Identifying the Benefits of Fiber Reinforced Plastics for Their Use in Machine Tool Structures
Conrad W. P. Fischbach, Michael F. Zaeh, and Martin Mair
Institute for Machine Tools and Industrial Management (iwb), Technische Universitaet
Muenchen, Boltzmannstrasse 15, Garching 85748, Germany
Machine tool structures are usually caught in the dichotomies of mass, static rigidity, working area, and dynamic rigidity. This dichotomies are mainly dependent on the mass specific stiffness of the structure material. Fiber reinforced plastics can offer a significantly higher mass specific stiffness than steel can and are therefore able to mollify this dichotomies for machine tool structures. The challenge the machine tool industry faces, though, is the high price of those suitable fiber reinforced plastics, such as carbon fiber reinforced plastics. The price is significantly higher compared to steel components, and it is not clear in which cases or to what extent the simplified equation can generate overall financial benefits. This paper proposes a systematic approach to analyzing criteria and deciding when fiber reinforced plastics can generate added value. Then, a value creation model is derived from the technological performance enhancement that mollified dichotomies can achieve. A simplified example shows how the specific value created by material substitution in a machine component can be extracted using a flexible, multi body method of analysis.
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