The integration of the interconnection of components of mechatronic systems in structural components (MID), without traditional cables, is considered to be a promising solution for future signal and power networking. In addition to wiring alternatives to cables such as hybrid injection molding, printing, spraying of conductor tracks and chemical metallization with galvanic reinforcement, the characteristics of integrative wire laying have not yet been investigated. Wire material appears to be superior to printed or chemically deposited conductors in terms of robustness and transmission properties because of its homogeneous material nature. The Ruhlamat company from Ruhla (TH) offers a module consisting of a workpiece holder, wire drain, lightweight robot and a laying tool with an integrated ultrasonic device for laying wires while simultaneously melting the wire into the surface of thermoplastic components. A laboratory version is shown in Fig. 3 shown. With the wire manufacturer Kern & Liebers in Schramberg (BW) a traditional, competent manufacturer of wires is available. Wires are made of application-specific metals, shaped with high precision by wire drawing to the required final dimension with tolerances in the μm range and given specific properties by differential post-treatment processes such as annealing or surface treatment. A high-temperature-resistant, extremely thin insulation layer can be applied by painting, whereby the individual wires are baked in parallel with a thermal treatment and thus bundles can be formed, as shown in Fig. 1.
The innovative wire laying technology must be fundamentally investigated with regard to the nature of the wire material, the fixation in the substrate, the optimal process parameters and the characteristics of the applied interconnections before industrial use. The wires are to be used for signal and power networking. Thus, flat coaxial lines should also be tested with the wires. A determination of the manufacturing costs of a significant component is important for the commercial evaluation of the technology.
The partners Ruhlamat GmbH and Kern & Liebers are increasingly involved in processing the project.
Products that can be used are sensors, antennas, pads for inductive charging, power supply, contacting battery cells, medical devices and heated surfaces.
Benefits and economic importance for SMEs
A significant group of users is found in the small and medium-sized supplier companies in the automotive and process technology sector. It is assumed that the results will be applied in innovative products and thus new opportunities and sales in new markets will be opened up for the industry. At the end of the project, a new alternative for the electrical functionalization of three-dimensional components should be available.
This flexibility of the technology enables SMEs as component suppliers to respond quickly to customer requests.
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Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
Institute for Factory Automation and Production Systems (FAPS)
Project accompanying companies
The Research Association 3-D MID is still looking for companies to accompany the project. If you are interested, please contact the office via phone (+49 911 5302-9100) or E-Mail (email@example.com). E-Mail to office