. Indirectly, there are also advantages for the machine builder, who can incorporate the findings into the filling process as an optimization. And this starts with modifications to the silos in which the material is stored before it enters the filling process. The toolmaker has advantages in that he can design his tool differently accordingly. The material manufacturer likewise, because whether the material is elliptical or round also has an influence on the filling process. And of course also the processor, who stands at the machine, by being able to adjust the filling parameters accordingly.
What do you as the NMB hope to gain from this?
Schreier: The first thing is the scientific component: We want to fill the gap on the scientific map, to supplement and fill it, and to investigate the interrelationships between filling parameters and their effects on the component. The second is the economic component: to support our partners and customers with their specific questions, to help them where they get stuck. And thirdly, we want to make our contribution to the further development of particle foam technology and ultimately also give the industry a competitive edge.