This chapter starts with a brief introduction to the company
Dieffenbacher. Following is a discussion about relevant processes, technologies
and functions from Business Unit Composites to understand the role of robotic
automation in a fully automated press line.

2.1 The Company Dieffenbacher

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Dieffenbacher is an internationally active group of
companies with over 1700 associates and 16 production sites and sales offices
worldwide. The company specializes in the mechanical engineering and plant
construction sector and is one of the leading manufacturers of press systems
and complete production systems for the wood, automobile, and supplier
industries. As an independent fifth generation family owned company, they have
stood for continuity, tradition and reliability for over 140 years. About 70%
of all products are exported internationally and the worldwide service and sales
network guarantees every customer the fastest possible support 3.

The company can be divided into three main business units:

1.    
Wood-based panels

2.    

Composites

3.    
Recycling

 Figure 1 Business Unit
Composites of Dieffenbacher 4

The wood division is the largest business unit which offers
complete production lines for the production of particleboard MDF, OSB and LVL
panels as well as fiber insulation panels and molded door leaves. The customers
of this business area are predominantly found in the woodworking, furniture,
construction and energy industries 4.

The composites division is involved in processes, presses
and fully automated production lines developed and realized for the production
of light weight fiber reinforced plastic components. Most of the customers are
from the automotive and supplier industry 4.

The recycling division focuses on development of complete
recycling plants for treatment of different waste materials through mechanical
and biological means for the extraction of secondary raw materials or energy 4.

2.2 Press Technology

The composites division specializes in the development of
press systems available in standard and high-accuracy variants with or without active
servo-controlled parallel motion systems. The presses are designed by keeping
in mind the requirements of the plastic and composite forming industry.
Depending on customer requirements, Dieffenbacher is able to supply suitable
press systems with process-oriented controls 4.

Figure 2 Dieffenbacher Press
Types 4

There are currently three different press types:

1.    
Dieffenbacher Compress Lite (DCL)

The DCL press type is available in an upstroke and
short-stroke design with a low overall height and an energy-saving drive. The
bevel deflection line provides an even bend progression of the upper and lower
die. The high-precision parallel motion behavior ensures a consistent component
thickness and increases the quality of the components. The Lite concept provides
exceptional flexibility and rapidness in die changing due to its 4-sided
accessible design.