How does the manufacturing process of a plastic fuel tank work? This was the main question that the Kautex project team was trying to answer for our technical development partners.
One step back. As one of the three industrial partners, Kautex Textron is part of the knowlEdge project. The Kautex manufacturing plant Belgium, located in Tessenderlo (~1hr east of Brussels) is going to pilot the Kautex demonstrator. In order to prepare and develop the demonstrator it was initially planned to conduct several workshops on-site, so the local process experts could present and train the technical partners to gain a sufficient understanding of the process.
Because of the still present Covid19 situation across Europe it was not possible to invite the technical project partners to the plant. Instead, the team prepared a virtual tour supported by a HoloLens, presenting and explaining the production line. This way the technical partners could still get an impression of the physical dimensions (big blow molding machines reach up to 12x12x8m), the single steps needed and the overall complexity of the process. The team explained the process from of extrusion blow molding, the subsequent cooling, machining and assembly. At the end the participants were able to experience how basically polymer granulate is going through various stages until final product assembly, ready to be integrated in a car´s chassis.
Given the circumstances it was successful event, with more than 25 participants from partners across Europe, which even in non COVID-19 times would have been challenging to accomplish.