Malitronic machine, FORMAXUK – The new cut-and-lay Malitronic equipment from Karl Mayer is part of a €2.5m investment programme and is housed within the company’s new 5,000 sq.m automotive facility at its headquarters in Leicester.

The 35m machine has a variable width of 127-160cm and will be dedicated to the production of tailored non-crimp fabrics (NCFs) optimised for high-volume automotive production. According to FORMAX, bespoke fabrics or preforms can be made to suit manufacturing processes at OEMs and tier suppliers for Class A body panels, body-in-white (BIW) and impact-resistant, long-fibre-reinforced components.

The machine’s three axes are capable of laying ply angles from 20° to 90° with both in-line and off-line spreading technology, allowing engineers to specify larger carbon fibre tows, with ply weights starting at 50gsm. The machine is also equipped with electronic pattern cams for the creation of specific stitch patterns.

Dan Norton, automotive sector manager at FORMAX, commented: “FORMAX has recognised the demand being shown within the automotive industry to include carbon composite structures within their multi-material platforms and with this machine, and its cutting edge spreading technology, we are able to increase fibre throughput whilst maintaining and delivering high manufacturing efficiencies.”

The new machine is now fully operational, while FORMAX’s new facility will officially open in May.