Voith Composites GmbH & Co. KG from Garching near Munich received the Lightweight Design Award 2018 as part of the Association of German Engineers' (VDI) lightweight convention and the Carbon Composites Association's (CCeV) competence network. The company was given the award for the fully digitized and automated production line for the production of CFRP structural components (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) developed in cooperation with Audi AG. Voith is producing the new Audi A8's CFRP rear panel in this way. The company has also developed a novel fiber direct-deposition process, the Voith Roving Applicator (VRA) , which allows the respective object to be preformed with no gaps or folds.
The company uses an optimized layer structure using six to 19 carbon fiber layers to produce the CFRP rear panel. The fact that the fibers closely correspond already to the final shape reduces waste and thus material costs. Audi and Voith have also come up with an automated bonding process without the mechanical pretreatment of CFRP and of metal to assemble the metal attachments.