Source: LF GmbH & Co. KG announcement
LEVERKUSEN, Germany – LF GmbH & Co. KG with its brand LIQFRIC® has successfully completed the construction of a first small-series production plant which began production July 27th.
“After about a year or approximately 1,600 hours of engineering and mechatronic work, the unit for our Smart Friction Factory is completed,” said Roman Milczarek, head of development. “We are now implementing the first of several planned scaling steps to show our project partners in the friction lining- and brake industry the potential of our LIQFRIC® technology.”
The company has entered into development projects and collaborations with some key players in the brake- and clutch industry in Europe, especially in Germany.
LIQFRIC® Starts Prototype Line
“This piece of equipment enables series manufacturing of friction linings based on liquid LIQFRIC® compounds for the first time,” according to Karsten Danner and Ludwig Wittig, responsible for the electronic control and the overall project. “The machine can adjust to the various material properties in a time-adaptive manner, thus allowing flexible dosing of the products into the dies and therefore creating a continuous manufacturing process.
“In addition, the continuous capturing of operational data allows for optimization of the products in terms of machine compatibility and development of the relevant parameters for large-scale production in the next two to three years.”
The unit can be operated by one person including downstream operations and is able to produce up to 50,000 parts per year. The intention is to manufacture all future prototypes and small-series parts on this machine. This includes manufacturing volumes ranging from batch size 1 to larger test volumes, as well as series production.
“Based on the pressure-free production of brake pads, the possible small-series batch sizes and further savings potential, in addition to the significant reduction of CO2 emissions in the manufacturing process, we can ensure the monetization of efficiency gains,” added Milczarek. “With our technological lead, we want to advance the production of high-tech brake pads in Germany. If we combine our new production technology with the integration of sensors in brake linings (e.g. NFC or others), we come close to the goal of innovative factory systems and production controls in the theme of Industry 4.0.
“Additionally, we focus on the use of our friction materials in electromobility, since our friction materials bring about significant weight savings, while simultaneously providing higher temperature stability compared to conventional friction linings.”
LF GmbH & Co. KG was founded in Leverkusen in March 2016 and follows the strategic idea of producing friction materials based on a liquid friction compound that can be hardened at room temperature to make high-temperature stable friction lining materials for automotive, rail, and clutch- as well as industrial applications.