project overview


Predictive Maintenance and Data Based Optimization of Production Technology for Composites


PREDATOR develops a reliable HP-RTM process for industrial large-scale production using intelligent data processing systems. Data will be acquired and transferred through the process chain (molding to post- processing). This allows for predicting the maintenance intervals of the mold based on the generated process data, which is also used as input value for the post processing. In the milling process, integrated sensors monitor the components’ structure borne sound for tool wear and part QA prediction.


HP-RTM is suited for serial production of composites but the molds lack in robustness and reliability. Today process data acquisition is done manually and data is not transferred along the single process steps or even used for quality assessment (QA). By developing a robust serial production mold and by implementing a smart data recording and transfer, integrated QA and reduced costs are expected. PREDATOR will therefore attract HP-RTM chain to a bigger audience and increase the marked share.


To be competitive within the supplier market, short cycle times and high robustness need to be guaranteed (e.g. for automotive industry) as well as high quality (e.g. aerospace sector). This is only possible with deep process understanding based on process data used to monitor the equipment condition and assess the component quality.

The goal of PREDATOR is the development of a holistic, cross-plant approach for utilizing process data at various locations (part manufacturing and post processing) for improving the reliability and efficiency of the HP-RTM manufacturing chain for composite materials.

This approach will be demonstrated by the combination of composite part manufacturing data (e.g. temperature, force, distance sensor information from HP-RTM mold, injection machine, hydraulic press) with the post processing data from milling-machine-integrated (rotational speed, feed rate) and structure-borne sound sensors.

Main results during PREDATOR are:

  • Modular software solution (by Boom Software) for processing various sensor information from different productions steps (production process data will be used as input value to optimize the milling process)
  • Smart HP-RTM production tool (by Alpex Technologies) with monitored wear parts (like ejectors, sealings, …) for offering improved maintenance services and increased reliability
  • Correlation system between structure-borne sound during composite component milling activities to the part quality and wear condition Integrated QA system in post processing (by Hufschmied Zerspanungssysteme)
  • Increased know-how related to quality control within the HP-RTM manufacturing chain that will be used for future acquisition of industrial projects for composite serial production (by Fraunhofer ICT)
Structural CFRP component manufactured in HP-RTM, © Fraunhofer ICT


Eurostars project PREDATOR, funding reference E114329

Project partners:

Eurostars Project: executive agencies DLR (Germany) and FFG (Austria):

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