AUG 2016


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Page 34 of 51 33 NEWS produced more than 1.3 million composite leaf springs, to date, with a Six Sigma quality measure of zero defects per million parts. More recently, sister-firm IFA Technology developed and built the world's first carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) stabi- lizer bars in a production car, for the Volkswagen AG (Wolfsburg, Germany) XL1. e success of this metal-to-composite conversion has created a fourth strategic business for IFA Composite. Stabilizer bar form and function Automotive stabilizer bars, traditionally formed from steel, are a key component in many automobile suspension systems. Also called anti-roll bars, anti-sway bars or sway bars, they are used to reduce the body roll of a vehicle during fast cornering or when a wheel encounters irregularities on the road surface. Stabilizer bars also define a car's oversteer or understeer characteristic — that is, CEO Felix von Nathusius adds, "Cost-effective, large-series, li ghtweight parts will massively influence the future of vehicle design." Segue into suspension IFA Composite also makes glass fiber-reinforced composite leaf springs. It began series production in 2006, making springs for the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van, one of the most successful light commercial motor vehicles worldwide. IFA also produces composite leaf springs for Volkswagen and American Dodge. Most recently, the company has replaced steel in the leaf springs of heavy trucks of up to 40-ton capacity, saving as much as 400 kg in truck empty weight. is either reduces fuel consumption or is exchanged for increased load capacity (see Learn More). As one of Germany's largest composite leaf spring manufacturers, IFA has CFRP Stabilizer Bar Production Fig. 1 Automated filament winding production line Automated production lines have helped IFA Composite deliver more than 1.3 million glass fiber composite leaf springs with zero defects. Source | IFA Composite GmbH Fig. 2 IFA Composite production process IFA Composite developed a streamlined production process that can be automated and scaled for high volumes: a) preforming, b) press-molding and c) CNC-machining. Source | IFA Technology GmbH Fig. 3 In-house prepregging capability a plus Given IFA's long history of making glass fiber prepreg in-house on proto- type and (pictured here) full-scale production lines supplied by Santex AG (Tobel, Switzerland), its experience and internal process control of carbon fiber/epoxy prepreg fabrication helps ensure superior laminate consolidation in its CFRP stabilizer bars and other suspension parts. Source | IFA Composite GmbH a b c

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