Digitalising Composite Manufacturing – Optimising Curing Using Dielectric In-Mould Sensors


Current curing processes in composite production are set to predefined cycle times and cannot be adapted without considerable effort. Material, temperature and humidity fluctuations cannot be compensated and there is a risk of waste production. The Dielectric Sensor System of NETZSCH provides the possibility to characterize the material behaviour in the invisible and critical curing process in the tool, to communicate with the superordinated machine control and thus to implement dynamic manufacturing processes. This brings robust processes, cost savings and higher productivity.

The workload during the German funded and AVK awarded project “OPTO-Light” with the partners BMW, KraussMaffei, the AZL Aachen and others has already proven the effectiveness and necessity of in-mold sensors for complex composite manufacturing processes. Through communication with the process control system, the new sensor technology controlled the process in such a way that an optimal adhesion of dissimilar materials in a cascaded process could be achieved.

To further improve the efficiency and to support the composites world, NETZSCH has partnered with the company KISTLER from Switzerland, a well-known manufacturer of in-mold pressure sensors, to advance into the field of an entire monitoring of the process conditions from the mold filling to the end of cure. All of these data can be used to initialize machine actions.

A combination of dielectric and pressure sensors allows for intelligent process control during manufacturing of a composite hoodA combination of dielectric and pressure sensors allows for intelligent process control during manufacturing of a composite hood


Monday 21 October, 10.30am – 11.30am


University of Southern Queensland
Bulding Z Room Z469
487-535 West Street
Toowoomba Qld 4350


Andrew Gillen
ANZ Product Manager
BU Analyzing and Testing, NETZSCH Australia Pty Ltd

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About the presenter

Andrew Gillen studied Materials Engineering at the University of Wollongong. From 2007-2012, Andrew was employed at ANSTO Institute for Materials Engineering focussing on defence and nuclear materials research and development including ultra-high temperature ceramics, ceramic matrix composites and refractory metals. In 2010, Andrew was awarded a Defence Materials Technology Centre (DMTC) Industry Partnership Award in 2010 for a crucial contribution to the capability of DMTC Industry Participant BAE Systems. Since 2014, Andrew has worked for NETZSCH Analyzing and Testing as ANZ Product Manager, utilising his extensive applications experience with thermal analysis methods.

About the company

The Analyzing & Testing business unit of the NETZSCH Group (est. 1873, Germany) develops and manufactures a complete high-precision instrument line for thermal analysis and thermophysical properties measurement, as well as offering world class commercial testing services in our laboratories. Our instrumentation is employed for research, quality control and process control in the composites sector, the chemical industry and the areas of inorganics and building materials. Our innovative technological leadership and uncompromising quality standards make us one of the world’s leading manufacturers in our trade. NETZSCH and USQ signed a research partnership in 2018 with the goal to use their core competencies to advance the automation of current composite manufacturing processes.