‘World’s fastest production line’ for LPG vessels

The filament winding plant is set up as twin concept.
The filament winding plant is set up as twin concept.

Roth Composite Machinery, based in Germany, says that it has built the ‘world’s fastest production line’ for the series production of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) vessels using its filament winding technology. The company has developed a fully-automated production line containing four winding stations having five spindles each, which reportedly enables the manufacture of 600,000 LPG vessels per annum.

‘Having a cycle time of 43 seconds per vessel, it is the world’s most effective production line of this type at present,’ said Bernd Fischer, sales director. ‘The advantages of fiber-reinforced plastics for LPG vessels are clear, they are significantly lighter than conventional materials and – especially in the case of pressure vessels - allow a higher degree of safety against explosion.’ Fiber-reinforced plastic tanks are increasingly used for the storage of fluids or gases and suitable for applications with hydrogen or nitrogen, Roth says.

The production line is set up as twin concept, with two independent winding stations placed in one gantry, according to the company, with loading and unloading time parallel to production time. The loading and unloading of the vessels is carried out in a fully automated way by using robots.

There is an impregnating bath with shuttle table for the impregnation of the fibers, reducing production interruption periods by about 80%. A patented procedure for an automatic applying and cutting of the fibers integrated in the fiber delivery carriage guarantees the exactly defined positioning of the fibers onto the vessel, and the tolerance value of the composite material from spindle to spindle is less than two grams. Besides a blow-molding machine for the plastic liners, the designed system also comprises the liner pre-assembly station. At this, the boss part is welded onto the liner, the shaft is screwed in, the vessel is pressurized and the liner surface is activated for the winding process by means of flame treatment. 

This story is reprinted from material from Rothwith editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.