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The new highly automated modular Kiefel vacuum lamination system utilizing the TBL process.
The new highly automated modular Kiefel vacuum lamination system utilizing the TBL process.
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KIEFEL GmbH presented the newly designed and developed Tailored Blank Laminating (TBL) Technology and Machine for the first time at Kiefel’s Automotive Dialogue Day on November 15, 2018.

The innovated Kiefel TBL vacuum laminating machine operates completely automatic, without any operators. The unique feature includes the tailored blanked exact foil precuts.

By utilizing a uniquely designed servo motor gripper system, the tailored blank foil precut will be positioned and aligned on the substrate without any foil pre-stretch before the TBL-tool will be closed and the vacuum laminating process takes place. Cutting knives, integrated in the TBL-tool are responsible for exact foil overlap length for the subsequent edge-folding process.

For this application, the company developed a completely new highly automated vacuum laminating machine. Robots which are integrated components of the machine are not responsible for movement of tool components and parts only.

These robots will also be used to transfer the TBL-laminated parts to the subsequent process, e.g. edge-folding or punching. It means that the automation solution is integrated in the machine and more or less free of charge.

The TBL machines new innovative design reduces the overall machine footprint by 50% in comparison with traditional vacuum-laminating machines with the same output, which is another big advantage of this new TBL-machine.

Based on using the tailored blanks foil exact-precuts, the entire foil consumption can be reduced up to 40% in comparison to traditional vacuum-laminating technology. The TBL technology interior parts will be produced at a more cost effective rate offering savings over the production period of 5 years in the range of millions of Euro.

Simultaneously, the foil stretch and the grain wash-out, the main quality factor of interior parts, will be significantly reduced to a range of 10 - 15 %. The remaining constant foil thickness and the overall soft-touch of TBL parts offer another quality advantage of the parts produced by TBL-Technology. This allows repeatable and pre-determined gap conditions to neighboring parts. 

Sharp corners and sharp flanges are also possible based to the exact alignment of the foil before vacuum lamination process.

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